C.Lili™SurF #Inclusion #Women #STEM #LGBT #Diversity #CSforAll #ClimateChange #TECH
Recently I learned of the “tag” #CSforall
Of Course I say Brava #ComputerScienceforall !
Then, I read about the excellent program, providing computer sciences for kids …
I recognized a familiar paradox.
Every proclamation including the words “For All ” … by definition does imply inclusion.
Here’s A Thought …
In this “age of information” …
During this unprecedented exponentially expansive phase of our universal universals …
I’m thinkin’ … how ‘bout including adults in many programs designed exclusively for kids, to make this actually “For All” …
I’m thinking of citizens who might be homeless , impoverished, senior citizens, mothers, individuals living with physical and mental health challenges/addictions , unemployed individuals, disabled individuals, runaways, transgender adults, individuals emigrating from other countries … individuals who may have lost hope but might find new pathways thru education and opportunity … etc…
… all of which are of course LABELS by which these individuals disappear.
I think it’s high time for global cultures to stop labelling, as labels remove dignity, thereby dismissing human beings as … "not interesting" and basically express “we’re just not that into you.”
I’ve had the honor of working with / getting to know a few “elderly”/”mature” actresses + actors / crew / musicians in the entertainment industry, all of whom should, not only be working more often (and who’s health would probably be much better, had they been able to work more in their field especially after proving their success as stars or known craftspersons) … but all of whom, are definitely intelligent enough + curious enough to have become far more tech-literate than they currently are, if only they’d had the opportunity + encouragement from our youth-centered / profit-centered cultures.
I’ve also experienced the struggles involved in carving a path for one’s purpose in life, both as the personal struggles of an emerging artist and also, in my endeavours to help others, including homeless individuals, so-called “senior citizens" and those considered “minorities,” (all labels) who are equally intelligent / qualified to embrace tech and are RAVENOUS for opportunity but are no longer in school.
As #Tech #STEM grow exponentially with ever increasing speed, it’s important to be inclusive of adults who might fall thru the gaps.
I think it’s unhealthy to keep intact a message that plagues our societies/cultures , a message that especially damages WOMEN + GIRLS but which also affects boys + men.
That message is, that “you are only truly interesting to our society / culture when you identify as … this or that … or are … between the ages of …this … or that … ”
… of course the message adds, that this window of time and mental space in which a Girl is perceived as “interesting” or “valuable” is a shorter AND NARROWER one for girls .
As a young adult, now looking back at my experience as a teenage, gay, multi-cultural artist who raised myself in spite of an abusive childhood …
Due to my pale skin, drive, cheerful attitude and achievements, nobody thought to ask me if everything was ok at home, as I rode the subways late at night alone in NYC and travelled back and forth to LA, surviving as a sorta …“ Runaway with a Scholarship ©" … (excerpt ©Cali Lili™ all rights reserved)
I realize that after graduating with a Masters Degree and honours at a SUPER YOUNG AGE …
no matter how much inclusion I experienced in liberal schools …
… no matter many awards + scholarships + grades skipped for early graduations I earned …
when I got out into the “marketplace” / “workplace” … this “PLACE “ is, a much less welcoming place than I had been prepared to expect …
but far less welcoming, especially for “someone like me" … whom with all my apparent “white privilege" has never aspired to fit into the mold, that forms the “cage” into which some of us define as “success.”
Pigeon Holes are Definitely No Privilege, they are in fact, Prisons for both mind and soul.
If one is blessed with an undeniable and urgent sense of purpose, seeks to forge a new path, share new ideas, new perspectives with innovation in mind and heart, no privilege, white or other, can hold a candle to the relentless hard work that it takes to fulfill a self motivated path of action.
It’s as if, my innovative ideas and the passion with which I express them, which led to all my achievements as a student, which led to rewards, are now seen in some “real world” … “one percenter driven” circumstances, as “undesirably disruptive” …
… or what is far more damaging : met with blithe indifference.
Even in this new atmosphere of “innovation for the privileged ” + “pro disruptive for the few” … there are qualifiers that provide filters designed by tired patriarchal paradigms.
It’s quite a shocker if one is unprepared for that bias, believing falsely that the inclusion experienced in school, is necessarily embraced by society/culture/workplace.
Young Female acting roles are more often geared to show off my “assets,” which is fine when the character has a mind, soul, … something ! 🙂
When I began to put my own projects/vehicles together … it was rather interesting to observe the disempowering behaviors of some ancient caveman patriarchy lingering into the 21st Century halls of power.
Investment bankers with lofty humanitarian claims and Academy Award winning producers alike, signed onto my actress/director projects, lauding my creativity and beauty, but were reluctant to consider their investment in my projects on an equal footing with my colleagues who were male, less talented, less hardworking and less innovative.
In school I had seriously assumed that in the 21st Century, a “liberal” culture embracing “parity” was a “no brainer.”
With technology moving so fast, we run the risk of “discarding” individuals in ever-evolving “subcultures,” at ever younger ages, in service of some commercialized /corporate culture that exists mostly in service to the acquisition of financial profits + competition in the world marketplace.
Culture must end the use of the term “subculture” or “alternative” because every “body” is a component of “global culture” on this planet, or are we simply unwilling to let everybody into the club?
Discounting the value or “humanity” of any fellow human being creates the conditions for war as an option for the solving of problems, which if course, it is not. The killing of any body is the killing of us all.
Profit + Competition definitely have their place, but let’s have a look at how we over emphasize the “value” of “might” or “power as war machine”, or that nebulous subjective concept of “youth,” as we discount the equally valuable … i’d say absolutely crucial, importance of providing ONGOING educational and entrepreneurial opportunities that are TRULY INCLUSIVE Across the Board, that is, for ABSOLUTELY EVERY ONE , an inclusive concept devoid of the discrimination that is a consequence of bias and which is especially damaging for Girls/Women. In fact, I suggest that it’s actually a discriminatory and practice to force any #Girl or #Woman to reveal her age for any reason whatsoever but I’d go further and include men.
Our planet faces tremendous challenges as result of an overvalued “value” on the “alpha” characteristics that tend to “win wars.”
We’ve focused so heavily on these strengths, that in my view, we’ve turned them into weakness, and into a war against our own survival as a species / planet.
Making true inclusion , a cultural space that welcomes vulnerability, and in fact recognizes, that often vulnerability is indeed STRENGTH … not only empowers those of us who’ve been held under the glass ceiling for so long, they are in danger of losing their voice, it also teaches us the truth, which is, that Power is the result of such “vulnerable” and “human” qualities, as “kindness” or dare I mention the word, “love.”
Yes. There is unequivocally, no greater power than love.
So, lets fix, let’s rebuild global cultures with new paradigms glue and save … not just our planet, but literally, Our Selves …
Every Single One of US.
I’ve made a TRULY independent feature film + album at my Very Tiny, Sustainable, Upcycled, Green, Woman-Owned Film, Music + Publishing Space in Venice, California.
My projects deal with social justice + climate action themes and my FeMPoWorD™ Team would greatly appreciate your support ;)!
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