When Aimee Allison was 14, her mother took her to see civil rights leader Jesse Jackson speak — and something changed in her.

Growing up black and biracial in a predominantly white community, Allison regularly experienced incidents of racism. And while she worked hard in school and wanted to someday attend college, it was hard to imagine herself as a leader. After all, she hadn't seen anyone in government who looked like her.

But listening to Jackson changed her whole idea of what her future could entail.

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One day strolling around Brooklyn, Sandra Oh ("Grey's Anatomy") learned she landed the part of Eve on BBC America's "Killing Eve."

But of all the emotions an actor may experience learning they've snagged a lead role, Sandra Oh just felt ... confused.

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards.

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Let's be honest about something: High school doesn't work for everyone.

And things get even harder if you're a student of color, from a poor family, or are one of the millions of kids who grow up with learning disabilities. All of these variables can put you at a demonstrable disadvantage within the education system.

All images via XQ.

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There weren't enough roles for her to play. So Madeleine Sami wrote 5 for herself.

She's building her own bridge across the diversity gap.

When Madeleine Sami started off in theater, she found herself playing stereotypical roles for people of color.

The New Zealand filmmaker/writer/actress is half Fijian-Indian and half Kiwi with Irish heritage, and she found that there were not a lot of three-dimensional roles available to her.

According to a recent survey in New Zealand, only 38% of television writers are women. And a recent UCLA diversity report in Hollywood shows that minorities are underrepresented 2 to 1 in cable, scripted, and reality TV leads and that for women, it's about the same.

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