Copy

Stop Asian Hate
 
We are disturbed and alarmed by the recent surge of hate crimes against Asian Americans in this country, and we oppose in the strongest terms possible the rhetoric that has led to these attacks. Click here or scroll down to read more >>
 
 
Women Who Inspire Us
 
In honor of Women's History Month, we asked you to share with us about the women who inspire you. Click here or scroll down to read more >>

What We're Reading
 
Graduate! Network Co-founder and Interim Director Sallie Glickman shares the transformation she experienced reading CasteClick here or scroll down to read more >>
 
Upcoming TGN Event
 
As Women's History Month comes to an end, we want to continue the learning and discussion on gender issues beyond the month of March. Click here or scroll down to learn more >>
Stop Asian Hate

We are disturbed and alarmed by the recent surge of hate crimes against Asian Americans in this country, and we oppose in the strongest terms possible the rhetoric that has led to these attacks.* We unequivocally condemn the targeting of anyone based on their racial-ethnic identity. The recent attacks on Asian Americans — particularly the cold-blooded murder of six Asian American women in Atlanta last week — have left us both stunned and appalled. They have also caused us to look more intently at the injustices faced by Asian Americans in this country each and every day.

Many of us were not fully aware of the daily aggressions leveraged against Asian Americans, a group that includes a rich and diverse culture across 19 countries of origin. We are listening, learning, and taking steps to better understand the unique struggles and inequities that Asian Americans experience. We encourage all those in The Graduate! Network family to also take time to listen and learn. We are heeding the calls from Asian Americans like Angela Eunsung Kim, who had this to say: "I want people to finally hear us ... not only when we're trending." We hear you. We vow to continue listening, and we commit to sharing more about what we learn in upcoming issues of The Lightbulb.

* According to a recent article from NBC News, “the analysis released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, this month examined hate crimes in 16 of America’s largest cities. It revealed that while such crimes in 2020 decreased overall by 7 percent, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150 percent.”

Learn More:
New York Times: "Asian-Americans Are Being Attacked. Why Are Hate Crime Charges So Rare?"
Pew Research Center: "Key Facts About Asian Americans, A Diverse and Growing Population"
Women Who Inspire Us

In honor of Women's History Month, we asked you to share with us about the women who inspire you. Thank you to everyone who responded! Here are the women who topped your lists:
 

Elizabeth Velarde
Lead Advisor for Upgrade

Tell us the name of one woman who has inspired you:
Dr. Candace Robledo

How do you know this woman?
She was the department chair for the masters program concentration I completed.

How has this woman inspired you?
Dr. Robledo was the first Latina I met with a Dr in front of her name. Before that, I didn't even consider the possibility of pursuing a doctoral degree. Dr. Robledo also came from a similar background to mine, having grown up in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. She gave me a chance by accepting me into the masters program and helped push my writing and thinking process further by seeing the real issues facing our communities. While she now works in a different university, I continue to follow her on LinkedIn and see the amazing work she is doing in her community.

What is the most important thing you would like others to know about this woman and her role in your life?
Representation matters. Students, and especially students from marginalized communities, need to see people who look like them in positions of leadership and authority. We can't aspire to be what we can't see as a reality. Meeting Dr. Robledo and having the privilege to work with her is part of the reason I am currently pursuing my doctoral degree and I aspire to help future students in the ways she helped me.
 

Karen Sartain
Tennessee Reconnect Navigator, East Region

Tell us the name of one woman who has inspired you:
Dr. Jacquelyn "Jacqui" Elliott, President, enrollmentFUEL

How do you know this woman?
We were colleagues at Tusculum University

How has this woman inspired you?
Jacqui was a motivational leader that believed in cultivating someone's untapped potential. She inspired me to be a better communicator, to always continue learning and developing, and to progress in my chosen field within higher education. I was inspired to be a role model like her when I held leadership roles.

What is the most important thing you would like others to know about this woman and her role in your life?
Jacqui has been the best mentor! I cherish the guidance she provided and all of the things that she taught or coached me on (i.e strategic planning, enrollment communication plans, admissions funnel, navigating VP meetings, preparation and planning skills, team development, etc...). I still find myself reflecting back, in my mind, on how Jacqui would handle a particular situation. As time elapsed and we both moved on, she completed her doctoral program and is now a higher education consultant. I do have the pleasure of listening to some podcasts that she publishes and unbeknownst to her she is still mentoring me. 
 

Sallie Glickman
Co Founder, The Graduate! Network

Tell us the name of one woman who has inspired you:
Janice Saunders

How do you know this woman?
We worked at the same organization when I first started my professional career journey. We met again when she was a Graduate! alum and was pursuing her Master's degree.

How has this woman inspired you?
When Janice, who I had not seen for several years, approached me at a Graduate! event and shared that the program had helped her navigate toward her dream of having a career as an educator and had helped her son (who I knew as a little boy) as well, the significance of what we had all done together in starting this movement was driven home for me. She made it real — this incredibly talented woman who had not had the same opportunities that I had, and all the children that had not had the benefit of her as a teacher for all those lost years. When the work gets especially hard, I picture Janice — mother, mentor, community leader — and focus on the power of what we can do together. And I work harder.  

What is the most important thing you would like others to know about this woman and her role in your life?
I always admired Janice — she was always the consummate professional and handled her work with a level of grace and competence that was actually a bit intimidating to the young me. I never knew that she had other dreams because I didn't take the time to ask, or even share with her how I looked up to her. Us reconnecting was a gift that allowed me to rectify that error, and taught me to always ask, and to share and celebrate the attributes I appreciate and admire in those I meet.     
 

Rhonda Bolton
Tennessee Reconnect Navigator, East Region

Tell us the name of one woman who has inspired you:
Ruth Bader Ginsberg

How do you know this woman?
History

How has this woman inspired you?
Her example taught me to fight for what is right. Don't give up when you're told no. Women can do anything!  

What is the most important thing you would like others to know about this woman and her role in your life?
Justice Ginsberg inspired me to fight for the people I serve. She met and broke through so many barriers and obstacles. She didn't let anything stop her, even cancer. She is responsible for many of the rights women have today — fair pay and gender equality in particular.  

If something doesn't seem fair and just, change it!
 

Hadass Sheffer
Co-Founder, The Graduate! Network

Tell us the name of one woman who has inspired you:
Marie Cini

How do you know this woman?
I've followed her work over the years and have gotten to know her as a friend

How has this woman inspired you?
When I first met Marie, I knew her title and her work as provost of the University of Maryland University College — an open access branch of UM, primarily serving military and adult students (now called Global Campus). I was inspired by her dedication to creating opportunities for the same populations Graduate! was serving and which was driving my own passion at Graduate! — lower income working adults aspiring to a credential and transforming their lives in the process. Marie prefers the term working learners, which better conveys and respects the complexity of the multiple roles they personify. 

I followed her career as she led CAEL through a paradigm shift as it became part of the Strada Education Network at the height of the new global work and learning shift, and now as a consultant helping systems and institutions adjust to the new world of working and learning. I fully recognized the depth and breadth of her contributions to the universe of working and learning bit by bit, as I came across places, organizations, policies, and practices that she has introduced and contributed to, and ideas and ideals that she has brought forth. I learned how humble she is and honest, tactful and generous in sharing her knowledge. I gradually learned about her origins as the first in her family to aspire to an education beyond high school specifically in order to create a more equitable playing field for others, and her quiet, persistent work to make the higher ed professional environment more open to people who identify as LGBTQi+. I am inspired by her constant contribution to the field through transformational projects, consultation, public talks and essays. I invite you to Google her name and see how far ranging her impact has been and I encourage you to read anything she publishes. I guarantee you will learn something new — and I believe that is what Marie is all about.
 

Mary Gwen Wheeler
Former Executive Director, 55,000 Degrees

Tell us the name of one woman who has inspired you:
Sharon Darling

How do you know this woman?
Sharon is the founder and President of the National Center for Families Learning, where I worked on her senior team for 10 years (1993-2003). I now serve on the NCFL board.

How has this woman inspired you?
I know Sharon as a tireless advocate and inspirational leader whose intergenerational approach to education has helped millions of families climb out of poverty. Her work has been recognized with many prestigious awards, including the National Humanities Medal and the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism. I am inspired by Sharon's passion, entrepreneurial focus and her relentless commitment to breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty and low literacy, but perhaps most of all by Sharon’s ability to touch hearts, for in the end, effective leadership is getting results by connecting with people’s deepest, heartfelt hopes. 

What is the most important thing you would like others to know about this woman and her role in your life?
Sharon taught me not only to believe in the power of literacy and education to transform lives, but also to never give up on people. I've heard many say we can’t save the adults, focus on the children. But Sharon understood that all parents want the most for their children, and that you could tap into their motivation to provide for their children to continue their own educational journey. Sharon changed and improved our educational model, working with two generations to achieve exponential impact. 
What We're Reading
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

 
by Sallie Glickman
Graduate! Network Co-Founder and Interim Executive Director

Lifechanging is the best descriptor I have when it comes to describing Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent. I expected it to be thought-provoking and engaging, extraordinary, even  after all, it was written by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the incredible Warmth of Other Suns, winner of the National Book Award.  What I didn’t expect was to be transformed.

Admittedly, I have never really understood arbitrary bias and discrimination, despite having early experiences shaped by anti-antisemitism (there is nothing like a burning swastika in your front yard to know you are not wanted). So I have spent my career advocating to solve for the effects of inequities without ever truly comprehending their cause. Enter Caste.  

Ms. Wilkerson deftly helped me understand discrimination as a caste system  one that replaced enslavement of human beings with a set of Jim Crow laws that, while technically abolished, continue to manifest today. A system so heinous that the Nuremberg Laws were based on the US system of discrimination  and even the Nazis who erected the concentration camps and gas chambers where my grandmother’s entire extended family was wiped out thought Jim Crow went too far.  

I cringed. I cried. I spent hours contemplating and reflecting on what I read. I was grateful to Ms. Wilkerson for every word, which gave voice to experiences I need  we all need  to understand (except, perhaps, for those that still live them every day). Then I listened to it as well. Caste gives me hope. It names our nation’s challenge. It empowers us to continue working toward a more equitable future. It challenges us to exercise radical empathy, which Ms. Wilkerson defines as “putting in the work to educate oneself and to listen with a humble heart to understand another's experience from their perspective, not as we imagine we would feel. Radical empathy is not about you and what you think you would do in a situation you have never been in and perhaps never will. It is the kindred connection from a place of deep knowing that opens your spirit to the pain of another as they perceive it.”

At its heart, Caste is a road map to better future through a national reckoning with our past. Ms. Wilkerson did not go to Germany to explore the connection between Hitler’s regime and the Jim Crow south; rather, she went to see how Germany has acknowledged its past, reconciled its horrors, and built a culture of understanding. Even with January 6 heavy in my heart and mind, I still believe we can do this.  

Caste challenged me to do better. It also affirmed that the work we do at The Graduate! Network in supporting the aspirations of Comebackers through our partner communities and fellow travelers is critical for a better tomorrow.

Make no mistake  Caste is a commitment.  After finishing it, I scoured the Internet for every interview, podcast, and discussion group featuring Ms. Wilkerson.  To get a sense of the richness of the experience of reading (or listening to) the book, I recommend checking out Terry Gross’s interview on Fresh Air and Oprah’s 8-part podcast with the author and members of her book group.

Prepare to be transformed.
Have you read, watched, or listened to something recently that you would like to share with the Network? Let us know!

Email Noelle Tennis Gulden with a link to the resource and a brief write-up telling us what you took away from it and why you think others would benefit from it.
Upcoming TGN Event 

DEI Multimedia Club:
Women's History Month Book Recommendation Swap


Tuesday, March 30
4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

 
As Women's History Month comes to an end, we want to make sure we continue the learning and discussion on gender issues beyond the month of March.

Our recent DEI Multimedia Club meetings have included book recommendations from attendees during the discussions; there is so much that we have learned and can continue to learn from one another. In light of this, our multimedia club this month will be a book recommendation swapping session. 


Bring your favorite book or two and be prepared to provide a quick overview as well as why you would recommend the book (just a few minutes). 

Book criteria: 
  1. Non-fiction (or fiction) book by a female/femme author. 
  2. The book should address issues of gender but could also be in a variety of topics: education, history, social sciences, business, leadership, etc. 
  3. Extra points if the book somehow connects to our work. 
We can’t wait to see you! Register for the event below to receive the Zoom link & calendar invite. After the meeting, we will send out the list of recommendations as well!
 
Register Now

Tell Us What You Think
 
What women inspire you? How can you honor them in the final days of Women's History Month? Reply to this email or share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Love the Lightbulb?
 
Check out our archived list of past issues, and feel free to share relevant issues with your partners. Don’t see the issue you were looking for? Just let us know and we’ll help you find it!
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
FOLLOW US TODAY!
LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences