The Oscars this past Sunday were a celebration of diversity with “The Shape of Water,” one of my favorite films, winning for best picture and best director; Jordan Peele winning for best original screenplay; “Coco” winning for best animated film and best song and “A Fantastic Woman” from Chile winning for best foreign-language film. There were many memorable moments, i.e. Rita Moreno presenting and Guillermo Del Toro winning, but for me personally the three most impactful moments were:
- Peele’s win and the reaction to the win, including this
- the lack of women standing when Frances McDormand asked all female nominees to stand (as Brian Stelter reminded us, only six of the 33 Oscar winners were women and there is much work to be done, read more here)
- seeing Dolores Huerta onstage because of her civil rights work
I am optimistic that the work being done by various organizations means this celebration will translate into more opportunities and access. [Post has been updated based on this breaking news.]
Univision recently launched a campaign titled “Se Habla USA.” Having worked there and seeing the passion, commitment and recognizing the incredible brand equity the company has, I decided to reach out to get more insight on the campaign. This is what Jessica Rodriguez, president and chief operating officer of UCI Networks, and chief marketing officer of Univision Communications Inc. shared: “Given the narrative around diversity, languages and culture in the past months, as a company that has in its DNA to stand up and represent the underrepresented, we saw an opportunity to use the power of our platforms to further instill a sense of pride. Univision is enabling our community to truly celebrate the beautiful language of Español, Hispanic culture, and all the achievements they have brought to this country. Se Habla USA aims to create a positive narrative and unite all cultures that make this nation so great and successful.” Talking about Univision, congratulations to CEO Randy Falco and the other honorees of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s 21st Annual Impact Awards.
Last week Kapor Center for Social Impact unveiled “The Leaky Tech Pipeline.” Its “framework and website are meant to increase understanding of the causes of disparities in the technology ecosystem, raise awareness about effective strategies and stages for intervention, and drive the development and implementation of comprehensive solutions.” On the tech front, I learned about “Rise of the Rest” from an article in Wired. I think it is fantastic and would hope to see some border cities in Texas and New Mexico added to this effort in the near future.
On Friday I attended “The Future of Hispanics” conference, a project of The American Bar Foundation. Here is the website created for this initiative which aims “to generate findings that can be utilized by organizations and individuals who work to advance justice for the Latino community.” It was an interesting conversation, the third conference to date. Having Dr. Eduardo Padron open by sharing his story was inspiring. The information and insight focused on Florida and Miami. As one attendee said, it was a very valuable discussion. Much more to come on this effort as the organization holds additional sessions across the country.
This week we also saw the report from MarketWatch titled “When a woman or person of color becomes CEO, white men have a strange reaction;” also this must-read piece in LinkedIn by Ashlene Nand titled “Ad Agencies Are Still So Shamefully White & It’s Affecting All Of Us;” and this from knowledge@wharton titled “How Firms Can do a Better Job of Leveraging Diversity.”
Last week it was announced the shutdown of UNITY, an umbrella organization for minority journalists. I had the opportunity to attend UNITY and found it an engaging and productive event, hopefully we’ll find other ways to have these groups come together.
Finally, in case you missed it, the regional grocery retail store HEB worked with Selena Quintanilla’s sister Suzette to create a reusable grocery bag with Selena’s image. The bags not only sold out but crashed the website. This was done more than for marketing, HEB is donating $25,000 as part of the collaboration.
Today I’m in DC for the International Women’s Day Forum convened by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the U.S. Department of State, more on that next week.