A LETTER FROM WIA PRESIDENT, MARGE DEAN

June 2, 2020

Dear Friends of Women in Animation (WIA),

I appreciate the opportunity to connect with you, especially in our world’s more challenging moments, but this particular letter is one that I can’t write to do it justice. There are other voices that need to be heard rather than mine, so I invited Karen Rupert Toliver to share her thoughts, feelings and perspective in this moment. Karen is the Executive VP of Creative at Sony Pictures Animation, a member of the Advisory Committee of Women in Animation, a mom, and the Oscar-winning producer of the animated short, “Hair Love.”

* * *

These are Karen’s words:

As we have acknowledged, during this devastating pandemic, the Animation community has fared well compared to other industries. We can produce, which helps us stay financially viable, as an industry, and as individuals. It also has allowed most of us a creative outlet, which millions of people no longer have. So I have had a bit of “survivor’s guilt.” Maybe you have it, too. We all probably thought that was bad enough. Grieving became the new normal. My emotions have been all over the place. And then Ahmaud Arbery happened. And then Breonna Taylor happened. And then George Floyd happened. There are many, many others. And I started crying every day for different reasons. Then it hit even closer to home for those of us in Los Angeles and in other affected cities when, on Saturday, peaceful protests turned violent. Maybe some of you started getting scared of your city in a way you hadn’t expected. And the questions came up (thank you, Marge): how do I feel, what do we say, what do we do?

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