A recent selfie of U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, with a mostly white group of GOP interns, created instant buzz for its noticeable lack of racial diversity. As the RNC winds down and Democrats get ready to take over Philadelphia, it seemed fitting that a group of Democratic interns would respond with their own selfie statement.
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) July 18, 2016
Intern Audra Jackson, 22, a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, got together with her fellow interns Erik Daniels and Omar Al-Hendy to organize a group photo with interns in the Democratic Caucus.
“Initially everybody that we knew wanted to do a selfie as well,” Jackson explained. “We just needed to be organized. We had to rely on the staff in this office to help organize our efficiency. I think most interns had the same thought after seeing the picture.”
— Alex Schepflin (@senatorschepf) July 19, 2016
With help from Cameron Trimble, Communications Director for Congresswoman E. B. Johnson, the group got organized.
“I thought it would do well, especially once I saw the turnout,” said Trimble. “One hundred was the goal, but because we didn’t have a member there like Leader Pelosi or Chairman Becerra, I wasn’t sure of the virility of it.”
But viral it went.
According to Twitter, #DemInternSelfie became a trending topic in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. Interns who participated reported posting the photo to their social media pages and receiving overwhelming support.
“Coming to the Hill, I thought it was going to be a lot less colorful,” said Al-Hendy. “But it’s been awesome to walk around and see the diversity in the various offices. Especially as a Muslim cohort… Coming here and seeing the diversity is a nice friendly reminder that it isn’t as black and white as it may seem.”
— US Rep E.B.Johnson (@RepEBJ) July 19, 2016
Jackson, the main organizer behind the photo, shared, “It’s awesome that all the interns got together and got to show their power and their diversity. It speaks volumes to all the people we just met about the resilience and about the importance of diversity to us and to the Democratic Caucus.”
— Toronto Street Style (@TorontoVerve) July 20, 2016