'Among All The White People in São Paulo, I Asked Myself Where Is The Rest of Everyone?'

Head of Diversity for US Diplomacy, Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley was in São Paulo in December

São Paulo

It's hard for the US to go around giving diversity lessons to the rest of the world because they too have a lot of homework to do.

So says Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, 64, who took over in April the newly created head of Diversity and Inclusion at the US State Department in the Joe Biden administration.

SAO PAULO, SP, BRASIL.- 02.12.2021 - Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley - (foto: Rubens Cavallari/Folhapress, Mundo) - Folhapress

"With the United States not being perfect, there is no nation for which we can preach and say 'you should do this or that,'" she told Folha, in a conversation at the residence of her country's consul general.

During her visit to São Paulo, the diplomat did not run into many black people like her.

"I noticed that most of the people I saw were white. And knowing that the population is close to 50%-50% [among blacks and whites], I asked myself, 'Where is everyone else?'."

Abercrombie-Winstanley once defined the State Department as "pale, male and Yale" — one of the American elite's favorite universities.

Although the game is changing, there is more ground to cover, she says. "We are not where we should be."

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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