TEDX Jacksonville

Our Founder and President, Tammy L. Hodo, Ph.D. is an urban scholar specializing in diversity, inclusivity, and race relations.

Tammy established All Things Diverse LLC because of personal experiences and the desire to educate others.  She was born in Milwaukee, WI, which continues to be among the top three most segregated metropolitan areas for Blacks, in America.  Her parents, an interracial couple married in 1962, before the landmark 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia, which outlawed state laws banning interracial marriages.  When her White mother married her Black father, she was disowned by most of her family as interracial marriages was not something that was acceptable to many at that time. Tammy is the youngest of her parents three children and grew up in a predominantly White community on the eastside of Milwaukee. Being biracial and being primarily reared by her White mother, afforded her opportunities that she later learned are denied to many people of color.  Growing up she viewed life through the lens of whiteness during most interactions as her White mother was always there representing and advocating for her and her siblings.  After completing high school,  she enlisted in the United States Navy and served a four-year enlistment.

While serving in the United States Navy in San Diego, CA Tammy saw some racial incidents that were rather disheartening.  She was reared with the ideology that everyone should be treated equally, but she began to see some differences in the treatment of others based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, etc. She also began to realize that in America she is viewed as “Black” first and foremost, which was odd to her as she identifies as biracial.  To identify her as “Black” erases her mother, who was the biggest influence in her life.  She love’s the skin she is in and loves being both Black and White.  Growing up as a biracial child she was reared with the adage “treat people the way you want to be treated” as her parents recognized that she and her siblings were different than most of their neighbors and classmates. Considering that her parents didn’t “match” Tammy was told not to be judgmental about people or their situations because she didn’t know their struggles.

Her White mother is the person who sent her a list of the 101 Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the U.S. and recommended she consider one of them for her post-secondary educational options.  Her mother knew she had some bad experiences since leaving her home that were based on race and/or sex.  Her mother recognized that she needed to experience some positivity surrounding people of color. Upon completing her military obligation, she opted to attend Albany State University (ASU) a HBCU.  She obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree at ASU in Criminal Justice and immediately went on to obtain her Master of Public Administration, with a concentration in Government, from Columbus State University (CSU), which is a Predominately White Institution (PWI) of higher education.  Because she entered college after serving in the U.S. Navy, she always felt that she was a bit behind her peers in obtaining her education but found that because she had real world experience, she was a determined student who would strive to obtain the best grades possible.

Upon completing her master’s degree, she worked for the federal and state governments for several years while traveling the world with her husband while he served in the military. While living abroad for over five years she found that she was identified as American by Europeans first and then “Black” secondary, if at all.   Europeans didn’t seem especially concerned with the color line, which is actively engaged in America’s social stratification system.  Race, religion, ethnicity and immigration status have been variables used to justify the continued subjugation of certain groups in America.  We have seen race be a factor in who the police are called on for doing everyday mundane things such as sleeping in a common area of the university you attend, to taking your child to the community pool in your neighborhood. Considering that race is a social construct and not biologically relevant, Tammy struggles as a biracial person processing the level of fear/ignorance/lack of understanding often displayed surrounding people of color.

Upon returning to the U.S. after living abroad she enrolled and completed her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she majored in Urban Studies and minored in Sociology.  Her dissertation focused on the experiences of minority faculty at Predominately White Institutions (PWIs) of higher education. Tammy believed that obtaining her PhD, being an honorable discharged veteran of our armed forces and an American that does not consider race or ethnicity when deciding who she befriends, hires or respects that she would be judged by the “content of her character” and not by her phenotype.  Tammy has found that she was rather naïve and has continued to be viewed in stereotypical ways and roles by people who only see race first and everything else she brings to the table second.

Serving as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for a law school allowed Tammy opportunities to train legal professionals through Continuing Legal Education (CLEs) courses about Microaggressions, which are the everyday slights that those in marginalized communities experience and Implicit Bias, which is the reality that we all hold some biases; these concepts can assist everyone in gaining an understanding of others’ experiences.  While in the role of a Diversity Officer she hosted forums and educated students about Islamophobia, homophobia, Anti-Semitism, racial and ethnicity related issues of concern.

Tammy is a TEDx Jacksonville (October 2019) speaker.  Her talk was entitled: “The Social Implications of Race” in which she traced the history of race in America.  Tammy has written course content entitled ” Implicit biases and Microaggressions Awareness on Campus” for a higher education vendor that is being used at hundreds of colleges/universities.  She have been on National Public Radio (NPR), First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross discussing “Workplace Diversity & Inclusion.”  She have served as a moderator for a Panel Discussion on “Implicit Bias and Criminal Justice,” hosted by Edward Waters College, which included the Sheriff of Jacksonville, the State Attorney, Public Defender, Chief Judge and Senior District Judge for Duval county.  She has served as a featured speaker for the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), where her speech was entitled: “Title IX and the MeToo Movement: The Continued Need to Address sexual assault, harassment and sexual violence in our Society.”  She has served as the closing Keynote Speaker at the 2018 Annual National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA) Conference.  Her presentation was entitled: “Does Implicit Bias Influence your Behavior Intervention Team? A Conversation about Microaggressions and the Effects of Implicit Biases on Marginalized Groups in Academia.  She educated attendees about the possible impact implicit bias may have on who is being referred for discipline at their colleges and universities.

As the only one of her parents’ children to be married to a person of color, their family get togethers are as diverse as our society. Her brother is married to an Italian-American woman that is phenomenal and loving.  Tammy’s brother’s daughter is Costa Rican and lives in San Jose but comes to visit often; Spanish is her first language.  Her sister has children that could “pass” for Caucasian if they choose to but don’t identify as White.  Tammy’s son, who is brown, hazel eyed and has blond body hair favors her mother more than she does.  This is the America she knows.

All Things Diverse strives to be one of the organizations that serve as change agents in our society. Martin Luther King said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools,” this statement is still relevant today.  Our society needs to be reminded of our capabilities when we work together for the betterment of our world versus being divided by irrelevant ideas of stratification based on race, class, sex, sexual orientation/identity and religion.  We, Americans, are better and stronger together!

Educating organizations, students and the public at large about how to be aware and accepting of the differences that people bring to organizations, institutions and groups is All Things Diverse LLC goal.  Diversity of color, religion, political ideologies, sexual orientation, etc. brings with it–diversity of ideas that are beneficial to any organization, institution and the public at large.  Empathy comes from understanding others experiences and while we may not always agree, we can be respectful and be thoughtful in our interactions with others.

A list of all diversity related activities Tammy has conducted as well as her academic credentials can be found at Resume