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April 21, 2022

Pregnant Inmates at NJ Edna Mahan Prison

Pregnant Inmates at NJ Edna Mahan Prison

Two women incarcerated at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility — the state’s only female prison — have become pregnant after having sex with a transgender inmate.


Two women incarcerated at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility — the state’s only female prison — have become pregnant after having sex with a pre-operative transgender woman who is also an inmate.  The revelation presents a thorny problem for state corrections officials, who have been grappling with the sexual abuse and exploitation of inmates by staff at the prison for the past decade.

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Transcript

 

0:00:01.0 Announcer: We've been about this work, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, shared through the voices of a White woman and a Black man, we bring lived experiences. We have pursued D&I progress for most of our professional lives. We use Crazy and The King to cover news, tips from colleagues and host incredible guests. Listeners, count on Julie and I to transparently drive the conversation. We thank you for rocking with us. Check it. Julie kick off the show.

 

0:00:38.3 Julie: Welcome to Crazy and The King.

 

0:00:42.9 Torin: So J let me tell you, I'm still scratching my head. By the way, I know my camera is like real high def, and I'm just gonna ask you like an aesthetic presentation question. And I'm gonna be a little transparent here, this is gonna share with folks one of the things that sort of pains me as I continue to age. Can you see the grey hairs on my moustache on this camera?

 

0:01:10.5 Julie: In your moustache? No.

 

0:01:12.3 Torin: Yup. Right across. You can't see them?

 

0:01:13.9 Julie: No.

 

0:01:15.4 Torin: So I think the camera is better than it actually is.

 

0:01:17.8 Julie: Yes. Maybe it's your eyes that we need checked out not your moustache.

 

0:01:21.4 Torin: Okay, got it, got it, got it. So let me tell you, all of the grey, you would think of all of the grey. Like I love all the grey in my beard, I keep my head bald, but there are little specs of grey in my head if it grows back, love all of that. Never, ever. No, I'm not dyeing any of it, but the grey that drives me crazy is in my moustache. When I see them, I'm literally running to the bathroom with these little nose scissors, because I have to get those out. The only place I don't want grey is in my moustache. So just a little fun fact. I'm sorry.

 

[chuckle]

 

0:02:07.0 Julie: So men are just as vain at looking themselves in the cameras as we are ladies. And I will tell you, it took me forever to get my husband to grow out his goatee and his whole beard because I love grey, it's like my favorite. So I just say embrace it, you just go with it, 'cause it looks great.

 

0:02:24.6 Torin: Absolutely. Alright. So, listeners let me just say this to you, I'm gonna do everything that I can to sound healthy in this episode. I got a terrible cough, I'm gonna try my very best to not give that cough to any of you. I'm still scratching my head though, and I'm frustrated on... Frustrated, may be the wrong word, but I am still scratching my head on the fact that the NFL used that Ray Rice video as a learning tool for both men and women and others in one of their sessions. And I'm just... I don't know, I just don't know what kind of thinking went into that and I raise that as an issue. Just in case you as a listener, if you didn't catch our episode last week, it's a real good time for you to go out and visit crazyandtheking.com, listen to the episode that Julie and I did last week when we talked about what the NFL did with the Ray Rice video. Of course, you can listen to all of the other content, maybe binge on some of the episodes that you've missed. But continue to share this episode and others going forward with all of your friends in your digital tribe. Coachella, how you feel about Coachella?

 

0:03:36.9 Julie: I feel like I wanna go to Coachella, but that's all I feel about Coachella. How about you? Have you been?

 

0:03:42.9 Torin: Well, I've never been to Coachella, but Wreck fest reminds me of Coachella.

 

[chuckle]

0:03:47.0 Torin: Let me tell you something, I tell people, when we went in 2019 I said, "Wreck fest is like the Coachella of HR." It really is.

0:03:57.4 Julie: It is, it is.

0:03:58.7 Torin: Like frenetic 3000 people outside, tents, sun, vendors, bomb event. Bomb, bomb, bomb event, which is coming up in July of this year. But Coachella actually has deaf interpreters on a number of the stages, not just one, but a number of the stages. And Branton Stewart is one of those individuals. He says, "I am a deaf Coachella Interpreter. We don't just translate lyrics, we put on shows full of art and culture," and I'm sure he says that with a very, very, very big smile, J.

0:04:42.5 Julie: Yeah. So actually I saw... So, I saw Lizzo at 2018, 2019 Pride here in Indie, and we had interpreters on the stage and watching the interpreter was almost as fun as watching Lizzo. And you don't really think of it until you see it, that really these interpreters they're like sort of putting on a show for that specific audience. They become like sort of these sub-performers and it's really, really fun to watch.

0:05:14.5 Torin: Yeah. Stewart says that his job is not simply to translate the lyrics, but to also add to... He says, "It's to speak the tradition and the emotion behind the presentation." What was interesting to me, like you said, when you watch them, especially when they're really, really into what it is that they are doing, you really feel like... Like I find myself literally watching them, more than I'm watching the performer themselves. I literally I'm watching the interpreter like, "Wow." Like, they are actually... They are performing every single word. But what really got me on the story is, it's been like over 14 years, 15 years that Coachella's been using deaf interpreters to be a part of the show, but it wasn't always a smooth experience.

0:06:13.7 Julie: And I thank the gods that they didn't stop because it wasn't a fantastic first win that happened so often. Well, when we didn't get it right. Someone complained this that, the other, but they've kept at it, and now there's just this culture of inclusion for the deaf community in Coachella, so that they can go and enjoy this festival on all different stages in all different areas of chaos and amazingness that is Coachella that hopefully, we'll get to one of these days.

0:06:44.2 Torin: Yeah, so that's a good story. I found a link, a comic strip, it's titled How A Computer Scientist Fights Bias In Algorithms. Not a whole lot for Julie and I to talk about here. Point being, if you want, go out and just Google real quickly, how a computer scientist fights bias and algorithms, the link that Julie and I are looking at while we are recording, is on NPR's website. It's dated March 14th of 2022. I really, really want you to see it because it illustrates in a way that a sixth grader can understand why we need to have more representation in AI. I know you might say. Well, it's sort of incessant for you all, you all are like beating that AI horse, but I just don't think that we can reinforce enough why it's important that more voices are included in how these solutions are being developed and then brought to market. Joy Buolamwini, I know I'm not saying it right, but it's B-U-O-L-A-M-W-I-N-I, Buolamwini. She actually is the one who put the comic strip together, and I think it's a beautiful, beautiful story tale for not just adults, but that you can share with your young people as well.

0:08:16.0 Julie: Yeah, and definitely worth reading and we'll pop it onto our Facebook page and into the show notes for show works, and it does do a nice job of simplifying what is really, really not always easier to understand, something that is also not easy to understand is on Monday of this week, the Florida Department of Education announced that they are rejecting over 40% of math textbooks this year due to prohibited content.

0:08:50.9 Torin: And can you explain what that means?

0:08:56.8 Julie: So no, it is completely subjective. It is the reviewers in the Florida Department of Ed looking for critical race theory, race guilt in general, feeling bad about enslaving an entire race of human beings, all of those things that White people in Florida have decided they don't want their children to know about. And has somehow ended up in the majority of their elementary school math textbooks, I have never fucking learned anything about critical race theory in my fifth grade math book, I'm just gonna tell you I didn't. I don't know what kind of education they're doing here in Florida, but they are definitely, definitely working on continuing to dumb down Americans, and in fact, the Florida DOE was so proud of themselves that they put out a press release titled Florida rejects publishers attempts to indoctrinate students with their math books.

0:10:02.0 Torin: Yeah, somebody called in on one of the shows I listened to on SiriusXM earlier in the weekend, in his opinion, he felt like it was content in the beginning, at least in one particular book that talked about the origination of math, just the basic system of math being formed in Africa, starting in Africa. He said maybe that's, he said... He did say, maybe, maybe that's what they are trying to connect to CRT, I don't know. I asked advisingly, I really didn't know why they were rejecting these books, it doesn't make any sense to me, but then again, so much of what so many of these people do doesn't make sense to me, so we move on to a headline that says. Women are ultimately may pay the price for finally earning as much as men, so according to pay-scale's recently released 2022, state of the gender pay gap report, when factors such as job title, education experience, industry job level and hours worked are considered, women are actually close to 99 cents on the dollar, I know people would probably take some issue with that number because you can always manipulate data in a way that gives a story or another story, but I'm just reporting it out of pay-scale's, gender pay gap report from 2022.

0:11:35.7 Torin: They suggest that if you take all of these other considerations in Julie, that women are now at 99 cents per dollar, but what caught my attention in this story is that evolutionary psychologists say that women tend to be more attracted to men who are more highly educated and or out-earn them, because sex can bring great costs for women, namely pregnancy and child birth, who fuck are these evolutionary psychologists?

0:12:07.6 Julie: Dude this whole fucking article, the whole thing, one, let's get the title right. Women will ultimately pay the price for finally earning as much as men, because we always do, and the fact that women are outpacing men in universities, the fact that we are outpacing now in earnings is just the result of us doing the work to get to this place and now having higher levels of attainment in education and wages. We will most certainly pay for it, and now Melanie from the New York Post is trying to say, "Well, what's really gonna happen is, because men are not keeping up with all of their privilege that they've had for so long, now maybe women won't be able to find a suitable man to marry, so what we really need to do is focus back on men."

0:13:10.5 Julie: What? No we don't need to focus back on men, men are already getting the majority of everything for lack of just an exasperated way to say it, and this whole nonsense that maybe now you're not gonna be able to find a fucking mate, well I'm sorry boys, get your asses in gear, you wanna find a mate? Get your asses in gear. Yeah, we wanna be married to an equal, we wanna be married to someone who can earn, but that's not necessarily just education, right? That's being able to have a solid conversation, being able to earn a wage, whether it's in a professional role, a manufacturing role, a role that has to do with plumbing, carpentry, all of those things that are massively in need that we don't have enough of now, you can find a good mate in those professions, but it should not be that, "Hey, women, you've gotten there, so now we're just gonna say take a step back so we can re-concentrate on the dominant male species." Sorry, rant over.

0:14:18.5 Torin: Yeah, no I get it, and I wanted to hear from you because there's so many that... Listen, the fair side of me tries to understand the angle in which the article is written, that's the side of me that tries to be fair. I guess the critical side of me, and I won't hit a rant, but the critical side of me is, well what suggest that the women you even are talking about want to be with men.

0:14:53.8 Julie: There is also that, which would open a whole new rabbit hole of why men need to be focused on for some men.

0:15:02.8 Torin: Yeah, there were so many things there, I've met so many women, let's say in the last decade that earn more than their partners, that earn more, there was a time that my wife earned more than I did. It's just the way that it was structured man, I was really struggling with that. And then when you got to the part about pregnancy and childbirth, I was like, "So this sounds like the whole bare feet and stay in the kitchen type thinking." It's like, I really, really struggled with this one, and of course, the ending says, "The good intentions of feminists have led, at least in part, to unforeseen results. Young women have found equal pay for equal work, but are still looking for love." I struggle with the whole article, but that's a part of putting together an episode, we find stuff that make you think, and trust me, when we come back from this break, Julie and I are going to make you think for just a little bit, we'll be right back.

0:16:29.3 Torin: So I'm gonna try this in a flash, buying a home hasn't been this tough since the great recession hit of 2008, lending standards have tightened and there's far less supply relative to the demand, which indicates the market is on more solid footing than it was in 2008 and trust me, if you know what I know, and I know what I think you know, we are absolutely happy that it's on more solid footing. On the other hand, a new study found that Gen Zers have fewer meals with their family, have less free time and feel more pressure from their parents than previous generations, creating a pervasive feeling of loneliness, which has been exacerbated by their parents. I wonder if I'm guilty, Julie, you should wonder if you are guilty of building, breeding, nurturing loneliness feelings in your, as you call them, kiddos.

0:17:35.8 Torin: With mental health a topic within many work settings, so let's just touch on the modeling world real quick. Tyra Banks wanted America's Next Top Model to fix fashion, some now say that the contestants on the show were put through what was considered psychological warfare, you can find that article over on Business Insider and real quick, Mr. James D. White, who actually is the former CEO of Jamba Juice, wrote a book which he hopes is going to help corporate America handle and address their commitment to diversity and inclusion. The book is co-authored with his daughter, it's titled Anti-Racist Leadership: How To Transform Corporate Culture in a Race-Conscious World. I wonder if I could get Mr. James D. White, or if you Julie could get his daughter, Krista to join us here on Crazy and The King, but that'll do it for this week in a flash.

0:18:47.0 Julie: Alright, so welcome back. [laughter] I'm just gonna start this segment with a laugh. Okay, so this week, a different angle I think on a very messy and very controversial subject that my pod partner has brought to the show this week. So let's jump in. So this week, we're gonna talk about two women who are incarcerated, excuse me, at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility, New Jersey's only female prison, which is now slated to be closed by the governor. And you're saying, "Okay, two women in prison?" Well, they're also imprisoned and pregnant. And how could that happen? Well, consensual visits? I don't know if they have those. Part of the reason that the prison is being shut down is because the guards have been extensively accused and convicted of abuse, including of a sexual nature of their female charges. Maybe that's it, but maybe it's not. Torin?

0:20:00.5 Torin: Or it could be that one of the guards was actually involved in a bit of what we would consider to be overtime. We have the option of consensual visits, or we have the option of the guards working overtime. Or no, no, no. Let's just do it the right way. So I'm really smiling right now because there are so many ways that I wanted to take this story. How do I do this, Julie?

0:20:47.0 Julie: Just lay it on us, we'll edit it out if we don't like it. Just lay it on us.

0:20:50.9 Torin: So here's the issue. It's not because of consensual visits, it's not because of guards in this case. In this case, it is because of a transgender inmate being housed in the facility. The facility has 800 or so women that are imprisoned. Of the 800 or so women, 27 or so are transgender. Now...

0:21:27.8 Julie: Yes. And clarify that pre-operative transgender.

0:21:31.5 Torin: Pre-operative transgender. So that means that at some point, this one transgender has had sexual relations that resulted in these two women being pregnant, two different women being pregnant. And so I guess the question becomes, what do we do about that? Not you and I, but what do states do about that? And this right here really, really, really hits home with the sport conversation that we've had around transgender. This touches a little bit of those folks out there that have the concern around bathroom issues. This right here touches on a number of different scenarios and issues and you cannot, we cannot ignore that.

0:22:42.9 Julie: Okay, here we go. Let's just say it first, there have been a series of developments in New Jersey over the last year. The American Civil Liberties Union or the ACLU worked to get to a place where New Jersey agreed to house inmates in their penitentiary system aligned with their gender identity. If you are a man transitioning to a woman, or who has transitioned to a woman, now a woman, you would be housed in women's facilities and the same for a transgender man. And why is that important? Because not only is there a rampant culture of rape in prisons and sexual abuse in prisons, we have legislation directly targeting right now lowering rape in the prison system. So whether you're a man in prison, you're a woman in prison, you're a transgender woman, you're a transgender man, you are much more likely to be sexually assaulted or abused in the prison system. Whether that's by fellow inmates or by people in authority.

0:24:13.3 Torin: Yeah, yeah. And again, keeping in mind what Julie and I are saying up to this point is that this woman here is not around inappropriate relations. This one right here is not an abuse of power. This one is not something that could be categorized under rape, because it was in every story that I read, consensual. We are really working through a very, very tough scenario. And Julie, you mentioned the ACLU decision. That happened last year, correct? In Jersey?

0:24:51.2 Julie: Correct. Yes.

0:24:52.2 Torin: Yeah, it happened last year. And here's a quote supporting the ACLU action decision, because Julie just gave you some statistics, she talked about the propensity, the probability of something negative happening to you behind bars. Here's a quote that supports what Julie said. "When I was forced to live in men's prisons, I was terrified I wouldn't make it out alive. Those memories still haunt me." This said by a transgender woman identified in court papers as Sonia Dough. She said that in a statement last year, according to the dailymail.com. It goes on to say, "Though I still have nightmares about that time, it's a relief to know that as a result of my experience in the New Jersey Department of Corrections has adopted substantial policy changes, so no person should be subjected to the horrors that I survived."

0:25:48.3 Torin: Julie was spot on. So we have an issue and we may have smiled coming into it, and the smile for us was because it's a story that we don't normally cover, it's an angle which we don't normally cover, but we know the sincerity and the seriousness of the matter. And I'm gonna get to a place later in the story, but I'm just really... You haven't weighed in Julie. So would you weigh in... If you're comfortable weighing in, where should transgender, pre-operative transgender inmates, how should they be housed?

0:26:26.6 Julie: So the ACLU stands by this as still best practice, and I agree with that as still best practice. I think the important thing, what the differentiator here is really actually has nothing to do with, in my opinion, the transgender bathroom issue or athletes or anything else, this is where a consensual sexual relationship can result in a human birth. That's the issue. There is sex that happens all of the time in our prison systems, because generally we have separation of people who can procreate together, then the issue of birth has not been something that we need to handle. It is not abnormal that there would be sexual consensual relationships in the prison system, what has to be dealt with here is when that results in a live birth. That's really the differentiator. It's not about sex at all. It's not about the fact that a transgender woman and a cisgender woman had sex. It's that that act has repercussions of a new child being born. So if we were just talking about... We wouldn't be talking about that if it was two men having a relationship, if it was two women who could not procreate having that. I think that we need to acknowledge that there is no difference here in terms of just sex happening in prison, this is when a pregnancy can be the result.

0:28:16.9 Torin: Yeah, and you know what Julie, I like what you said that... I don't know how you said it exactly, but that the issue is different than the bathrooms, the issue is different than sports, I can appreciate that as I hear it coming through the microphone, and I process that while we are in conversation, I got you. I think what I may have been speaking to when we entered into the story was the thinking of those folks on either side of the conversation. For me, this isn't political right now, I'm just speaking as people, there are folks that are for, against, there are people that have the hesitations. If Torin decides that he wants to stand up from this microphone right now and claim to be a woman, and I walk into a woman's bathroom, let me... Fun fact, probably two months ago, I was on a flight and I was just sitting in an open area of the airport, it was less crowded, free. Just kind of... Just sitting there. And so I was like, "Alright, cool, now it's time for me to head towards my flight, my gate." Julie, I kid you not, I stood up and again, free area, all the seats was wide open what not, walked into the bathroom, not paying any attention.

0:29:42.6 Torin: Walked into the bathroom, it was the women's bathroom. Now, I walked in, blew my nose or whatever it was that I did, and as I'm walking out, a woman is looking at me like clutching her pearls like, and I'm looking like, "Why is she looking at me all crazy?" But it dawned on me like after I took two or three more steps, "Wait a minute, she's walking in the bathroom that you're walking out of." So one of you was coming out of what might have been the wrong bathroom, so I actually doubled back and look and I was like, "Oh my God, that is all I would have needed to have me miss my flight." Somebody saying that a man is in our bathroom or something of that sort. So I think when I started the story, I'm thinking about it from these people who have an issue with the person vacillating between whether they want to be a man or a woman. I'm trans today, I'm not. And listen, don't hold it against me, you all, but if you pull the story up, and if you look at the image of the transgender woman in the story, I'm telling you, personally, you can charge Torin, don't charge Julie, don't charge Crazy and The King. I'm just telling you, there's no way that I will see this person and say that they are a woman, that's just me. You don't even have to comment. I'm gonna keep you...

0:31:21.0 Julie: Well, I'm glad I got a comment.

0:31:24.0 Torin: Okay, that's alright, that's fine. So when I looked at it, I'm just saying to myself, like, "How did this person even... How does this person even... I don't... " This one was a real, real challenge for me because I felt like they are claiming transgender woman, so that they wouldn't have to go to a male, all-male facility. That's the way that I saw the story. Once I saw the image, reading it was one thing, when I saw the image, I said, something ain't right in this story.

0:32:04.3 Julie: And I think that's the power of the media here. So this woman, she goes by Demi now, her male name, Demetrius Minor. I had to hop right in because I needed to know more when I read the story. So Demetrius, at 16, part of the foster system for a long time, he committed a carjacking, he committed murder at 16, he had public defense, that public defense said, "Hey, waive your right to be tried as a juvenile. Hey, waive your right to have a lesser charges and plea to first degree homicide and first degree theft carjacking whatever, and we'll let you serve those concurrently instead of consecutively, and you're gonna spend 30 years in jail." So at 16, in 2011, this young man went to adult prison, adult male prison in New Jersey, where he has identified as a transgender woman, so we're 10 plus years later, has filed multiple complaints about being abused sexually and physically by guards and by prison other inmates at the male prison and has asked to be transferred to a female prison and is now in pre-operative but still now in a female prison population.

0:33:55.7 Julie: And so what we have is just a super fucked up story. A kid in the system commits crimes, has sub-par representation, judge wouldn't consider that as sub-par representation identifies now and has started this transition process in prison. So there's a whole lot of things that have happened to this young man and this young man has done that have led us to the place that we are. And I'm not saying anything about any other merit of it, than to recognize that this young life as a result of a lot of really bad circumstances and situations, is now going through something that she may have otherwise had the opportunity to go through externally. But in the prison system, we have to figure out a way to do that safely for her and to also ensure that when we do have pre-operative individuals that we are considering the consequences of that in terms of, yes, there will be sexual relationships more than likely, and can those relationships result in birth? What are the implications of having segregated housing for individuals who identify as transgender in terms of mental health and safety as well.

0:35:39.7 Julie: So I don't have a good answer. I just kinda went down that same rabbit hole that you went down Torin and said, I need to know more about this kid, I need to know more about her story, and it's a super sad story, and she's going to be in jail for most of her life, and now she's gonna have two kids who have to live with those consequences as well.

0:36:08.8 Torin: Yeah, that's a great way to end it J, it really is a sad story all the way around, and as well as one of the young ladies that is currently pregnant, her reason for being in jail is equally as graphic, equally as disappointing, equally as heartbreaking, it's a really, really tough story. And what I don't want people to feel as you listen, it's not as if we don't care, the reason we're talking about it is because we do care, and this right here might be around housing inmates, people that we often are not thinking about, but what we are saying is, how are we accommodating individuals in our workplaces and are we providing that special treatment, that individual consideration? Are we communicating with them? Are we asking enough questions, are we listening enough? Are we placing ourself in the sphere of influence, are we curious, are we doing all that we possibly can to make all of our employees, those that are cis, those that are trans, those that are pre-operative, post-operative, those that are considering operation, are we doing everything that we possibly can to try to accommodate and live out that credo of employee engagement, that's where I'd like to end.

0:37:37.4 Torin: You are absolutely right, and I so appreciate you for putting that context around the story. I knew you would, that's why I didn't tell you that I was doing this. I literally didn't because I knew that you would add a layer to this that I couldn't necessarily do, but I appreciate you for that.

0:37:58.1 Julie: And what I love about our show, more than anything, is that you and I are never gonna shy away from a topic, so many other leaders, DEI people would have just said, "This doesn't exist." You and I tackle those tough conversations.

0:38:13.8 Torin: That's right, that's right. Because let me tell you, their family members are inside of your workplace, their family members right now know that the story has hit the web, their family members are dealing with this inside of your workplace, so I just want us to always do better. We'll take a quick break, we'll be right back.

0:38:37.8 Torin: So our Her Voice segment this week is where we amplify women making moves. J?

0:38:43.5 Julie: Yup. So, let's start with a group, Her Voice segment to the Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts and the National Association of Home Builders are teaming up to create a new patch and charm program, in an effort to spark girls early interest in construction and build their self-esteem according to an NAHB press release. The patch is based on the Utah Chapter of professional women in building councils, the house that she built book, which aims to introduce young people to the professionals and skills that go into building a home, such as architects and roofers.

0:39:22.6 Torin: And this week we want to amplify Doris Derby an educator, artist, activist, and civil rights era photographer, who passed away in a hospice at the age of 82. Celebrating her turning the camera away from the violence of the times to capture the quieter moments of the movement. And in so doing, documented the transformation of Black life in rural Mississippi. Let's listen to a very brief clip.

[music]

0:39:54.7 Speaker 3: When I was a Girl Scout and a teenager, my girl scout leader had adopted a child and she was from Detroit. So I used to babysit for her and she wanted me to go to Detroit to take care of the child for a couple of weeks. So I started traveling, that whole activity of interacting with people and learning about new places, and so on was a part of my learning curve. And again, a part of my church activity, I was also interested in Native American, people heritage, because we had always heard that we were part Cherokee.

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0:40:53.5 Torin: Now, I'm smiling because if you were Black and of a certain age, you told people when you were growing up that you were part Indian. I don't know if you ever heard that before, J. But when I was real little, like sub 10, I remember vividly people would say, "Well, what's your ethnicity?" Or something like that, and I'd say, "We got Indian in us." And it was easy for me to do because my grandmother on my father's side, had beautiful black wavy hair. And so it allowed us to kind of co-op that little Indian, so that's a little bit of kitchen talk. But finally this week, Valerie Sheares Ashby is making history as the first woman to become president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

0:41:45.7 Torin: Goes by UMBC, for those of you who are outside of the Maryland area. The University System of Maryland Board of Regions appointed Ashby as UMBC's new president, the veteran educator making history as the first woman to hold the title. Now, I'm extremely excited because she has taken over as the sixth president for Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, who recently announced his retirement. I gotta tell you something, I'm not gonna delay our show any longer than necessary. But if you do not know or have not heard the name Freeman Hrabowski, spelled H-R-A-B-O-W-S-K-I, Google him and see what he has done for that university and for students and for young black men here in Baltimore City. He is an absolute living legend, and so for them to replace him with a black woman and make history, incredible. That's this week's Her Voice segment.

0:43:02.9 Julie: And a couple of quick mentions. So we learned about the inclusion festival while we were prepping for this week's episode, you can learn more at accessiblefestivals.org/inclusionfestival.

0:43:18.4 Torin: Yeah, and I really, really like what they are doing. So actually, Julie, I'm gonna go to the link, and I encourage our listeners to do it as well. Again, it's accessiblefestivals.org/inclusion-festival. I'm gonna go out to the link and I'm gonna actually, I think there was a place there where I could purchase a ticket, and it's sort of like sponsoring. I'm buying a ticket so that they can then gift the ticket to someone who can't afford to attend the event. I wanna make sure that I support that because I think it's beautiful. So you got any name drops?

0:43:56.1 Julie: Just a quick name drop to the Broadbean team for having me this week and letting me talk about inclusive talent management for people with disabilities.

0:44:04.5 Torin: Yup. And mine goes out to the whole team over at Direct Employers for allowing me to be on the stage and deliver the keynote this week of their Dean Con 22 conference. So I appreciate you all, Shannon, Jamie, Liz, and everyone else over at Direct Employers. I close reminding each and every one of you to share the pod with your digital tribe and define your voice, be a better human. Let's create better culture teams in workplaces. For now, J and I are ghost.

0:44:34.3 Julie: See ya.

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