How do you identify yourself? Are you a middle-aged disabled woman; a working single mother; a transgendered project manager; a social justice activist? Maybe you are several of these identities. Have you ever considered how the boxes we check to identify ourselves can both empower and imprison us?
This week we have two powerful stories about identity and the boxes we assign to others and ourselves.
Our first story comes from 2015 Ex Fabula Fellow Alexis Carter and her experience with “Unconscious Bias.” Alexis was working for an afterschool program when two students played a prank on the program and Alexis. After disciplining both students, one student failed to comply with Alexis’ requirements for re-entry to the program. When faced with the student’s mother, Alexis and the parent found themselves in a stand off of presumptions and unconscious bias.
Our second story comes from our Season 8 Kick Off StorySlam, “Risking It.” When Kate Miller stepped to the microphone, she began listing the various boxes she identified with, terrific cook, animal lover, political activist, art aficionado and…a person living with mental illness. Kate took us on her journey of living honestly with mental illness, the stigma and the reward and the importance of owning all of your identities.
This Saturday, March 12, Ex Fabula Fellows will partner with the Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion for an interactive and insightful workshop, Breaking Boxes: An Identity Summit. How do our various identities (race, gender, sexuality, class, age, disability) shape who we are? What kinds of boxes do we find ourselves in? How do we break those boxes? Come to this 3-part event to hear stories, participate in dialogue and an interactive workshop about our identities. Pre-registration is required.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars and get your tickets for our March StorySlam, “Acquired Taste.” Next Wednesday, March 15th we’ll return to Times Cinema for an evening of true, personal stories. Our February StorySlam, "Water," was a sold out event so get your tickets before they’re gone!