Happy New Year – My Top 7 Blogs of 2019

One of my top blogs of the year just published in mid December deals with how the huge proliferation of robocalls are ruining our lives and productivity.

I am now enjoying this annual tradition of reviewing my website statistics for the past entire year and listing my top seven most read blogs as a New Year feature.  And this year, since there was a tie for 7th, I will feature 8 blogs.

I normally blog about my two areas of consulting a few times each month: Diversity with a specialization in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) workplace and marketplace; and career and skills development based on my innovative Total Engagement Career Mapping process. And once in a while I throw in a more personal blog or rant about something that is irking me.

In 2019, only three of my top 8 were published this year; the rest were first published in previous years, but people are finding them by web searching on various topics. Six of the top 8 dealt with some kind of diversity topic, one was around career development, and one a personal rant about the dramatic disturbing increase in robocalls.

Here are the “Top 7 of 2019” in reverse order:

7) Tied for number 7 was a blog about including people with mental illness in the diversity discussion. It featured a game-changing organization, the Farm at Penny Lane, and its many innovative programs to integrate people with severe mental illness into the mainstream.

Also at number 7 was a blog that reached this height for the year even though it was not published until mid-December and only had a few weeks to run. It’s title: “Help this blog go viral and create a movement – shut down all robocalls.” Robocalls are ruining our way of life and destroying productivity.

6) Blog #6 was also published in December and reached this level quite quickly – In “Five Examples of LGBTQ Equality – It’s Equal Rights, Not Special Rights,” I dispel this myth of so-called “special rights” by sharing five examples.

5) Number 5 was the 2014 – 2016 number 1,the 2017 #2, and the 2018 #3, actually published way back in 2011! As many people search for online resources about diversity training, they found and read my 2011 blog “Three Components of Diversity Training,” where I discuss three major components required for diversity training and exactly who within an enterprise should be trained. I have also updated that blog to include links to more resources including to a blog sharing a sample outline of diversity and inclusion training contents.

An illustration of a partial career map as interest in skills and career development grows.

4) My fourth most popular blog was last year’s number 5 – “Three Wonderful Recent Examples of Diversity and Sports,” in which I provide short summaries with links about an NFL football player with one hand, an WNBA player who is a new mother with her wife, and a college track star who overcame a harsh abusive upbringing in Africa.

3) And a surprising number 3 this year was my blog published way back in 2011 on using career mapping as a tool for career development. This new-comer to the list may signal an increased focus on the importance of investing in skills and career development as a way to recruit and retain the best employees. You may also want to check out my 11-question Skills Development and Career Road Mapping organizational self-assessment.

2) Number 2 for the second year in a row was “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People”, a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

2019 Pair Skating Champion Timothy LeDuc (center with partner Ashley Cain-Dribble, my parents and me) is one of my featured out gay skaters – he’s a great community advocate

1) And finally, by a complete runaway with over 13,000 hits across the two blogs was last year’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman) and my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.”

Thanks to all the readers who enjoy and share my blogs. In 2020, if you want to be notified each time I do publish, you can like my business facebook page (Link), or if you subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter, I include a short summary and links to the past month’s writings.

Wishing all my readers a wonderful 2020 filled with much contentment, success and probably a wild and crazy US Presidential election year!

Three Wonderful Recent Examples of Diversity in Sports

Photo credits: (1) Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images, (2) Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America, (3) U.S. Sports – Stripes

Please see links to several of my other blogs about sports and diversity at the bottom of this page.

It is no secret that I enjoy sports, including writing about the intersection of sports and my professional field of diversity consulting. And even in my own life, I started my journey, against all odds, of training as an adult competitive figure skater at the tender age of 59! (You can read all about this journey on my figure skating page.)

Recently (Sunday, April 29th) my spirit was uplifted by 3 wonderful stories in our Raleigh News and Observer sports section that prominently included diversity aspects. The three stories included a football star with a missing hand, a WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) star experiencing new motherhood with her wife, and an immigrant African girl routinely beaten and growing up in poverty coming to America and becoming a college track star.

Here is a short look at these three wonderful stories:

1) Overcoming a disability. Linebacker Shaquem Griffin, after four years of playing on the University of Central Florida’s football team, was recently drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, where he will join his twin brother Shaquill. This one handed young man, with great speed, a knack for the ball, and an infectious enthusiasm, overcame the disability of a missing hand to become the American Athletic Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, and the first one-handed player to be drafted by the NFL. Link to full Orlando Sentinel Story.

2) LGBT Acceptance. WNBA star Diana Taurasi’s wife Penny Taylor recently gave birth to a son on March 1st. Heartwarming stories of star athletes becoming parents for the first time are quite common as “human interest” stories in the news, but societal progress toward acceptance of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people into mainstream society is demonstrated by the simple “matter of fact” “no big deal” way this story of the lesbians moms is portrayed. Link to full Associated Press Story.

3) An immigrant growing up with abuse and poverty. As a young girl in Ghana after her mother died, Amanda Agana was raised by an aunt who routinely beat her, smasher her fingers with rocks, and singed her skins with a smoldering end of a stick. When she was eleven, Amanda was adopted and brought to the United States by Carol Meadows, a nurse-practitioner from Arkansas. During the long emotional and physical healing process, Amanda’s skill of running away to avoid constant beatings was channeled into winning races on her high school track team. Now Amanda is attending the US Naval Academy, where she is an emerging college track star. Link to Washington Post story.

These three stories illustrate how determination can help people overcome disabilities, societal stigma, prejudice, poverty and physical challenges to become empowered people achieving great things and a fulfilling life.

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Links to some my other blogs featuring diversity and sports

A blog about Bridge II Sports, a local non-profit with a robust series of athletic programs for people with disabilities.

Five Key Messages on The Importance of Out Gay Olympic Athletes, which also includes links to two blogs featuring a series of fabulous out gay figure skaters.

Fortunate is the NFL Team that Drafts Out Gay Football Standout Michael Sam!

Football, Bullying and LGBT Diversity – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Five Important Ramifications of NBA Pro Basketball Player Jason Collins’ Coming Out

And finally, a link to my whole series of “Get Up” Blogs inspired by US Figure Skating’s “Get Up” campaign, with the theme, that, in all aspects of our lives, like in figure skating, we may fall, but the more times we get up and persevere, the stronger we become.