fairosf

Archive for the ‘Human Resources’ Category

“Self Identification” from Bernardo Mazón

In Administration, Audience Development, Fellowship, Human Resources, Literary, Residency, Shakespeare Dramaturgy Residency, Uncategorized on May 16, 2017 at 5:33 PM

/var/folders/84/dy2qtnz13wddhtx39pw3vr1h0000gn/T/com.apple.iChat/Messages/Transfers/IMG_3700.JPG.jpegMy first sit-down with my supervisor, I tell her, “I want to make a lasting contribution here, what can I do” and she is like, “I know just the thing.” A few more discussions later, and I’m writing a thesis for a research project based on this company’s progression with the equity, diversity, & inclusion movement. I’m setting out to examine how successful the organization has been in terms of hiring and representation onstage/offstage. As I’m crafting this proposal and preparing to share it with jefes here, I step back for a moment and think about the problems I’ll face in collecting data.

Por ejemplo, incomplete records. Sometimes information is archived selectively; we can’t see the whole picture. There’s also tokenism. Quizás we CAN see the whole picture, but there’s no way of knowing if someone was hired based on their merit or for liberal bragging rights. I’m not saying there’s something wrong with the latter, as there is a difference between equity and equality, but the point is that sometimes a step forward is followed by several steps back. It’s common for situations like this to be followed by a long and dreary dryspell of hiring straight, able-bodied white men again—back to the old ways. The greatest obstacle, though, is the following:

Self-identification.

Which is self-explanatory. It’s not enough, no, it’s not right for us to determine a person’s ethnic or gender from their appearance. Furthermore, it’s not like you can do a google search on any given name and see what that person is, because identity is an intimate thing. It ought to be shared, but not necessarily put on display. Therefore, por lo tanto, it’d be unfair (not to mention, crazy wrong) for me to go through a company’s history of hiring and make inferences off their picture. “Are they masculine or are they feminine”, “Their skin is dark, so they’re black”, “Oh, this dude must be Latino, oops, Latinx”, “I can’t see if they’re unable to hear” etc.

Back to my story. Entonces, I have this lump in my throat knowing that my research project is destined for turbulence. When I present my idea to the jefes, I leave out my concerns for fear of sounding too complicated. I neglect my politics in hopes for approval.

Seguramente, the responses are essentially, “Great, except…”. They’re receptive but skeptical. They point out exactly the same ethical difficulties I’d experience, and I’m in quiet awe.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it otra vez: I feel like I’m finally in America. Y eso es porque “self-identification” was not something we knew of in my hometown. Mexican border politics tend to enforce nationalities onto people (and don’t get me started on the Arabic diaspora, for I don’t know enough, but I do feel). The culture I come from doesn’t invite you to decide what you are and how the world ought to see it—let alone celebrate it. And here they are, celebrating it like champions.

Joining the parade, 

Bernardo Mazón
FAIR Literary Resident
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
My pronouns: He/Him/His
American

 

P.S. As a chavalillo, I didn’t like story time at school, because most of the books they chose seemed far-away and unimportant to me. They’d either be about animalitos, fairy tales, or some condescending sh*t talking down to little kids. Every now and then, though, they’d pick books that were about people. And they had a multicultural selection. Pictures of people owning their origins. Those books, those were my favorite thing.

Advertisements

“Processing my Expanding White Awareness Study Group Experience” from Michael Cotey

In Assistantship, Directing, Education, Human Resources, Uncategorized on May 10, 2017 at 6:27 AM

IMG_1480For four weeks now I’ve been attending the Expanding White Awareness Study Group. As part of the curriculum we are given a rather large study packet and then weekly a small group of us who identify as white get together to talk through the things we had read or watched that week. To give you an idea of some of the material, we’ve read Peggy McIntosh’s White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack among many other seminal texts on the subject of whiteness, defining words like “white privilege” and “white supremacy” and “white fragility” along the way. In many ways, this feels like a conversation I’ve avoided having for the past three years. Since going to Northwestern (and certainly in conjunction with a more visible rise in tension, violence, and awareness) the concept of ‘whiteness’ has been something I’ve suddenly had to think about. The fact that there is a group of 6-7 to us sitting around every Tuesday speaking openly about our whiteness would have been unimaginable to me less than five weeks ago, not to mention three years ago. And I have found this conversation difficult because essentially it feels like an “Oz behind the curtain” moment. For instance, when Peggy McIntosh draws attention to the fact that she “can swear, or dress in second-hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of [her] race” I begin to understand just how easy it is to take for granted all those things I don’t have to think about. 

My life is not a series of obstacles and roadblocks in the way it is on a daily basis for others. I think my resistance prior to this course about thinking about myself as privileged is equating that to advantaged among other white folks. I like the analogy one of the fellow study group members used: it’s like being an athlete and learning that there are performance enhancing drugs pumping through your body without you knowing it, giving you an unbalanced advantage. I struggle at times to know what to do with that knowledge. On the very basic level it’s helped me start to see my own life through a slightly different lens. I feel it’s helped me value gratefulness and acknowledge my own luck of upbringing and circumstance. I’m sad that this study group is coming to an end, but I’m grateful to have had this experience.

A Medley of Firsts from Kayo Jijina

In Company Management, Human Resources, Internship, Kayo Jijina on May 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM

SONY DSC

Those who have experienced being around infants or children know what it’s like to look for that first…; whether it be that first smile, first step or first words such as mama or papa – mine was cat! As young adults we transition into celebrating our own first experiences as we begin expressing ourselves in the world – some of those first experiences may include: our first love, our first car or our first job. The trail of firsts follows us into adulthood an

d is often met with enthusiasm or anguish as the case may be. These experiences shape our outlook on life, as well as our view of ourselves.

At some point as we grow in years the frequency of our firsts begin to diminish. Many of us cease to notice or celebrate these small but important steps in our journey to who we are. It is time for me to celebrate a few of my firsts in this past week, as these are the steps that will eventually lead me to a work I love.

My first experience as an Intern with FAIR

My first work with a Professional Theatre Company

My first opening – Streetcar

My first encounter with audience members as an intern employee

My first introductions within OSF

– names I will have to graciously be reminded of again

%d bloggers like this: