113th Congress- Most Diverse Ever!

Most Gender, Ethnic, Cultural, and Religious Diversity Ever!

Americans want change in the country and that means the Congress has to change, and it is changing slowly.  The 113th Congress is the most diverse in history.  So,  it could be a whole lot worse. Consider these other encouraging facts. There is a record number (20)  female Senators,  with the first openly gay female Senator, and the first female Asian American Senator.  In the house there are  77 female House members and the first American Samoan ever elected, as well as  the first openly gay congressman of color.  The 113th Congress will also be younger, with four new congressmen born in the 1980s. With regard to religious affiliation,  the first two Hindu congress people, the first Buddhist senator, and the first non-theist has been elected.

Latinos Record Number

Latinos won a record number of 28 House seats and 3 in the Senate.  In the final analysis that’s more diversity.  The demographics are changing and that should mean that we should see some real change in the future.  Or does it?  The Republican majority House still has to draft and pass the laws,  the Democratic majority Senate still has to sign off on those laws, and the President still has to sign them.  Senate Democrats still do not have the requisite 60 votes to invoke cloture, the formal mechanism for ending a filibuster.  This means Republicans can still hold up any legislation they find unpalatable. Yes, it could be better, but it could be worse. Let’s hope they all get along and do what’s best for the entire country.







I’m Barbara Talley,  The Poet who speaks and inspires.   To find more about me, check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.

And Justice for All

We are a nation of laws and yet those laws and noble sentiments do not guarantee that everyone is given the same equal opportunities,  protection, or  justice under the law.  I once heard that we should not judge a country by how many wealthy people it has, but by how many poor it has.  On that same note, we should not judge a country by how many freedoms they have on the books, but instead by how many people are still not allowed to enjoy those basic freedoms. We should not judge a country by how many Nobel Laureates or Rhodes Scholars they have but by how many children they allow to go uneducated, unemployed, exploited, abused, or incarcerated because of the lack of education, protection,  and nurturing.  Continue to part 2.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

Joseph P. Overton: Character for a Free Society | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

One of Martin Luther King Jr’s most well-known quotes was, “Judge me not by the color of my skin, but by the content of my character.”  While doing some research on Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington, I came across an article in the NY Times article discussing the event and asking for support.  There was a list of people on the article supporting the march.  I decided to randomly google one of the names ‘L Joseph Overton’ and came across this wonderful article (which isn’t the same person).  An excerpt is below.

“The world needs more men who do not have a price at which they can be bought; who do not borrow from integrity to pay for expediency; who have their priorities straight and in proper order; whose handshake is an ironclad contract; who are not afraid of taking risks to advance what is right; and who are honest in small matters as they are in large ones.

The world needs more men whose ambitions are big enough to include others; who know how to win with grace and lose with dignity; who do not believe that shrewdness and cunning and ruthlessness are the three keys to success; who still have friends they made twenty years ago; who put principle and consistency above politics or personal advancement; and who are not afraid to go against the grain of popular opinion.

The world needs more men who do not forsake what is right just to get consensus because it makes them look good; who know how important it is to lead by example, not by barking orders; who would not have you do something they would not do themselves; who work to turn even the most adverse circumstances into opportunities to learn and improve; and who love even those who have done some injustice or unfairness to them. The world, in other words, needs more true leaders. More to the point, the world needs more Joe Overtons.”

via Joseph P. Overton: Character for a Free Society | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty.

2nd of My Fave Five Dr. King Quotes: On Justice

Martin Luther KingMy second favorite quote has to be about justice.  Unfortunately far too few people care enough about the less fortunate to actually do something unless something happens to someone they personally know and care about.  In my work, I teach people to understand and respect diversity.  Rarely do I conduct a Diversity class that I don’t hear comments against Affirmative Action, even though the purpose of Affirmative Action is not to give any group an unfair advantage.  Instead, it is merely a legal remedy to address proven injustices by helping to create a level playing field for all Americans.

Some people think we should be satisfied with the advances we’ve made.  But, Dr King’s standard for justice was much higher.  It was based on Amos 5:24 in the Bible:

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” In the book, Why We Can’t Wait, he wrote, “It is impossible to create a formula for the future which does not take into account that our society has been doing something special against the Negro for hundreds of years.  How then can he be absorbed into the mainstream of American life if we do not do something special for him now?”

Each day, in schools across America, kids end their pledge with the words, “liberty and justice for all.”  And yet there still  isn’t liberty and justice for all.  We must each rise up and do our part.  Dr. King said,

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy …was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

To read about my third favorite Dr. King quote on Perspective and Sacrifice, click here. http://wp.me/ppImQ-eq

Barbara Talley is a keynote speaker, author, poet, and trainer who can be reached at www.thepoetspeaks.com.  Still looking for a keynote speaker for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, or Administrative Professional Day, phone Barbara at 301-428-4831.