A New Kind of Revolution: The Politics of Listening

politics of listening

This may not be a popular opinion. I’m writing it anyway because my own integrity requires it. First, I do not like what I see and hear on the news about what is happening in our country. In fact, I became so disempowered by the news that I opted out about 18 months ago. I just stopped paying attention and figured if there was something I needed to know, I’d hear about it eventually. This chafes my mother to no end. I’m not saying this was a good approach nor am I advocating you follow it. I’m just saying it’s […]

Culture Guru: Be Authentic. Also Culture Guru: But Not Like That.

authenticity

Have you ever looked in the mirror and been surprised that the person staring back at you was so much OLDER than you feel inside? That cognitive dissonance could be the result of a poorly defined self-image, but more often that not it’s because our core being doesn’t really age. Even as time passes and life presents new challenges and opportunities, who we are at our core remains unchanged, timeless. I call this the Authentic Self. The term authenticity is overused and hackneyed, yet it has always been and continues to be the bedrock of my ethos. My work as […]

Your Culture is Killing You

Taped Shut Bronze Angel, 2019
Patina bronze
25 x 16 x 18 inches

If you’ve brushed up against corporate hiring practices lately, you’ve probably encountered the concept of Culture Fit—the idea that you should screen job applicants so that you only hire people whose beliefs and behaviors will integrate smoothly into your organization. It’s true that hiring people who don’t integrate well with your company culture can be highly disruptive. If you bring highly-competitive people into a highly-collaborative environment, or order-takers into an initiative-driven system, the outcome can be as hard on your existing staff as it is on the misfit new hire. However, Culture Fit can also be used as a proxy […]

Culture Feature: 50 Contemporary Women Artists

50 Contemporary Women Artists (@50cwa)

50 Contemporary Women Artists is a one-of-a-kind compendium that features a selection of women artists and architects who have made groundbreaking contributions to contemporary art. Profiling an international cross-section of artists, 50 Contemporary Women Artists presents fresh perspectives on feminism and notions of cultural power. Using a variety of mediums, the artists in this book address themes of social, cultural, political, environmental, and psychological issues. Heather Zises, Pregame Magazine art editor, created this book with John Gosslee three years ago. The idea came from a special Women’s Edition that John’s magazine Fjords Review ran in 2014 where Heather served as guest curator. […]

Waking Up to the Wonder of Difference

Objects to Remember You By

I grew up in a half white, half Mexican neighborhood in Roseville, CA. My best friend was Hally (Angelica) Rodriguez. Her parents were Mexican immigrants. Her older brother was a cholo and sold drugs from her house. He was a dick. Her older sister was tough and foul-mouthed and her bangs stuck straight up in a great wall of a tidal wave above her forehead. She was so cool, I barely dared to look at her for all my unworthiness. Her mom, Diana, was a second mother to me, as mine was a single one, working nine to five. My twin […]

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 intern at each of several dozen local startups. He had written an editorial on it too (not the kind of searching op-ed that’s designed to explore potential solutions difficult problems; the […]

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 Afro-Latino from the Dominican Republic, which is a recent discovery. Before last year, I had never seen a photo of my birth father nor knew where he was from. I […]

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 out over ethnic cleansing of his race. There isn’t a lot of white privilege in being nine years old and hearing on the radio that Hitler wants to kill you. […]

Art in the Interactive: What is the Nature of “Our” Space?

Marc Bamuthi Joseph speaks at TEDGlobal 2017 - Builders, Truth Tellers, Catalysts - August 27-30, 2017, Arusha, Tanzania. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Chief of Program and Pedagogy at YBCA—and newly-appointed Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.—will use his wisdom and words as Moderator of the ‘re:home’ For Freedoms Town Hall, Saturday, December 15 from 6-8pm, to explore the question “How do creatives show up as humanitarians within the context of democracy?”   Sergio De La Torre and Chris Treggiari, Sanctuary City Project’s mobile tricycle silk screen cart.     Sergio De La Torre and Chris Treggiari, Sanctuary City Project’s billboards and banners, San Francisco. […]

How to Win at Sports

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  Like many other Americans, one of my defining childhood memories is baseball. Fenway Park was a menagerie of chaos and uncouthness then: the rowdy blue-collar crowd, the swearing, the harassing of the Yankees even if there was no Yankee within a hundred miles, the cult-like chanting to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. I loved going to Fenway with my father in the 1980s and 90s. Attending a game was a right of passage, but as a young girl, it felt extra special. I was tough enough and athletic enough to be one of the boys and experience the curse of […]