Vicki Ariyasu

SVP, Branded Content Education Resource Group, Diversity & Inclusion, Disney Channels

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A third-generation Japanese-American whose parents were interned during World War II, Vicki is passionate about helping create a world where kids see respect and empowerment reflected back to them.

The advice that I would give parents about their kids, and any kids that they might encounter in their life, is to think about kids as a blank slate. I really believe that kids are born into this world pure and good and kind, and joyful. If we keep that in mind, and have parents keep that in mind, there's a really great responsibility that comes with that knowledge ... and that is to be the best, most positive role models they can be.

Vicki and Doc. McStuffins smiling at the camera.

I’m most proud of is Doc McStuffins. It’s an incredible series that highlights a really young, intuitive, smart Black girl who believes through the power of a magical stethoscope that she can help and heal her stuffed toys around her. I think there’s a powerful message in there on many levels. Not only is it aspirational to see a strong, smart character of color in Doc, but also the fact that she believes from a science, technology, engineering and math standpoint that she can be anything that she dreams of. I think that’s really an important thing for kids to see.

Vicki as a child with many other people in a group photo.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I think that it became even more critical and personal as I look toward the next generation and the world that we were handing them, and that included my kids. It was so important to me that I could pass down a world that was more fair and just, and diverse and inclusive and equitable. And I don’t mean just equal. Equality means anyone can have access in; the equity part means that we provide the resources and the support to make it a more fair and just world.

Vicki as a child with her parents.

My favorite food is probably anything based on Japanese food. I love all the things that were a part of my childhood growing up. They always had a little bit of a take, being Japanese American, and maybe not really specific to Japan, but still my favorite.

Vicki and Doc. McStuffins smiling at the camera.

I’m most proud of is Doc McStuffins. It’s an incredible series that highlights a really young, intuitive, smart Black girl who believes through the power of a magical stethoscope that she can help and heal her stuffed toys around her. I think there’s a powerful message in there on many levels. Not only is it aspirational to see a strong, smart character of color in Doc, but also the fact that she believes from a science, technology, engineering and math standpoint that she can be anything that she dreams of. I think that’s really an important thing for kids to see.

Vicki as a child with many other people in a group photo.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I think that it became even more critical and personal as I look toward the next generation and the world that we were handing them, and that included my kids. It was so important to me that I could pass down a world that was more fair and just, and diverse and inclusive and equitable. And I don’t mean just equal. Equality means anyone can have access in; the equity part means that we provide the resources and the support to make it a more fair and just world.

A reimagined tomorrow, for me, looks like there isn’t a question in anyone’s mind that someone is out of place or in the wrong place, but that they were meant to be there and that they are supposed to be there at that time — a place where everybody belongs.