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5 of the most powerful moments from Idris Elba's speech on diversity in the media.

The British actor received a standing ovation from Parliament.

5 of the most powerful moments from Idris Elba's speech on diversity in the media.

Earlier this week, actor Idris Elba addressed the U.K.'s Parliament, delivering a powerful speech about diversity.

Maybe you know him from his role as Detective John Luther on BBC's "Luther"? Maybe you saw his powerful performance in "Beasts of No Nation"? Maybe as Stringer Bell on "The Wire"? Or maybe you just know him as that really good-looking guy who was rumored to be taking over as James Bond a while back.

In any case, he was recently at the House of Commons to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Channel 4’s 360° Diversity Charter. And while the timing coincides with some of the uproar over the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominees, Elba reportedly wrote the speech a couple weeks ago, back before the return of the #OscarsSoWhite discussion.


Photo by Leon Neal, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Here are five of the most powerful moments from Elba's speech:

1. Diversity is more than just race.

Near the beginning of his speech, Elba tackled what people mean when they talk about diversity. What he wound up touching on, interestingly, was the concept of intersectionality — that is, the idea that things like gender, race, disability, and sexual orientation are linked and can overlap and compound one's identity.

"I'm not here to talk about black people. I’m here to talk about diversity. Diversity in the modern world is more than just skin color — it’s gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, social background, and — most important of all, as far as I’m concerned — diversity of thought. Because if you have genuine diversity of thought among people making TV and film, then you won’t accidentally shut out any of the groups I just mentioned."

GIFs via Channel 4/YouTube.

2. Being able to see yourself in the media around you is important.

Representation matters. Studies have even shown that there are very real benefits to being able to see yourself and others in the media that surrounds you. This is especially true for kids.

"I was busy, I was getting lots of work, but I realized I could only play so many 'best friends' or 'gang leaders.' I knew I wasn’t going to land a lead role. I knew there wasn’t enough imagination in the industry for me to be seen as a lead.

In other words, if I wanted to star in a British drama like 'Luther,' then I’d have to go to a country like America. Now some people might say, 'But back then, Britain hardly had any black detectives, so how could you expect us to have a TV show about one? How could you expect the BBC to have the imagination to put Luther on TV?'

Because it’s TELEVISION?!

And the other thing was, because I never saw myself or my culture on TV, I stopped watching TV. Instead I decided to just go out and become TV. If I aspired to be on a level with the Denzel Washingtons and the Robert De Niros, I had to reinvent myself. I had to transform the way industry saw me. I had to climb out of the box."





3. Being typecast, being stuck in a box, is no place to be.

"Are black people often playing petty criminals?" Elba asks rhetorically. "Are women always playing the love interest or talking about men? Are gay people always stereotyped? Are disabled people hardly ever seen?"

Stereotypes are tired. By definition, they're what we already know, and it's a shame that when people who aren't straight white men do pop up in the media, it's so often as a caricature. Typecasting only reinforces existing ideas about groups of people.

"What all this taught me is too often people get locked inside boxes, and it’s not a great place to be. Ask women, they’ll say the same thing. Or disabled people. Or gay people. Or any number of underrepresented groups. So today I’m asking the TV and film industry to think outside the box and to GET outside the box.

This isn’t a speech about race; this is a speech about imagination. Diversity of thought. Thankfully in our country, we’re free to say what we want. But we’re not as free as we think because our imagination isn’t that free.

We can’t help putting people inside boxes, it’s a national pastime. Funny thing is, it’s not good for the people locked in the box, but it’s also not good for the people deciding what’s ON the box."



4. Diversity starts from the ground up with decision makers.

The world is shaped through what we see in the media, and sadly, just a select few people control that — and they're not exactly the most diverse bunch themselves.

How many wonderful stories out there haven't we heard because the person behind it didn't have the right look, race, sexual orientation, or whatever else? How different might our worldview be if we were exposed to more realistic representations of society?

To find that out, we need to see people with a wide range of backgrounds put in charge of programming and development.

"The Britain I come from is the most successful, diverse, multicultural country on earth. But here’s my point: You wouldn’t know it if you turned on the TV. Too many of our creative decision-makers share the same background.

They decide which stories get told and those stories decide how Britain is viewed. Even to ourselves. Especially to ourselves. Furthermore, how Britain is viewed on the world stage should concern all of us. It's all our business.

And that’s why everyone should care about our media industry — it’s the custodian of our global identity."



5. It's time to take risks if you want to survive and see rewards.

With original programming coming from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others, it's a scary time to be a TV broadcaster. And while it may seem like a good idea to play it safe with tried and true (and not so diverse) castings, the innovative programming coming from the streaming services is taking the opposite approach.

The entire text of the speech can be found here, and you can watch his full speech below:

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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