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Using Influence to Champion Diversity and Inclusion

On January 28, 2021, the world mourned the loss of fashion model and renowned actress, Cicely Tyson. I recall seeing her for the first time in the movie, Sounder, as Rebecca Morgan in 1972. There weren't many occasions to see a Black actress at that time, and being eight years old then, I was mesmerized.

Being a dark-skinned girl, I felt empowered to see someone like me on the screen. Roles played by Black actresses at that time tended to be full of strife and struggle, but she demonstrated a strength that I saw in my own family. It was familiar and authentic.

Two years later, she gave a stellar performance in the TV movie The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, for which she won two Emmys. My heart was in my stomach as I watched Miss Pittman take that bra