diversity awareness

  • research: young people today are more anxious and depressed than ever
  • society: oh my god that's terrible why
  • research: well they're under more pressure at school, they're worried about the political climate, they're more diverse and more aware of social injustices than past generations, their job prospects are poor, trends like helicopter parenting and increasing surveillance of kids inhibit their ability to develop a sense of being in control of their lives, there's an increasing cultural disconnect between generations, they're increasingly criminalized for minor offenses or even just being out in public, they're overscheduled and lacking in free time, they-
  • society: it's because of selfies isn't it

“What the disabled are really asking from employers is that they should be thinking of some of those less important requirements. If the job requires somebody to make copies, for example, and that person is a wheelchair user or even a cane or walker user, because when I’m walking with a cane I have one hand, I do not have two. So, if you’re asking somebody to make copies and they’re using a wheelchair they’re not necessarily going to be able to use the copier, those things are made at abled bodied height, they’re made at standing height. You need to ask yourself as an employer is it really important that this person can make copies. It is it really important to the job or is it more important that this person really is a skilled editor who has years of experience? Is it more important that this person brings passion to the job as a social media manager? It’s all about what is an essential function of the job.” –Alaina Leary

In the latest episode, I spoke with publicist and writer Alaina Leary about accessibility and also recognition of a lack of accessibility in the workplace looks like and how employers need to be more considerate of the issues that can be seen ahead of time for disabled job candidates and employees.


BOYS & GIRLS: mix for all the girls who have a heart that isn’t simple or straightforward, who have a complicated mess of wants and needs for boys and girls and everything in between.

inspired by far from you by tess sharpe l (listen)

Today is International Mother Language Day

Today is a day to celebrate our native languages. Today is a day to fight the oppression based upon language. Today is a day to honour those who have fallen due to their struggle to speak their mother tongue.

On February 21, 1952, students in Dhaka, Bangladesh, protested against oppression of the Bengali Language. Those students were massacred by the ruling Pakistani police. In honour of that blood-smeared day, we move to encourage linguistic diversity and awareness of linguistic traditions.

anonymous asked:

Is Brooklyn99 as diverse/politically aware as ppl say it is


  • protag is a jewish man (played by a jewish actor) who is a clear feminist and also socked a homophobe in the nose that one time
  • 4/7 main cast is poc
  • 2/3 main female characters are latina, and their race is mentioned and acknowledged without ever becoming a joke or just used as a plot point
  • the man in the highest position of power of the main cast is a black gay man and the show actually talks about and highlights the discrimination he faces 
  • shows many strong and healthy m/f friendships that never hint at one wanting to bang the other or any romantic/sexual subtext 
  • the main antagonist, who is a white misogynistic male who makes racist and sexist comments in most episodes he’s in, is heavily villainized and nothing he says (or the equivalent from any other character on the show) is ever put in a good light 
  • it’s just really feminist and really politically aware for a hugely popular comedy show 
  • there’s probably more that i’m forgetting it’s really early here

It is such a burden being more socially conscious than most people. I’m always thinking, “Wait, what about people with disabilities?” Or “Well, what if she likes other girls and is struggling with it?” Or “How do you know they can even afford it? Just because you got an education and a good job doesn’t mean everyone else has the same privileges?” Or “What if they just moved here and don’t speak English very well. Give them a break.” Or “What if they don’t worship the same god you do? Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean everyone else is.” Or “They could be struggling with their weight; it’s not easy, you know?”

God, it’s like everyone on this planet has a hard time factoring in the flavored complexities of human beings into their standard vanilla existences.

Isak has the most amazing friends tho!

Jonas, who didn’t bat an eye when Isak came out and gave him tips on how to get his man.

Mahdi, who was so offended that people might think he’s homophobic and also talked about pansexuality, signaling that he’s aware of diverse sexual orientations.

Magnus, who’s just so so loving, even if he sometimes says the most inappropriate stuff, but who also knows that having a mental illness doesn’t mean you’re crazy and who’s always so excited for his friends.

And let’s not forget Sana, who gives Isak silent support all the time, but never asks inappropriate questions at the wrong time and instead gives isak room to breathe while letting him know she’s there for him.

Get yourself a squad like that

  • Title: Unburied fables 
  • Author: Compiled and edited by Creative Aces Publishing 
  • Genre: Fairy tales, Anthologies, Retellings 
  • Published: October 24, 2016 
  • My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 

Official synopsis: 

This collection enlisted talent around the world. From students to seasoned professionals, these writers came together to raise awareness and reinvent classic stories. While they showcase a wide variety of origins, styles, and endings, all the tales in this anthology have one classic element in common: a happily ever after. 

Fifty percent of this collection’s proceeds will be donated to the Trevor Project, a non-profit focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual and other queer youth. 

I have a soft spot for fairy tale retellings, and I’ve always thought the queerer, the better, so it’s like this book was made for me. Unburied fables is a collection of classic stories reinvented, and each one of them offers very interesting twists. 

With several asexual characters, trans representation, and the promotion of so many forms of love (romantic and platonic as well), this compilation has become one of my favourite reads of the year. 

I really enjoyed every story in this anthology but my favourite ones are “Handsome and the Beast”, “Odd”, “Match Sticks”, and “Beauty’s Beast”.

Last Night I Sang To The Monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz made quite an impression on me when I first read it. Even though the main focus is on the 18-year-old protagonist Zach and him coping with grief, depression, and addiction besides other things, it also features a group of people coping with various mental disorders. Its a pretty moving read. Here’s a review I wrote when I first read it. 

Not a day goes by that Saenz’s Ari and Dante doesn’t pop up on my dashboard in one way or another and even though this book is better of the two (in my opinion) I don’t think I’ve ever seen it on booklr. Now would be a good time to pick this book up and join in with #ReadForMentalHealthWeek.

I swear I'm becoming more and more conservative by the day.

… just not in the DonaldTrumpTeaPartyNeoconRepublicanDemifacistRacistHeteroPatriarchyClimateChangeDenial kind of way.

I cautiously consider myself a Kennedy-esque Democrat.

I can’t pretend the mainstream Left in this country hasn’t disappointingly sold out an entire generation of progressive millennials while exploiting vulnerable minority groups for political gain. But far from turning me towards the emergent radical Left’s troublesome populist orthodox authoritarianism (say that five times fast), I’m puzzled by the supposed value of tearing down enduring institutions – even those constructed, historically, in ethically dubious and oppressive ways – rather than working to organically transform them to serve an increasingly diverse America, in awareness of their past failures and successes. Everyone else is seemingly charting a course to nowhere fast.

If you want to burn the world down and start over be my guest, and let me know how that works out.

There’s a lot of difficult social, cultural, political, and theological dialogue to be had here.

I think it would be really cool if in Taylor’s next music video the love interest wasn’t just a straight, white, cisnormative, able-bodied male. Like, imagine how cool we could get with diversity and the messages which Taylor’s sending out. With someone who is non-white, we can stop the bullshit rumours that Taylor is “racist” going around. Or someone who is trans or not able-bodied? Imagine how awesome that would be. It would provide actors who are discriminated against roles, and would also help to show all the support which Taylor provides. It would also be a chance for Taylor to turn around and say “you know what, I’m not going with society’s ideas about who should be cast for roles”.

Diverse graphic novels??

Hey guys, so my work (I’m a youth librarian) has asked me to be in charge of graphic novel/manga/comic purchasing…. (oh boy they do NOT know what they’ve gotten themselves into *rubs hands gleefully*) and I want to beef up the diversity in the collection (any diversity - all diversity) with some of the amazing titles I know are out there.

I know not all of my followers will read graphic novels (I won’t try to convince you of your grievous error just yet) but for the ones who do - recommendations??? Really wish Qahera was published in print…

To celebrate Asexual Awareness Week, I recommend you all to read Unburied fables, edited by Creative Aces Publishing

It’s a faboulous compilation of fairy tale retellings, and all the stories have something in common: canonically MOGAI characters and happy endings 💜


New York Fashion Week F/W 2016. 

I was in the YEEZY Season 3 show, worked with Bethann Hardison to bring diversity awareness in the industry, was a fashion journalist for Addy Media, met Zac Posen,  interviewed Miss Universe. Selita Ebanks, Karrueche, Miss Jay and more, and most of all I made an effort to make Black Models Matter. from the look of the runways it has definitely improved from last season , but we will see when the Diversity Report comes out because  the numbers don’t lie. I am absolutely honored to have received all of the support, comments, emails, Race is such a touchy subject, in fashion no one even wants to speak about it. Im glad to speak for us, even if that means scribbling on a handbag. 

Thank You

Ashley B. Chew (@ash_chew)

Things that annoy me in the DL Fandom

It’s late at night and I need to rant a little … … just my thoughts … … please do not take these into consideration to heavily. Most of these are OC related, I kinda take OC’s pretty seriously … … no real reason.

  • When people make their OC’s interact with their partner strictly in a sexual manner.
  • When someone’s OC is almost a carbon copy of the diaboy himself. Opposites attract, people … …
  • Subaru = car jokes
  • Yuma’s carrot jokes
  • ‘Yuma is so tall’ jokes full stop, double spaced paragraph no reason needed
  • OC’s with very mediocre interactions with others
  • Azusa being perceived as a timid and extremely shy individual. If you’ve played his route, he does whatever he wants, whenever he wants (this includes telling Shuu to leave the room because Azusa wanted to sit exactly where Shuu was sleeping and would not take no for an answer)
  • Laito only being sexual and happy – he has other sides guys (I’m a little guilty of this myself, he is a complex character)
  • People praising their OC’s and blogs as superior to others. Some less known blogs have exceptionally intricate character designs and very diverse emotions, please be aware of this.
  • Idolisation full stop.
  • Going to go back and reiterate the first point, people constantly interact the mun (themselves) and/or their OC’s as a sexual connotation; a ploy, if you will.

As I said before, my opinions, my ideas. Some of these topics are rather loose, please do not take these exaggeratively to heart, do what you wish with your blog / OC’s just, head some warnings.

I’m ready for the hate B) bring it, I’m 12

~ Admin A

Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillen | The Wicked + The Divine

In this podcast episode Jamie and Kieron get meta and talk about the end of WicDiv but also other comics.

Topics include being gods and maybe dying themselves, not sure what to do after WicDiv, trying to escape each other, not being able to sing, the bible ya know, not smoking for good reasons, not liking the monetization of diversity, being aware that art transforms people lives, daring their readers, re-doing the work itself, the final scene of the run, music video direction, potentially leaving to direct, Matt Wilson for President, and what they’re reading!



Matt: Tia, welcome back.

Tia: It’s good to be back.

Matt: This is it. We’re here to close out our convention with the gods of comics themselves.

Tia: It’s true.

Matt: Let’s get meta right now. Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillen, welcome to the show.

Jamie: Thank you, thank you for having us.

Matt: This is a big show for us. Really big show. Biggest show we’ve ever done. And I had something I wanted to throw out, get super meta. Now you guys literally are gods of comics right now. Is this the end? Do you have two years left? Is the end coming for you?

Kieron: We actually do have two years left.

Jamie: We do have two years left, yeah.

Kieron: Literally have two years left of WicDiv [The Wicked + The Divine].

Jamie: And then we die.

Keep reading

Made with SoundCloud
A Writer’s Manifesto

I was asked to write this last year as part of a “provocation speech” for the National Conversation. It was published and republished several times, given a clickbaity headline, and quoted many times out of context, thus causing quite a stir among people who either hadn’t read it all, or hadn’t understood what I was getting at. Looking back at it now, and especially in the context of recent developments in fandom, I find that I still believe what I said as much as I believed it then. 

The original text has been taken down from the National Conversation website. So here it is again, exactly as I wrote it. 

              In a world in which the internet, with its forums and discussion groups, has blurred the line between readers and writers almost to invisibility, the relationship between one and the other now seems increasingly difficult. Online review sites and book blogs are overtaking print reviews - with a predictable effect on publishers and marketing departments. Online fandoms are shaping the development of TV shows. Fanfiction is a booming industry. And audience participation in the creation of art is considered by many to be not only legitimate, but desirable.

              Both on and offline, everyone has an opinion. And everyone has a platform from which to disseminate their opinions. Much of the time, this is a good thing. It allows a potential dialogue to exist between readers and creators. It allows readers to get in touch with the authors of work they have enjoyed. It allows writers to understand where and how they might have gone wrong, and how they can improve and grow. However, this breaking-down of barriers has also created a false sense of entitlement, giving some readers the impression that artists and writers not only inhabit a privileged world, in which there are no bills to pay and in which time is infinitely flexible, but that they also exist primarily to serve the public, to be available night and day, and to cater for the personal needs of everyone who contacts them.

              This is partly due to the fact that there are so many more writers than there were fifty years ago. The rise of self-publishing, e-books and fanfiction means that far more people are now able to identify as writers. And although this is a good thing in many ways, it does also help perpetuate the idea that anyone can write a book, and that the people who actually do so are simply luckier, wealthier, or blessed with more spare time than those who do not.

              The truth is, not everyone can – or should - be a writer, in the same way that not everyone can or should be an accountant, or a ballet dancer, teacher, pilot, soldier, or marathon runner. The same combination of aptitude, experience and acquired skills apply to being a writer as to any other job. We would never think of telling a doctor that we were thinking of taking up medicine when we retired. We would never expect a plumber to work for free – or a plasterer, for publicity. We would never expect to hear the word “privilege” of a teacher who has spent their career working hard to earn a living. We would never expect a lawyer who has paid to go through law school to tutor aspiring lawyers for free.

              And yet, writers hear these things all the time. Perhaps it’s because the value of writing is such a difficult thing to quantify. Everyone dreams. Not everyone gets to dream for a living. But are we writers expecting too much? Can we keep artistic control, whilst expecting to earn a living? And, in a world in which the consumer increasingly calls the shots, can we still hope for a relationship with our readers that transcends that of mere supply and demand?

              Not long ago, I was involved in the debate around an app. called CleanReader, which contained an algorithm that picked out and replaced “offensive words” in e-books by “acceptable substitutes.” Thus, “breasts” becomes “chest,” “bitch” becomes “witch” and any kind of profanity was reduced to a series of American euphemisms, making nonsense of the text, its rhythms, style and meaning. Writers rallied round to combat the distribution of this app, which was swiftly withdrawn from sale. But the designers of the app, a Christian couple from Idaho, wrote to me several times to protest that readers, having paid for my books, should have the right to change my words if they disapproved of them. Readers are consumers, they said. Therefore, just as a person ordering a salad in a restaurant should have the right to ask the chef for a different dressing, readers should also have the choice to enjoy a story without being exposed to language they deem offensive, or ideas that challenge their perceptions. After all, they said; isn’t that why writers exist in the first place? Are they not there primarily to serve the needs of the public, and does it not make sense that they should take those needs into account?

              Well, of course our readers do have a choice. And of course, we owe them a great deal. But a novel isn’t a salad with interchangeable ingredients. Nor is the reader entitled to order from a menu. As writers, we are always grateful when a reader chooses one of our books. We hope that they will enjoy it. And most writers value feedback and dialogue with their readers. But ultimately, a reader’s role is different to that of a writer. And a writer’s role is to try to convey a series of ideas as honestly and as well as we possibly can, with minimal interference, and most of all, without being distracted by heckling from the audience.

              The fact is that the writer cannot please everyone all of the time. We shouldn’t even aim to try – fiction, by its nature, should present a challenge. Books allow us to see the world in different ways; to experience things we might never encounter – or wish to - outside the world of fiction. Fiction is not by its nature a design for living, nor an imaginary comfort zone. Although it can be both those things, its range goes much further than comfort or escapism. Fiction is often uncomfortable; often unexpected.  

            Most importantly, fiction is not democratic. It is, at best, a benign dictatorship, in which there can be an infinite number of followers with any number of different ideas, but only ever one leader. Like all good leaders, the writer can (and should) take advice from time to time, but where the actual work is concerned, they, and no-one else, must take final responsibility.

              I love my readers. I love their enthusiasm, their willingness to engage. I enjoy our conversations on Twitter and at festivals. I love their diversity, and the fact that they all see different things in my books, according to what’s important to them, and according to what they have experienced. Without readers, we would have no context; no audience; no voice. But that doesn’t mean we’re employees, writing books to order. We, too, have a choice. We choose what kind of relationship we want to have with our readers – whether to interact online, go to festivals, give interviews, tour abroad, teach pro bono creative writing sessions or even live in seclusion, without talking to anyone. Writers are as diverse as readers themselves, and all of them have their own way of operating. What may work for one author may be hopelessly inappropriate for another. But whatever our methods of working, the relationship between a writer and their readers should be based on mutual respect, along with a shared understanding of books, their nature and their importance.

              On the internet I’ve seen a growing number of sites and blogs enumerating what readers expect of writers. Requests for increased diversity, increased awareness of current issues, requests for time and attention, gratis copies of books for review, interviews and guest blog posts - or simply demands to work faster. Readers have numerous spaces in which to discuss author behaviour, to analyse their politics, lifestyle and beliefs – sometimes, in extreme cases, to urge other readers to boycott the work of those authors whose themes are seen as too controversial, or whose ideas do not coincide with their own. Authors are expected to respect these reader spaces, whatever the nature of the discussion. To comment on a bad review – or even to be seen to notice it – is to risk being labelled an “author behaving badly”. Authors whose work is deemed to have problematic content are expected to analyse the cause – and in some cases, to apologize. There is an increasing call for trigger warnings; profanity warnings; age guidelines – in order to help the reader choose amidst a bewildering number of books. The demands on authors are numerous; often even daunting.

              But do readers ever ask themselves what authors want of them? Do authors ever ask themselves what they want of their readers?

              I think that for most authors, it comes down to two deceptively simple things. The first and most prosaic is: we want to make a living. This fact is at the same time obvious, and fiercely contested, not least by many authors, who rightly see their work as something more than just a means of paying the rent.

              That’s because, many authors find it hard to talk about money. It’s considered vulgar for artists to care about where the next meal is coming from. And many authors are driven to write: would probably write whether or not they had an audience; or whether they were ever published or paid, just for the joy of writing. This is at the same time their strength, and also their downfall; with the exception of a canny few who treat art as a business, writers are often reluctant to think of their work as just another product. We do not like to think of our books as units, to be bought and sold. And yet, to the publishing industry, that’s exactly what they are; the product of thousands of hours of work: of editing; copy-editing; design; marketing; proof-reading; promotion. Publishers spend most of their time thinking about the readers – the consumers of our work - but for an author, thinking about the readers (or, even worse, the pay-check) while trying to write a novel is like thinking about the drop when performing a high-wire act; dangerous, counterproductive, and likely to lead to failure.

              But if, as Samuel Johnson maintains, no man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money, there must be a lot of blockheads in the writing community. I’ll admit I’m one myself. Nevertheless, however much we may cling to society’s romanticized views of art for art’s sake, authors and illustrators need to pay their bills like everyone else.

              That’s where the readers come in. Many readers seem to believe that authors are earning millions. The reality is that most authors earn rather less than the minimum wage, and when touring, attending festivals, blogging, giving interviews, holding readings, writing guest posts for bloggers, too often give their work for free. That’s why it’s important for readers to show appreciation for the work of the authors we love; firstly by buying their books (as opposed to downloading them illegally); by borrowing them from libraries (because authors are paid for borrowed books, a sum which, though small, adds up and can often provide a welcome annual windfall); and most importantly, by supporting their work; by attending festivals and readings, by writing reviews and joining in discussion groups, and generally promoting awareness of their writing, and of books in general.

              Because what authors really want (and money provides this, to some extent) is validation of their work. We write because we want you to care; because we hope you’re listening – that we can make a connection, somehow; that we can prove we are not alone.

              Because stories – even fairy stories - are never just entertainment. Stories are more important than that. They help us understand who we are. They teach us empathy and respect for other cultures, other ideas. They help us articulate concepts that cannot otherwise be expressed. Stories help us communicate; they help eliminate boundaries; they teach us different ways in which to see the world around us. Their value may be intangible, but it is no less real for that. And stories bring us together – readers and writers everywhere – exploring our human experience and sharing it with others.

              So this is my manifesto, my promise to you, the reader. From you, I ask that you take it in good faith, respond in kind, and understand that, whatever I do, I do for the sake of something we both value - otherwise we wouldn’t be here.

              1. I promise to be honest, unafraid and true; but most of all, to be true to myself – because trying to be true to anyone else is not only impossible, but the sign of a fearful writer.

              2. I promise not to sell out - not even if you ask me to.

              3. You may not always like what I write, but know that it has always been the best I could make it at the time.

              4. Know too that sometimes I will challenge you and pull you out of your comfort zone, because this is how we learn and grow. I can’t promise you’ll always feel safe or at ease – but we’ll be uneasy together.

              5. I promise to follow my story wherever it leads me, even to the darkest of places.

              6. I will not limit my audience to just one group or demographic. Stories are for everyone, and everyone is welcome here.

              7. I will include people of all kinds in my stories, because people are infinitely fascinating and diverse.

              8. I promise that I will never flinch from trying something different and new - even if the things I try are not always successful.

              9. I will never let anyone else decide what I should write, or how - not the market, my publishers, my agent, or even you, the reader. And though you sometimes try to tell me otherwise, I don’t think you really want me to.

              10. I promise not to be aloof whenever you reach out to me – be that on social media or outside, in the real world. But remember that I’m human too – and some days I’m impatient, or tired, or sometimes I just run out of time.

              11. I promise never to forget what I owe my readers. Without you, I’m just words on a page. Together, we make a dialogue.

              12. But ultimately, you have the choice whether or not to follow me. I will open the door for you. But I will never blame you if you choose not to walk through it.