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.