Diversity and representation in children’s media, by Mariana Diaz-Wionczek (NYU’s Psychology Department)


Mariana Diaz-WionczekDr. Diaz-Wionczek is a multiculturalist, media consultant, educator, researcher, and broadly published academic. She is Lecturer at NYU’s Psychology Department and Fordham’s Graduate School of Education. Mariana has given a TEDx talk on ethnic identity, lectured at a variety of colleges and universities, and presented her work at multiple media forums.

Currently the principal of her own consulting firm, she partners with organizations and businesses who strive to have a positive impact on children’s lives through high-quality educational media and technology experiences. In her role as Producer and Head of Education, Cultural Content & Research for several Nick Jr. productions, she has played a crucial part in promoting Diversity & Inclusion and Latino culture, as well as highlighting dual language competencies in the hit shows Dora the Explorer, Dora & Friends, and Go, Diego, Go! as well as Santiago of the Seas, currently under development.

Mariana obtained a B.A. in Psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a Ph.D. in Psychology from CUNY’s Graduate Center, with a focus on cognition. Her academic publications in media and children’s media journals include, Educational preschool programming in the US: An ecological and evolutionary story, Geographic Education for Preschoolers: The Dora the Explorer Contribution, Dora the Explorer: America’s Bilingual Role Model, Dora the Explorer: An insiders’ perspective. Exploring the Media with Dora: A Preschool Introduction to Media Literacy, and the upcoming An Experimental Evaluation of the Math Curriculum in Dora the Explorer.




With an academic background in in cognitive psychology, Dr. Díaz-Wionczek has been involved in kids’ media development and production for over 15 years. She comes to this forum as a diversity, representation, and inclusion (DRI) advocate who believes media in all its forms has not only the opportunity but also the responsibility to reach and represent all children. The session will (1) explore the children’s media landscape from a DRI lens, (2)  discuss the development of TV linear content, and (3) identify the key DRI areas both on and off screen.