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Tenn. lawmaker pushes diversity training for staff

Tenn. lawmaker pushes diversity training for staff

Posted: Monday, September 7, 2009 8:01 pm

By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
Associated Press Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — A Democratic state representative from Memphis hopes a diversity training initiative he’s spearheading will spread to other states.
About 250 employees will get training this fall after a flap over a Tennessee legislative staffer who sent a racist e-mail about President Barack Obama from her state computer. Many wanted her fired, but Memphis lawmaker John Deberry offered a different solution.
Deberry proposed mandatory diversity training for all state legislative staffers so others would think twice before showing such cultural insensitivity.
His effort comes at a time of growing national awareness of racial insensitivity since the election of the nation’s first African-American president.
Tennessee has for years provided workshops about sexual harassment but none on cultural and racial sensitivity.

Published in The Messenger 9.7.09

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