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30 Aug 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 34

Jul 10

Diversity Lens - Issue 34

Diversity Lens

In a rush? Our headlines this week include stories from a disabled dad and the Black deaf community. We celebrate the legacy of Mary Williams and the ongoing work of trans activist Angelica Ross. In our D&I news, we look at diversity in AI and an app to help #buyblack. Don't miss our inspirational person of the week or our featured jobs - scroll down!
Latest News

'What if my kids are scared of me?': Alex Brooker on life as a disabled dad
Alex Brooker is a comic and TV presenter who was born with hand and arm deformities, and subsequently had his leg amputated at 13 months old. In his new documentary, he confronts his disability without his usual humour. The show follows his concerns around being a disabled dad: “my daughter was holding my hand and just said: ‘Oh, you’ve got two fingers haven’t you and I’ve got four,’ and that was it”, he says. Brook is one of the few disabled TV personalities that are seen regularly on mainstream channels. Consequently, he has become a kind of spokesperson for the disabled community and is passionate about increasing disabled representation. Watch his documentary on BBC Iplayer now.

Read time: 6 minutes

NASA names headquarters after Mary Jackson, the agency’s first Black female engineer
Mary Jackson began working at NASA’s predecessor NACA in 1951. In a time of segregation and extreme racial injustice, Jackson took night classes to become an engineer and eventually achieved the most senior title within the engineering department. A NASA administrator said, “Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women”. Jackson took a demotion from her senior title to be come a Federal Women’s Program Manager, guiding the next generation of NASA’s female mathematicians, engineers, and scientists. 

Read time: 3 minutes

We need to talk about racism in the UK Deaf community
Double discrimination is something sadly common for people of colour within the deaf community. A lack of intersectionality in the community mean that a lot of toxicity remains within sign language that is preserved as part of the culture. Racism can still exist within minority groups. Many signs that indicate words such as Africa, China, India and black person are antiquated with racist undertones. Some of these signs, paired with an aggressive facial expression, can even indicate racial slurs. “The Deaf community is a predominantly white space and with language deprivation, education is also behind. Therefore, racism is inevitable,” says Lydia, an advocate from Ireland. Read more firsthand experiences by clicking the animation below.

Read time: 10 minutes. Illustration by Michelle Wong

Diversity and Inclusion Insights

Looking For A Black-Owned Business To Support? There’s An App For That.
Mandy Bowman is founder and CEO of app Official Black Wall Street, a platform connecting consumers with Black-owned businesses worldwide. Launching in 2015, the app has received a surge of attention recently due to the Black Lives Matter movement and the momentum to #BuyBlack. Bowman doesn’t want buying Black to be just a momentary trend but a habit. Anything you need to buy, there will be a Black business to supply it — next time you need to purchase an item, think about the company you are investing your cash in. 

Read time: 5 minutes

Diverse Teams Build Better AI. Here’s Why
Human actions and decisions are influenced by biases, and when AI learns from data generated by humans, it also mimics our bias, imbuing algorithms with built-in discrimination. However, if your team is diverse and inclusive across race, gender, sexuality, age, economic conditions and more, bias is more likely to be spotted and corrected. Diverse teams are also better at anticipating potential problems and at coming up with creative solutions. 

Read time: 4 minutes

Upcoming Events

Embracing D&I with eBay UK
Join our friends at eBay UK who are inviting you to to learn about their culture and how they embrace D&I and careers. Click the photo below and register to join their session on Wednesday 15th July at 1:30pm. You will hear from some of the members of their 'Communities of Inclusion', including the co-chair of United in Pride and the chair of Women at eBay.

Story of the Week

“I was born for this time”: Angelica Ross is Black, Trans and Fearless
Angelica Ross is an actor, activist and CEO who first appeared on Pose, a TV series about the LGBTQ+ ballroom scene in the 1980s. From Pose to American Horror Story, Ross pushed forward positive trans representation in Hollywood, becoming the first female transgender actor to receive two series regular roles. Ross advocates for the trans community off-screen also and is the founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, an organisation dedicated to supporting trans people in the tech industry. She has been a loud voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and has been as present as possible in the virtual Pride celebrations.

Read time: 12 minutes
Featured Video

Dr Jennifer demonstrates the ‘other-race effect’ that shows we have more trouble distinguishing faces when they are from races other than our own. In a fascinating investigation of our implicit biases she reveals the science behind our perceptions of other people, whether they are similar to us or different. “Despite our intentions, and without our permission”, we can fall prey to stereotypes and biases. Learn how to get on top of them by watching her short speech.
Drivers of Implicit Bias with Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt
Inspirational Person of the Week

Thee Amir
18-year-old Thee Amir from Edinburgh has a substantial social media following and is using his influence to support other LGBTQ+ teenagers. Using the social media platform Yubo, Amir connects with young queer people who may be struggling with coming to terms with their identity. Amir shared with PinkNews his experience of coming out to his own family: “When they first confronted me about it, it definitely wasn’t easy, as I’m Muslim and my sexual identity goes against our faith. It’s been a huge learning curve for my relatives”. Amir feels like he can help others who are embarking on this journey with their loved ones and offer advice, particularly to queer Muslims. He aims to both educate and entertain with his platform. Click his photo to read his interview with PinkNews.

Read time: 3 minutes

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