Letter from WIA President Marge Dean – March 2022

Dear friends of WIA,

I am troubled as I’m sure you are by what’s happening in Ukraine. I’ve been at a loss of how to talk about it. There are so many smart and knowledgeable voices speaking out with outrage, information and compassion that adding my voice to the mix didn’t seem necessary.

But then WIA was sent some amazing animated shorts made by Russian animators in protest to the war. They are powerful and beautiful: quickly created, compiled, and sent out into the world. Many of the filmmakers are women, trans, non-binary and other underrepresented gender identities. In seeing these, I realized that there is communication that we can and should amplify through the WIA community. Our medium is animation, not written words.

Please help us spread the powerful art created by our industry colleagues in Russia.  Post this link to your social media and/or any communication vehicle that you use to connect with others. The message is a simple one: “Stop War!” Share it at work with your teams, with your family, with your religious/spiritual fellowship, with your friends, and with any supportive and empathetic community in which you belong. Animation is an extremely powerful tool for change, but only if it’s seen. Please help us get these shorts seen by as many people as possible.

And if you would like to do even more, there are many Ukraine charities that you can donate to. Here are a few to consider:

  • Vostok SOS: Ukrainian charity providing assistance internally displaced people
  • Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights: Helping support women, transgender, and nonbinary activists on the ground in and around Ukraine, by providing flexible funding, access to communication channels, and medical support
  • Project Hope: Supporting on the ground health care workers who are responding to needs in real time in Ukraine
  • Gender Z: Currently providing humanitarian aid for the queer community
  • Fight For Right NGO: Evacuating Ukrainians with disabilities

This war is aggressive and unconscionable. We are seeing people from all corners of the world stand up in protest. Let’s use our expertise, art and collective soul to join the chorus.

Best,
Marge

Looking Forward To 2022

New Year is a time to start anew. Regardless of how hard the previous year has been, January 1 can be the point to renew commitments. We can refresh or re-examine goals. Take the opportunity to look at where you are in your career and where you’d like to be. What are a few first steps that you can take in that direction? 

It could be research, it could be a zoom panel discussion on the field that you’re interested in, you could put yourself in the WIA database, or sign up for the WIA mentoring program. Or become a mentor, with WIA but also in your life.   Who around you can use a hand or some advice?  Take an interest in others who are behind you on their career timeline. If we develop a culture of mentorship in the animation industry, it will explode with talent and opportunities.  Do your part, help someone else get a break. And you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that come your way. 

Have a great 2022!  Be your full exceptional self.

Marge Dean, President, Women in Animation