International Focus Magazine Vol. 4, #1 - Page 37

i In the 1989 movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner, a voice whispers to him saying, “If you build it, he will come.” “He” refers to the first base- ball player that shows up to the baseball field Costner’s char- acter Ray builds in the middle of his cornfield. The phrase then morphs: “If you build it, they will come.” Not long after, more players began show- ing up. Since the movie, this saying has been used in business for years, insinuating that when you create something for people to consume, eventually they will come. You just have to build it! We have seen this demonstrated in our current media and entertainment space. Television and film have creat- ed decades of media showing us their version of characters that has shaped the lens we see everyone through. In recent years, technology has intro- duced internet-based platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, etc., as alternatives to traditional cable television — bringing with them ac- cess to different creative content by newcomers and varying viewpoints. Additionally, we have an oppor- tunity to reach younger audiences who look to their mobile devices for entertainment and new avenues in which to see ourselves in others via content from all over the world. Still, we have work to do in building the way forward. Challenge yourself. What do you think diversity in media should look like today? To answer this, we must first consider the question: What is diversity? Quite simply, diversity means to show variety and to be dif- ferent. Although media itself exists in various forms (from print books and magazines to radio, TV, and the internet), we are still lacking in the diverse representation of people, new thoughts, and fresh ideas in our media product. Quite frankly, this is what is needed to move us forward: the inclusion of all thoughts, people, and things reflecting the true diver- sity present in our world portrayed in our media as the norm. When thinking of diversity, I also think of my love for ice cream. Yes, ice cream! This delicious treat with various flavors, textures, colors, and different brands putting their own twist on the classic dessert. There are my favorites like cookies ‘n cream, butter pecan, Heath crunch, caramel- infused concoctions, pistachio, sher- bet, sorbet…you get what I’m saying. (Are you hungry yet??) And let’s not forget the hundreds (or maybe thou- sands) of flavors I haven’t named. That doesn’t mean those flavors are not any good — I’m just not aware of them or haven’t tried them YET! There are so many talented and var- ied flavors of people holding tight to their ideas and stories, just waiting for someone in media to choose them as their favorite flavor. We must chal- lenge ourselves to be open to the dis- covery of what’s new and the change that comes with it. When I discover new flavors of ice cream — whether I like them or not — it’s important to realize there are billions of peo- ple in this world with different taste buds than mine. These flavors could be someone else’s top choice, so they still deserve a chance to be chosen. Change is necessary. Consider that I, an American hailing from New Or- leans, now live in Houston. Hous- ton is the fourth largest city, and will likely soon be the third. With about 2.2 million people, more than 145 languages spoken , and all types of diverse backgrounds and cultures, Houston easily provides a little slice of home for many. So shouldn’t our media reflect the ever-growing global community, both here and abroad? iF Magazine understands the importance of sup- porting the larger global communi- ty — they’ve highlighted our trade partners from all over the world and the unique contributions of each country. From the 93 Consul Gen- iF Magazine | 37