Spring Reflection: Diversity and Inclusion

No matter how long the Winter, Spring is sure to follow.

 May brings about warm weather, blooming flowers, and the natural optimism of a new outlook. Just a few months ago, many of us woke up to snow and had to bundle up just to walk to our vehicles. And if you followed the news cycle, the winter climate was also dreary in the diversity and inclusion world as well. One negative news story after another filled our social media feeds, inboxes, and televisions. Undoubtedly, one can easily fall for the bait and believe that doom and gloom will soon follow. I, however, want to continue tracking progress on our journey to become a more inclusive world by highlighting some great wins that happened over the last few months.

  1. Marvin Chun was named the First Asian American Dean at Yale. Chun has said, “Towards a model society, Yale should be a place in which everyone feels valued, for which everyone feels grateful, and from which we make the world better for others.”
  2. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, delivered on his London Living Rent plan that is designed to help middle- to low-income renters afford deposits and monthly rent payments.
  3. Moonlight became the first LQBT movie to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. In the past, few movies with an LGBT protagonist have been considered for the honor and none had ever claimed the prize.  
  4. Australian Senator Larissa Waters became the first senator to breastfeed in Parliament. The senator tweeted later that day, “So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament! We need more #women & parents in Parli.”
  5. Edward Enninful will be the first black male to edit a mainstream women’s magazine. Ghanaian-born Enninful will be taking on the role as editor of British Vogue in August.

6. Mikalya Holmgren will be the first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in Miss Minnesota USA. She says, “I’m going to blaze the trail!”

7. Emma Watson was the first person to win the MTV Movie and TV Awards’ new gender-neutral Best Actor in a Movie Award. During her acceptance speech, she explained, “MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone. But to me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. And that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.”