Don't mention the D word

When you say the word 'diversity' to my black female friends they just roll their eyes.

 

"Yeah, it's just another label, what did they used to call it? Oh yeah, 'inclusion'."

 

It's the same eye roll they use for us white feminists when we struggle with the injustice of the patriarchy.

 

"Well, ya call yourselves feminists for a start, like there's something special about being 'feminine'"

 

So you discover Womanism and the eternal struggle of the black woman and you immediately start to toughen the f**k up.

 

And you know that no amount of well-meaning initiatives will make the slightest bit of difference.

 

You have to take direct action.

 

Take the ad industry, for instance, they are soooo open to more diversity in their creative departments.

 

But to get in everyone's work needs to look and sound the same. You know, the plastic stuff that wins at Cannes, not everyday words that make real social change.

 

Despite all appearances, diversity is not defined by a rainbow of faces but a collection of voices.

 

We need to start by opening creative departments to those who can't afford fancy communication courses or minimum wage internships.

 

Whatever the colour, creed, gender, age or ability, we need to find the class clowns, the clever buggers, the dreamers, the doodlers and teach them how to use their brains to communicate their stories and realities to solve problems and sell ideas with arresting visuals and powerful words.

 

But most importantly, they need to be taught by leaders who value their voice and don't expect them to 'fit the mould'.

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