Author and freelance journalist Shani Gilchrist has launched a thought-provoking campaign to sweep social media with one question: what does diversity mean?
The movement goes hand-in-hand with Gilchrist’s latest project: a memoir that expands her experience growing up in the South to a much larger American story—an attempt to unpack how diversity has shaped us as a nation.
She has been chronicling her process on her website, shanigilchrist.com, where she also posts the on-camera interviews via YouTube.
Tragedies like the death of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, and the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have wracked our world over the past months, and Gilchrist believes it is time to talk honestly about it. The “#DiversityMeans” campaign will interview familiar faces in the Columbia community and beyond, attempting to define the elusive and often uncomfortable concept of diversity.
“The only way to fix wrongs that were committed in the past—and the present—is to talk about it. To come together and hear each other, not just yell at each other, but hear and listen. And as we continue to do that, the topic will become less difficult to bring up,” Gilchrist writes.
Anyone can get in on the action, too; Gilchrist will rotate the questions she asks interviewees through social media channels on a weekly basis, using the hashtag #DiversityMeans. The open format of the campaign allows for honest conversations throughout the global community. When people tag a post with the hashtag they’ll automatically join the conversation.
Gilchrist challenges anyone within arms’ distance of a computer or smartphone: “Are you ready to talk about it? Are you ready to burst through the discomfort to arrive at a place where we won’t cringe at the idea of examining our moral core?”
Gilchrist is available for interviews and appearances. For booking presentations and interviews, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (803) 807-2961. To follow the campaign on social media channels, please follow the links below: