This beautiful movie with its palpitations of Jazz throughout, leads us along a story of hope, struggle, unity and pride. It depicts the strength and zeal of Bayard Rustin the African- American and proudly gay social activist that was truly the mastermind behind the 1963 march on Washington. This film is an inspiring watch especially for those in the DEI space, showing how impactful the fierce commitment to equality and inclusion can be. When approaching DEI we sometimes neglect the very complex and layered theory of Intersectionality and sometimes that might be because we want to take one step at a time and pace ourselves along the journey of change. However, there is so much power in standing with those that feel the most unseen, and showing solidarity with those who are experiencing discrimination on the deepest level which this movie so beautifully depicts. The truth is, to ignore a part of who someone is, is to choose not to see them at all.
“On the day I was born Black, I was also born Homosexual. They either believe in freedom and justice for all or they do not.” Quote from the movie Rustin.
This beautiful, inspirational and uplifting film shows the powerful impact of the belief in self and in others as we see Rustin believing in the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. before he had even dreamed it himself – making me think how can we better advocate for ourselves and others? It also shows us how much courage it takes to be proudly and authentically your full self in spaces where all of you is not welcome. I challenge you to think about how you can create more psychologically safe places for your team members where they feel safe enough to bring their whole selves to work. Finally, how fiercely committed to change we all have to be in order for it to be long lasting and truly impactful. Is DEI at the core of our company values, does it run through all you do? Can you push the dial even further?
I encourage you to watch this film to learn an untold part of history, but also to think about how you can be more inclusive, courageous and authentic in this world, in your workplace and within yourself.