From De La Vaca’s Desk: Cover Concerns: Boulder County’s Diversity Issues

Published on: January 21st, 2019

2018 was a spectacular year for Yellow Scene. Our team covered the breadth of our lovely community, top to bottom, side to side, edge to edge, deep into the cracks and crevices, and highlighted so much of what makes Boulder County – and the entire region – amazing. As a part of that coverage we created a cover series called Legendary People in Legendary Places.

And damn it was legendary.

Every month of our series, which was shot entirely by the incredibly talented and wonderful Paul Wedlake, we shifted our people focus to match the issue focus, from last year’s February Best of the West, highlighting long-term winners of our annual open reader’s poll, to showcasing the founders and staff at some of our favorite green and organic products companies in the April Green Issue. We highlighted educators from our local institutions for our August Smart Issue and September has the most epic showcasing of restaurateurs, restaurant owners and chefs for the Indulgence Issue; nothing short of legendary.

We are ending the year with the December-January double issue by highlighting some of the legendary business folk that have been making, creating, and recreating Boulder’s greatness. And in doing so we invited long time business leaders out for our UnRetired segment.

Truth be told, we had hoped for a more diverse group but the fact is the county is 90.5 percent white, according to the last estimates from census.gov, and historically whiter, so we didn’t have much to work with. Much respect to Naropa University staff who hosted this shoot and voiced concerns about the lack of diversity. We are also very concerned.

If our recent Facebook fiasco is any sort of indicator, we owe it to ourselves to be extremely clear: there is nothing inherently wrong with being straight, white or male. It’s the way we use our access, privilege and platforms to benefit the world around us that matters. Selfishness sucks.

We are proud to live in a Boulder County that strives for ally work, progressive action and support for all aspects and areas of our communities, even if we find some areas lacking.

We would be remiss in our duties, however, if we failed to point out that Boulder County has a long way to go in creating, supporting and ensuring the lifeline for businesses owned by people of color, women, the differently-abled and our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender family.

We owe it to ourselves, to our children, to the planet, and to the future to showcase and promote diversity. De Colores means all of us, wrote the author Elizabeth Martínez.

Does that mean we won’t highlight white, male-owned businesses anymore? Of course not. Not only would that be impossible, it would be stupid. But we will be speaking to the diversity of our communities, the unheralded areas and aspects that make Boulder County what it is. To be clear, our state demographer told the entire assembled Boulder Economic Forecast audience that people of color, Latinx specifically, are the future of Boulder County’s workforce.

Our business communities, entertainment circles, our dating scenes, our entire lives — and especially our media — need to be active participants in opening the world of BOCO goodness to everyone. Yellow Scene will make sure that we’re at the forefront of that. Congratulations to our entire year long list of Legends, people and places. You make BOCO great.

Happy 2019 everyone.

 

Johnathen De La Vaca

Managing Editor, Yellow Scene Magazine

editorial@yellowscene.com | 303-828-2700 x503

 

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