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Pale, Male, and Yale? A History of Diversity at the State Department | Past Forward

American Experience presents a virtual PAST FORWARD discussion inspired by their film “The American Diplomat”—premiering on February 15 at 9/8c on PBS.

This film spotlights three pioneering Black diplomats—Edward R. Dudley, Terence Todman and Carl Rowan—charged with advocating for American ideals abroad while contending with racism at home.

In this discussion, our panelists will explore the history of and present day diversity problem in the State Department—leaning into what it means to represent ‘American values’ when those ideals are not extended to non-white citizens, the benefits of a more diverse foreign service, and how we change the culture of the State Department to allow the shift to a staff that truly represents America.

Featured guests include:

Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley – a 30-year diplomat and the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the U.S. Department of State.

Christopher Richardson – an immigration lawyer who served as a U.S. diplomat between 2011 and 2018 in Nigeria, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Spain.

The conversation will be moderated by Adriane Lentz-Smith, professor of history at Duke University, and advisor on The American Diplomat.

Learn more about American Experience:

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