Book Brief: “On Fire” by John O’Leary

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On Fire John O’Leary 2016, Gallery Books The Idea This book is a combination of autobiography and motivational tome. As a nine year-old, John O’Leary was burned over 100% of his body. He wasn’t expected to make it through the night, but yet here he is today as an adult, sharing seven life views on how to live a “radically inspired life”. As the book sleeve states, “Once expected to […]

Featured Artist: Truong Tran

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Truong Tran lives in San Francisco and teaches at Mills College. He received his MFA from San Francisco State University in 1995 in the field of writing. He is the author numerous volumes of poetry. He is a self taught visual artist whose work has been exhibited in venues including the California Historical Society, California Institute of Integral Studies, SOMArts Gallery, Telegraph Hill Gallery and The San Francisco International Art Market Art […]

Featured Artist: Fiona Aboud

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Brazilian-American artist Fiona Aboud creates images rooted in photography that are inspired by painting and natural elements. Aboud’s lyrical and humanistic style frees the imagination while challenging issues of perception, multiculturalism and stereotypes. Aboud’s practice is influenced by photographers like Edward Curtis who documented Native Americans whose culture was in danger of disappearing. This mindset influenced Aboud to create projects that preserve cultures through photography, such as Sikhs: An American […]

The Cult of Oppressive Positivity

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Trends come and go. Some leave indelible marks upon a culture, and others just fade away. When a trend is couched in terms like “positive psychology” one might expect that any influence it exerts on a culture will be, well…positive. But is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? The contemporary positive psychology movement was founded in the ’80s by Martin Seligman, so you would think he […]

Dear CEO: Your Feel-Good Diversity Initiative is Undermined By Every Other Way You’re Doing Business

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Last week, I sat in huge ballroom full of entrepreneurs and cringed as a white male CEO gave a TED-style talk on how he solved diversity. Yeah, that happened. You see, he has realized his business – oh! also his industry – oh oh! also his city – were too white and too male, and so he co-launched an initiative to place a one person of color as a paid […]

Personal Brand & Global Culture: Embrace the You in a Billion

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Our culture informs our world view. It informs what we know, how others see perceive us…often even before we speak. In a way, identifying how our culture and diversity make us unique has been at the core of my teaching philosophy, in my decade(plus) working with clients and students from around the world. Helping people find and use the “expert within” to create an authentic personal brand has become my […]

Featured Artist: Kija Lucas

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Kija Lucas is an artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses photography to explore ideas of home, heritage and inheritance. Lucas explores how ideas are passed down and how seemingly inconsequential moments create changes that last generations. Lucas received her MFA from Mills College in 2010 and her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2006. Her work has been exhibited throughout the Bay Area at […]

Mixed-Race with a White Identity

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What happens when a mixed race child only has a white identity and then goes out into the world? I have spent my entire life straddling many worlds culturally, socially and racially. I am a mixed race woman and I am in a family of transracial adoption. (Transracial adoption means adopting children of a different race). My biological mother was a white woman from Dallas, Texas. My birth father was […]

Co-Existing in Tokyo

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I never imagined I’d go to Tokyo. I always said there was so much to see in the US that the thought of traveling overseas seemed so… foreign to me. But, in the Fall of 2016 I found myself with the opportunity to travel to Japan with a group of 12 -14 year old female gymnasts, two of their coaches, a parent chaperone and my husband, the delegation leader, for […]

Diversity is Not Skin-Deep

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My parents met at the famous Max’s Kansas City bar in Manhattan, in 1966. A couple of privileged white kids. Him from an affluent family, spending his whole childhood in the town where the Great Gatsby took place. Her, on a full NYU scholarship, hailing from the Bay Area, the daughter of scientists. They actually weren’t that privileged. Dad is Jewish and, during that privileged childhood, a global war broke […]