the truth on: diversity, equity, and inclusion
I've been living strength, beauty, and diversity before diversity, equity, and inclusion were business trend words. In 2016 I started using strength, beauty, and diversity as a tagline on my professional art pages. Those words were selected as a reflection of my art and what I'm about, from a lifetime of experiences. Plus those were common themes around how others viewed my artwork; they told me so. I didn't pick the tagline because it’s highly marketable. It’s actually extremely challenging to stand firm on what needs to be brought into the light, and run my creative business in a way that is most empowering for me.
I am a hyper-optimist, amidst the struggles that I've overcome. Yes, I still feel all the feelings, but I cannot let popular or corporate cultures keep me from living a truly fulfilled life. The fulfillment targets are different for everyone. There may be some common threads, but we're all weaving our own unique tapestry.
I can appreciate companies efforts to bring recent attention, training, and resources to this subject. But the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion has gone on for too long. It's a choice. Perhaps if the pool of applicants is not diverse, it’s time to figure out why. Otherwise choices are made: hiring, writing manifestos and curriculum, sending invites to events. Maybe people on the outside of the company can't tell what's really going on inside; but social media and "about us" pages tell another story. Plus the history of executive leaders and owners through today. Also employees live the reality of how inclusive companies are. So are you just talking about it... or are you actively empowering others for this great culture change?
Some of My Viewpoints:
- professional artist (painter)
- african american
- two hispanic last names
- english speaker even after the foreign language classes
- raised with two black parents
- questions, complications, and stereotypes that come with all of the above (on paper and in person)
My experiences as customer or employee are my reality. I’ve worked many years corporate plus street hustling fine art in the local small business scene. I hold 3 college degrees; BA Fine Arts, BA Advertising, and MBA. Was it all necessary? Probably not. Did it help me at some point in some way, probably yes. Somehow despite all of the hoops I've had to jump through, I am still able to live a life that is culturally diverse. I've had good and bad experiences from all sorts of people and I don't hold one group forever accountable for what one person did to me or someone I know. And based on my list above, the person is probably not who you think they are.
booth photo from 2018.
if you vibe with my writing style and message, i’d like to share more. currently reviewing different platforms and formats; if i get a new site i will link it here. say hi, send love, on instagram. ~t.