Inclusivity requires a celebration of differences

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Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

It is impossible to fight for equality and highlight our similarities without recognizing what makes us unique.

Maya Adimora, Beyond the Gates editor

Even if you may not see diversity in the media you consume, you can find diversity in everyday life. Some may be visible, like gender expression and race. Others are hidden, like sexuality and socioeconomic status. However, the importance of diversity is not something to be disregarded as recent generations grow more diverse and tolerant of differences.

Diversity allows people to gain new perspectives and opinions on a topic beyond a “single story.” In her TED Talk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian novelist, warns of “The Danger of a Single Story” and how anyone can fall prey to it. When people in power present entire groups of people as one-dimensional stereotypes, no one can see them as equals deserving of empathy and respect. It is up to ordinary people, like you and me, to highlight the struggles and contributions of minority groups without talking over them.

Write about minorities, advocate for their rights, learn about their history, and consume media created by them!

Talking about these topics is not as taboo as it once was. Big corporations, such as Disney, are listening to their consumers and their critics. The high ratings of their recent movies Encanto and Turning Red prove that audiences want stories that truly reflect the world’s diversity. Regardless of cultural differences, people connect to the characters in the movies and the messages of generational trauma.

Most importantly, people are starting to see themselves represented in mainstream media. Despite a push towards inclusivity, media and literature continues to be dominated by men and catering to white audiences. While there are still children who have yet to see themselves represented on a screen or in a book, the fight for equality, diversity, and inclusivity cannot end.