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IDEA is important from the very start of a project. The stories that we tell and how we tell them create a ripple effect throughout an entire project. 


From the way we treat people, to the way organizations are staffed there are plenty of ways we can do better.

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Big Break Foundation's Resource List


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SATE 2019 - Cynthia Sharpe — Go Beyond Being an Ally. Be an Accomplice.

Watch and listen to Cynthia Sharpe's talk explaining the intricacies and nuances of going beyond just being an ally in the workplace. She covers actionable items from all levels within a company or organization.

SATE 2018 — Beyond a Title: The Ingredient of Leadership, Part 2

Fri Forjindam brings passion and enthusiasm to the arts of storytelling and placemaking for multiple industries. Watch and listen to her presentation on effective leadership within the themed entertainment industry.

Untitled Themed Entertainment Design Show — Religion, Holidays, & Inclusivity (TETV)

Join TETV in an interfaith round table discussion on religion, holidays, and inclusivity in themed entertainment. Featuring Mel McGowan, founder and chief creative officer for Storyland Studios, Cynthia Sharpe, co-founder of Harriet B's Daughters and principal of cultural attractions and research at Thinkwell Group, and Nicola Rossini, co-founder of Harriet B's Daughters and executive producer for Riding Chaos LLC.

So... You're About to Graduate College — An Open Conversation About Gender and Themed Entertainment (TETV)

Watch for a frank, candid discussion with two prominent themed entertainment pros, Wendy Heimann-Nunes and Cynthia Sharpe, about the evolution and future of gender equity in the themed entertainment industry.

Untitled Themed Entertainment Design Show — The Themes We Grew Up With Were  Problematic (TETV)

On this show the TETV team has a candid conversation, identifying issues and discuss how we can all do better within problematic themes and cultural appropriation within themed entertainment. This week Tahirah Agbamuche and Cynthia Sharpe and Xavier Treto join for this critical discussion.

Inside the Animation Writer's Room

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a writer at a major animation studio? Rebeca Delgado (Staff Writer, The Casagrandes) breaks down the pipeline simply for us, with visual aides! If you want to know even more about Writing for Animation, watch the full video HERE:

Foot in Mouth: Crash Course 101

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  1. Apologize 

  2. Be defenseless and have uncomfortable conversations to learn varying perspectives

  3. Take Action

    • Seek educational tools to understand your bias and work daily to unlearn biases  

    • Invite someone you trust on your journey to hold you accountable 

  4. Speak up & stand out when you witness discrimination

    • Actively Listen, avoid listening to respond 

    • Give support in the moment, don’t approach victims or make excuses after the fact

    • Report incident for accountability 

    • Ensure there are no consequences or retaliation towards victim/whistleblower

    • Follow-Up through resolution 

  5. Reflect on ways to progress towards equitable best practice 

Scenario 1 (Anti-Racism):

Summer C. Gory was a highly ambitious recent graduate looking to land her dream job. When she applied for ideal positions, she would always get a callback, did well on phone interviews but that seemed to be as far as she could go. 


Summer noticed when she went in for in-person interviews, she would always get the following comment, “Oh, you’re Summer.” Summer is a Black woman but on paper and over the phone, her racial identity isn’t as obvious.

  • Something to Think About:

    • “Oh, you’re Summer.” 

      • Given the context, how do you think Summer felt? 

    • Given that Summer is Black and was always able to get the paper screening and phone interviews, what made the in-person different? 

    • Have you ever reviewed a resume and assumed they’re a particular race? 

  • How to do better:

    • Notice the behavior, acknowledge it is discrimination and make an effort to not continue the practice.

Scenario 2 (LGBTQ+):

Taylor Jones is a well-educated professional in her field. When she applied for jobs for which she was highly qualified, she would receive calls inviting her for a phone interview. When she answered the phone, however, the prospective employer would misgender her due to the deepness of her voice. When she corrected them and indicated that she was Taylor, the prospective employers would awkwardly bumble through the remainder of the call. 


In instance when she would be invited in for an interview, she would be misgendered due to the depth of her voice and her not having passing privileges as a transgender woman. Though on paper she was perfect for the job, Taylor’s gender identity was not obvious on her application thus she experienced traumatic misgendering. 


  • Something to Think About:

    • What assumptions did the interviewer make that led to their confusion?

    • Have you ever reviewed a resume and assumed their gender? 

  • How to do better:

    • Don’t make gender assumptions based on names on paper nor the tone of a person’s voice. 

    •  If unclear, verify their pronouns.

Scenario 3 (Accessibility):

Brian Smith is an industry professional with extensive work experience and always open to new opportunities. He has no problem landing phone/video interviews, they typically end very well. However, when he mentions he is disabled and uses a wheelchair the conversation/opportunity tends to go south. 


Being in a wheelchair doesn't mean he requires no additional accommodations outside of the standard ADA compliance. He also does not need extended time off work for any medical appointments. Brian’s disability has nothing to do with his intellectual nor cognitive skill sets. 


  • Something to Think About:

    • Why do you think the conversations immediately change once the wheelchair is mentioned?  

    • Have you ever made assumptions about disabled people and their ability to function in the workplace?

  • How to do better:

    • Don’t make the initial assumptions based on a person’s disabilities. 

    • Physical disabilities don’t equate with less intelligence. 

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