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One Exciting Female Character

PMI Rochester and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee take Diversity and Inclusion very seriously. But that doesn’t mean that serious subjects can’t be fun, and take queues from unexpected places. In this Women’s History Month, I am inspired by an actor on my favorite “fun” show, “The Walking Dead”.

If you don’t know the show, “The Walking Dead” is a drama that addresses how people function when society as we know it is destroyed, in this case because of a zombie apocalypse. Over its 10 seasons, the show has addressed domestic violence, the meaning of family, homosexuality, disabilities such as loss of limb, and most recently, deafness. 

Starting with season 10, the show has a deaf character, Connie, who has survived because of her keen senses of vibration and smell, a notebook in which she writes notes, and a few friends who have learned American Sign Language (ASL).  In a recent episode, Connie insisted on helping one of the main characters (Daryl) in a quest to save another. Daryl is one of the toughest heroes in the show; quiet and closed-off, independent yet caring, and seemingly incapable of failing in anything he tries. In the most recent episode someone said in response to the comment that Connie will be OK because she is with Daryl, “Daryl is going to be OK, he’s with Connie”.

In the talk show “The Talking Dead”, the actress who plays Connie, Lauren Ridloff, appeared with an interpreter. She was asked what she thought of that last line. She said, "I just love that because…I think that it is a good reminder for everyone who is watching that women, men, regardless of what your gender is - we all can lead in one way or another."

Ridloff didn’t specifically address the issue of intersectionality, which is when a person encompasses more than one group that is underrepresented in our society. Ridloff is a woman, deaf, and Mexican/African-American. I don’t know much about her history, or how she became a Broadway and then a TV star, but to me, just that simple statement is exhilarating. Even in the worst circumstances, “women, men, regardless of what your gender is, we all can lead in one way or another.”

Best regards,

Wendy Ross, PMP
Director, Diversity and Inclusion
PMI Rochester

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