On September 1, The Walt Disney Company launched its Reimagine Tomorrow digital destination, a large-scale platform for amplifying underrepresented voices and untold stories. It champions the importance of accurate representation in media and entertainment and introduces the tagline, “A place where we all belong.”

Latondra Newton, senior vice president and Chief Diversity Officer for The Walt Disney Company, explained, “The Reimagine Tomorrow digital destination, which is accessible to our own employees, community partners and fans, will evolve as we advance our efforts. Our intention is to make sure every person sees themselves or their life experiences represented in a meaningful way.”

In support of the mission to improve DE&I, Newton and Leslie Gordon, director, diversity, equity & inclusion communications, The Walt Disney Company, and their respective teams conceived and spearheaded the launch of the Reimagine Tomorrow site. Newton explains, “The destination embodies Disney’s longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and shines a light on the scope of our aspirations. We worked with diverse suppliers throughout the process, and our internal team is one of the most inclusive I’ve worked with in my career.”

The Walt Disney Company recognizes that they have not always done things right, but Newton points out that “we are a different company now than we were a short decade ago. Reimagine Tomorrow celebrates that progress. While we have more to do to reach our aspirations, there is room for hope and positivity in this work. The site is for anyone who believes that truth-telling and optimism can coexist.”

A powerful short film on the site’s homepage acknowledges that many people are not seen for who they are and asks… “So how do we change what we see? At Disney, we start by acknowledging that the images we show and the stories we tell affect how people see themselves, how we see each other, and we haven’t always gotten it right. But to Reimagine Tomorrow, we have to commit today to do all we can to use the power of storytelling, be honest about the world as it was, and reflect the world as it is, imaging the world as it can be to show the magic in every life. One complex, beautiful human story at a time.” To date, this video has received over three million views.

Christine Cadena, vice president, enterprise diversity, equity & inclusion, The Walt Disney Company, added, “We’ve been on the journey with Madeline and Geena for a long time, and we’re excited to birth this new website. Reimagine Tomorrow is just a physical demonstration of our DE&I journey. Over the past several years, our company’s mission and commitment have deepened while our audience has broadened. We are becoming more and more consumer-oriented with our streaming service and direct to retail businesses, and now we need to communicate our commitment to these important audiences.”

Reimagine Tomorrow uniquely demonstrates how Disney’s internal and external work comes together, in one place, to advance inclusion. For example, the Vision section of the website contains two panels, Representation in Our Content and the other is Representation in Our Workforce (see below). The information is completely transparent, as anyone can click on these sections to uncover information on the current state of representation in these areas.

Cadena added, “It is the one place where we can put our news and our commitments so that everyone can understand how serious we are about tracking progress. You’ll see our focus on storytelling aligns so much with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Long before any of this, the Institute worked closely on repositioning our princesses and improving our representation of women.

Today, the Institute is a valued partner in our “Stories Matter” advisory council which is at the forefront of driving narrative change in media and entertainment. The council is comprised of DE&I leaders including Glaad, CAPE (the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment), RespectAbility and other trailblazers who advocate for the communities they represent. These organizations support our efforts to increase cultural competency on our teams by providing ongoing guidance and thought leadership.”

Looking to the future, the Reimagine Tomorrow team is expanding existing content verticals to provide greater breadth and depth of insights. In addition, Newton shared that “part of what our team is focused on next is achieving the global aspirations we have for the site. DE&I means something different in every region of the world. We face this level of complexity in our businesses every day. To make the site genuinely relevant on a global scale will require that we tap our storytelling superpowers in new ways that matter to people across the globe.

Video stories featuring Disney employees and talent that appear on the site are resonating the most, and viewers can visit the Voices module to view these unscripted personal reflections.

Added Newton, “I can’t tell you how heartened I’ve been by the incredible engagement of our employees as we’ve brought this platform to life. The work is personal to them, and that’s reflected in the level of honesty and vulnerability you see reflected in their stories. As the site evolves, we’ll hear more from our people who work hard every day to make us a better company – for our employees and our guests and fans around the world.”

Latondra Newton: How Disney is developing talent from underrepresented backgrounds

“Our Black Employee Experience initiative focuses on the retention and development of Black employees to help ensure increasing representation in senior positions and increasing our pipeline of talent through an expanded relationship with HBCUs.

We are also working to increase talent behind and in front of the camera with programs like Disney Launchpad: Shorts Incubator, which launched in 2019 and serves and an entry point for emerging filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds, as well as the Executive Incubator Program at Disney General Entertainment, a two-year rotational program that exposes participants to all aspects of network business with the goal of job placement within the company at the end of the program.”

Learn more by visiting ReimagineTomorrow.Disney.com and follow @ReimagineTomorrow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.