First Word:
June 13th, 2020 Newsletter

By Patricia Harty, Editor-in-Chief

As the protests continue, and we are faced with the growing awareness of the deep injustices that the black community has faced throughout its history, we look to leaders who are helping bring about change.

Tim Ryan is one such leader.

As PricewaterhouseCooper’s U.S. chairman, Ryan, in 2016, permanently opened the door to frank and honest dialogue about differences in the workplace at his firm and recruited the country’s top CEOs to an effort to improve corporate diversity, inclusion, and communication nationwide.

Tim is speaking out much of late on the company’s commitment to fight racial inequality. We are proud to have had him as our Keynote Speaker in 2017. Please listen to his speech and read the accompanying interview where he explains his call to action, and the reasons behind the founding of CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, which was born out of the events that happened in July 2016, during Ryan’s first week as chairman.

In another story, “Irish America & Race,” Brian Dooley would have us examine our own conscious and unconscious biases, saying that while Irish Americans are vocal on civil rights in Northern Ireland, they are less so when it came to civil rights for Black Americans.

We remember the Battle of D-Day, and the thousands of American soldiers who were killed as they stormed the beaches in Normandy, in June 1944. John Fay visits the American Cemetery located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach. For John, it wasn’t the usual Irish angle that he went looking for. “Normandy was not about being Irish or Jewish or Italian or Hispanic or Polish, but rather it was all about being American.”

Tom Deignan, meanwhile, profiles two Irish Americans who have reached the top in their fields: Kathy Sullivan, who has gone from the far reaches of outer space to the depths of the ocean, and Brian P. Monahan, attending physician of Congress, who sidesteps partisan bickering to treat Democrats and Republicans alike.

In recognizing the many Irish who have contributed so much to the Arts and Entertainment, we bring you an interview with director John Boormann, who helped launch the careers of many Irish actors, and put Ireland on the map as a place for movie locations. Boorman’s Excalibur, which featured both Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne can be seen on Amazon Prime.

If you are not in the mood for a film, how about a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses and you don’t even have to leave the house. Irish actors and others will be taking part in a virtual Bloomsday on June 20th. And speaking of blooms, the long days of summer are upon us, and gardens everywhere are in bloom. Admiring the pretty flowers will satisfy some, but Sláinte columnist, Edythe Preet, likes to eat her plants.

Mórtas Cine

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