It’s official: I’ll be moderating a panel for Tacoma’s Jet City Comic Show!
Panelists Alease Frieson, Anna Nepomuceno, Naarah McDonald, and Stephanie Anne Johnson are on board to discuss the topic “Making Space: Accessibility and Diversity in Geek Culture.” We’ll talk about the importance of making space for diverse content creators, new narratives, and a wider range of characters, as well as how to create accessible and welcoming environments.
In response to support from others to this idea, I am initiating an incubator to provide the kind of institutional support that women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ independent researchers and artists currently lack in our community. Join me in getting this off the ground.
Writers, artists, researchers, and historians from underrepresented populations are losing out on opportunities in terms of access, money, and more. Much of this is due to not being welcomed and/ or feeling comfortable participating in the established institutions that officials first look to for experts. When individuals from underrepresented populations do show up, we find events led by white men, who primarily talk about other white men (dead or alive). When women are discussed, all too often we find it’s in the context of being wives of either the presenter or the subject, victims, or visual aids (women greeting returning soldiers on docks). Queer and people of color are often entirely erased from our city’s historical narratives. Women, queer, and non-white narratives are often presented as one-off or special events, and not interwoven into the larger historical context. Research has shown that in order to be considered for professional opportunities, women are often expected to have much higher levels of education than men for similar roles. Despite various agencies’ calls for equality in funding, we face sexual harassment, gender discrimination, ageism, and more before we can even get to the point to apply for funding. Without the support of established networks, we don’t have the same reach for resources that come with membership in these older institutions. When women are left with the added duty of childcare, we don’t have the resources to attend networking events, particularly those in the evening, which further separates us from those in decision making roles.
In order to begin to address some of the long-standing problems, the incubator will be designed to:
Engage in thorough analyses of cultural activities and funding based on gender, race, and other factors.
Provide quarterly platforms for presentations of research and creative projects across a broad spectrum of fields, including but not limited to: social justice, environmental science, math and technology, art, film, media, history, and more.
Host working salons for those seeking feedback on works-in-progress with experts in the related fields.
Provide assistance in form of grant writing workshops, partnerships with city and other large organizations, and more.
Provide training to local institutions/ arts communities regarding removing barriers for women getting into the STEAM fields.
Help secure partnerships with larger institutions for incubator participants by speaking to quality of participants’ work.
Help secure childcare, transportation, equipment, and necessary membership/ association fees for participants who want to engage field research.
Provide professional workshops for women, transgender, and non-binary individuals at no-cost.
Encourage and provide the support necessary to mother researchers to stay engaged in work across a wide spectrum of fields.
Provide a printing press for anthologies and solo works by selected incubator participants.
Provide child friendly networking events so that parent researchers can engage with peers.
Engage in fundraising activities as necessary to secure the longevity of the organization.
(*The above list is a starting point and is open to revision.)
If you want to help with this project (volunteer, host organization, sponsor, etc.), please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Incubator.”
Our initial meeting with be Saturday, June 22, at 11 a.m. Location to be determined based on number of attendees. A Facebook event will also be created for RSVP purposes.