Monday, August 29, 2016

Achieving Diversity Step by Step

By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief

“Diversity is all about us, and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together.” – Jacqueline Woodson 

In the city that never sleeps, people in various cultures embrace diversity, inclusion, and equality, which makes everyone feel welcome without trying to change their true selves. Building a world that gives importance to diversity doesn’t happen overnight though. It takes a paradigm shift that may take place at a snail’s pace in order to claim its well-deserved triumphant ending.

That’s why stories of diversity and inclusion in the workplace or in the media—small or huge—merit our attention, especially when you’re among the ethnic minority groups, Fil-Ams included.

Take for instance the recent groundbreaking news that took Broadway by storm: Approaching its 30th year on the Great White Way, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has cast Fil-Am actress Ali Ewoldt, the first person of color to play the coveted role of Christine Daae, together with Jordan Donica, the first person of color to play Christine’s childhood sweetheart, Raoul. Yes, that took nearly 30 long years!

Prior to this enormous feat, Ali, a Yale University alumna, whose mother was originally from the Philippines, made her Broadway debut as Cosette in “Les Miserables” exactly 10 years ago. In “Les Miserables,” She starred opposite Fil-Am actor Adam Jacobs’s Marius. Subsequently—we’re also glad to report that—Adam went on to star in two of Disney’s biggest shows on Broadway: “Lion King” and “Aladdin.”

In the field of public service, another young Fil-Am is taking up the challenge to smash the glass ceiling. He’s Steven Raga, who’s running for an official seat in the Democratic Party in Queens Country, where a lot of Fil-Ams reside such as in Woodside, Jackson Heights, and East Elmhurst. “I find this work of serving others fun and this transition [from community activism to public service] helps me bridge together the Fil-Am community and government agencies in New York,” Steven said.

Steven is seeking public office to give voice to the “greater minority.” And Steven needs our help. Read more on pages 10-12.

In diversity, there is strength in oneness.

Fil-Am Who’s Who invites its readers to contribute articles, letters, comments, or pictures. Email submissions at filamwhoswho@gmail.com. Please also like us on facebook.com/FilAmWhosWho.

READ LATEST ISSUE.