Diversity, Inclusion and Social Media

A few weeks ago I was in a situation where I was posting an illustration I made and I didn’t know how to tag it. The illustration was a young black girl and I felt uncertain about the use of the ‘diversity’ hashtag. I was unsure whether or not it was appropriate to use that particular tag just because my character was black.

Personal work, 2017. I was unsure about using the #diversity tag for this character

I asked Alexandra Strick (Inclusive Minds) for a quote as the situation I was in inspired me to write an article (not yet published) on my personal illustration blog about that experience. I had met Alexandra before at a focus group where we discussed the concept of a book that included a family with same sex parents without being an issue book. Here’s what she said:

“At Inclusive Minds we feel that the term #diversity is not always useful. It can often lead to focusing on differences rather than inclusion and equality. We tend to use terms like #inclusive, #authenticinclusion and #inclusion more, as these feel more positive. We also encourage people to consider using #everybodyin to support the message that everyone needs to embrace inclusion and everyone should be able to find themselves in books. Our ‘Everybody In’ charter is a great way for authors, illustrators, publishers – and anyone – to sign up to show their commitment. We also run our A Place at the Table (#APATT) event, which brings together all those committed to making real change happen” (Strick, A. 2017)

This resonates with me and I feel very strongly that everyone should be able to find themselves in books. Although the social media aspect of this quote is not directly related to my research at this point, I believe this will become important as I continue.

I’ll be looking out for ‘A Place at the Table’ events as I do relate to being a person committed to making change happen. I can only do that if I keep up to date, not only by taking an innovative and experimental approach within my creative work, but also by being aware of how to actually tag and present it on social media at regular intervals.

2 Replies to “Diversity, Inclusion and Social Media”

  1. This was a really interesting post – I actually find it surprising that black kids in a storybook in the UK would still be linked with diversity – given that there are some schools with high percentages of kids from across different ethnic backgrounds. I think your illustrations are very cute! ‘Diversity’ implies a move away from the status quo, whereas ethnic diversity IS the status quo in some cases. I hadn’t thought of it before, but ‘inclusion’ makes more sense and is more positive. It reminds me to be more careful about language.

  2. I love these 2 characters you have drawn, they are very nice! And I like the way you have used the hair to make visually meaningful shapes on the page.

    It is still an issue, it seems, the race we belong to!
    But, why no one considers Chinese people ‘diversity’ such a delicate issue as black people ‘diversity’? I feel my ‘white’ diversity as well, moreover. I mean, the world is all a ‘diversity’. By the way, ‘diversity’ is a good keyword!

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