Ah… the chance to write about something positive!
As you may have heard, the 2018 Gerber baby is Lucas Warren. And he has Downs Syndrome. Hooray for broader representation. Hooray for another chance to confront and challenge bias. And hooray for something to celebrate.
And take a moment to imagine a world where this isn’t a big deal, because we finally “get it” and really celebrate and value diversity…
So, is this about publicity for Gerber, as some would suggest?
But consider this: this “win” has already resulted in more visibility for people with disabilities (and Downs Syndrome in particular), conversations that we may otherwise not have had or thought of having, the opportunity to challenge bias, the opportunity to learn and expand our awareness.
Sometimes we need “official” recognition to move the needle forward.
The fact that we are celebrating this as an achievement says a lot about where we are at, and the road ahead. In 2018, ideally this wouldn’t be a big deal, and Lucas ideally would not be the first. But moving forward, his win can contribute to greater change – if we let it, and if we use it well.
Some have criticized Gerber for their restrictive insurance policies regarding children with Downs Syndrome. Perhaps Lucas’ win will bring opportunities for walking the talk – and create deeper changes for the company as well as society.