Our recent Empower Star of the Week, Leslie Jones, had her tumbler account hacked and had very personal information and photos posted on the internet as a result. She had previously received a barrage of bullying, racist and misogynistic comments on twitter. USA Olympian’s favorite cheerleader got some encouragement from Selma director, Ava DuVernay, on twitter.
However, the main reason DuVernay is truly helping to empower others is her push for “inclusion” and not just “diversity” in Hollywood. In an incredibly astute interview with the Hollywood Reporter this month, she laments the lack of inclusion of people of color in casting and hiring. She says “It’s tragic … and the African-American part of the conversation is just a sliver of it; Latino representation is horrible, Asian Pacific Islander is worse, and Native American is criminal… It’s not right, and all we can do as artists is continue to push and ask the audiences who care about this to push as well.”
Having successful women of color like Ava DuVernay is incredibly empowering for other women and minorities. May she continue to be an agent for change and inclusion.