Black-Jewish Dialogue on women creating change as Harvard freshmen in the 1960s and today featuring Deborah J. Levine and Dianne Irvine Fleet
Diversity futurist, author, and consultant Deborah Levine was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Bermuda. She studied anthropology at Radcliffe College from 1966 to 1969 before transferring to New York University, where she received a BA in cultural anthropology in 1971. She received an MA in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1985 and an MA in religion from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in 1993. She was the Executive Artistic Director of the Harlequinade Dance Company (1975-1981), Interreligious Affairs Director for the American Jewish Committee (1984-1991), founder of the DuPage Interfaith Resource Network (1990-1994), Directory of Community Relations of the Greater Tulsa Jewish Federation (1993-1997), Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga (1997-2000), Research Coordinator at UTC College of Engineering and Computer Sciences (2014-2015), and founder of Lean In - Women Ground Breakers, Chattanooga, Tennessee, chapter (2001-2016). Since 2005, she has been Editor-in-Chief of American Diversity Report. Levine is the author of numerous articles and books, including Teaching Curious Christians about Judaism (1995), Matrix Model Management System: Guide to Cross Cultural Wisdom (2006), Going Southern: The No-Mess Guide to Success in the South (2013), The Liberator's Daughter (2016), and Un-Bias Guide for Leaders: Unconscious Bias & Conscious Choices (2018).
Dianne Irvine Fleet received a BA in psychology from Radcliffe College in 1970. After graduation, she worked for the Bedford Styverson Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn, New York, on projects relating to sickle cell anemia awareness and education, lead testing in children, eradicating lead paint in housing, dialysis for Black citizens, and literacy education. She entered Yale Law School in 1973 and received a JD in 1976. She was an associate at Baker and McKenzie (1976-1980), Corporate Attorney for the Coca Cola Bottling Company of New York (1978-1980), Assistant Professor of Law at Louisiana State University (1980-1981), Associate Counsel at The City University of New York (1982-1988), Senior University Attorney at Harvard University (1988-1994), General Counsel for the University of Guam (1994-1997), Dean for Faculty and Staff Relations at The City University of New York (1997-1999), Supervising Attorney at the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (1999-2002), an associate at DeCuir, Clark & Adams, LLP (2002-2011), and in 2011 became General Counsel and Vice President for Administration for the University of Louisiana System.
The collection consists of a digital video recording of the March 2021 Black-Jewish Dialogue cosponsored by The Jewish Federation, Mizpah Congregation, and the American Diversity Report in which Rabbi Craig Lewis of the Mizpah Congregation moderates a discussion between Dianne Irvine Fleet and Deborah J. Levine on the topic of women creating change as Harvard freshmen in the 1960s and today. Fleet and Levine give presentations discussing their backgrounds; their experiences as students at Radcliffe College; and their respective career paths. Their reflections on their time at Radcliffe College include experiences of gender discrimination by Harvard University faculty, their perspectives as African American students (Fleet) and Jewish students (Levine), and their involvement in social justice movements. The question-and-answer session that follows includes discussion of the ongoing failure of Ivy League schools to become more diverse and experiencing sexism in the professional opportunities available to female graduates of Harvard as compared to their male counterparts.