Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni on Growing Up with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Race, and What It Takes to Do a One-Woman Show

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-31 01:49Z by Steven

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni on Growing Up with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Race, and What It Takes to Do a One-Woman Show

Phoenix New Times
2014-10-30

Zaida Dedolph

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni stars in a one-woman show written by her and produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni wants to talk about race in America — and she’s got an idea of where she wants to start. The writer-actor-director-producer extraordinaire will bring her one-woman show, One Drop of Love, to Mesa Arts Center on Saturday, November 1.

Inspired by her own experiences with race, family, and reconciliation, One Drop of Love endeavors to explore these concepts in a funny, relatable way. In addition to giving two performances, Cox DiGiovanni will be hosting a panel discussion and community dialogue on Thursday, October 31, at the Arizona Opera Center. We spoke with the creative about her performance, her history, and her first-ever visit to Arizona.

Zaida Dedolph: Fanshen, you seem to wear a lot of hats. Where did you learn to do all of these things?

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni: I mostly see myself as an actor — that’s why I moved to Los Angeles and what I’ve been pursuing for the longest time in a creative capacity. I’ve known I wanted to be an actor since I was very young, but at the mean time I had all these other interests. So I joined the Peace Corps in West Africa and that got me into teaching, so I balanced teaching and acting.

As an actor, especially in LA, I started to notice that I wasn’t booking but I also was auditioning for things that I didn’t feel good about or proud of, so it was hard to bring my all to an audition when I felt like the roles were demeaning or just not me. As much as I think it’s good to stretch as an actor, it’s also good to know that you’ve got at least a base that you can work from. So I started to learn about writing.

It helps that I grew up with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and was incredibly fortunate to watch them take a story that they believed in, then write that story, and write themselves into lead roles in that story, and then turn it into Good Will Hunting. So I had some people close to me to model the fact that I could write characters that I could feel good about and be proud of.

I started learning about writing, did some stand-up, wrote a couple feature-length screenplays, so now I had this writing and some characters I was proud of, but then I asked “what’s next, how do I get these characters out there?” and realized I needed to learn how to produce as well. I joined a program in Los Angeles called Project Involve [a faction of Film Independent that works to support filmmakers from backgrounds that are not frequently represented in the film industry] and learned a little more about producing.

My husband was researching MFA schools and found the most affordable one in the country was at California State University [at] Los Angeles, so I followed him into the program. That’s where I really learned hands on producing. One Drop of Love was my thesis for the MFA program, so I got to put all the things that I learned together. That’s how I ended up producing and performing and writing…

..ZD: When it comes to the American discussion of race, what issues do you think we are focusing too much attention on? Which ones do you think we should be paying more mind to?

FCD: I hope people walk away from the show [understanding] that we tend to focus too much on our differences when it comes to race. In the show I try to make it clear that race doesn’t exist genetically, and yes, we’ve all kind of come to a place where we believe in it culturally and politically, but genetically there is zero difference, as was proven by Human Genome Project.

In the show, I take the racial categories from the first U.S. Census in the 1790s. It had three racial categories and has been changed 24 times since then, now there are so many racial categories on the census. Anything that can change that easily can’t have any real, strong bearing on anything! Unfortunately, we’ve let it become so important.

I hope people will focus less on what our differences in race are and focus on what we all have in common, which is that none of us want racism. We created race to oppress people, so let’s not focus on these differences and instead focus on where we can unify…

Read the entire interview here.

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ArtsBlast: One resonating drop of Fanshen

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-31 00:48Z by Steven

ArtsBlast: One resonating drop of Fanshen

Examiner.com
2014-10-29

Jennifer Haaland

One conversation with Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni was all it took. After her Examiner interview yesterday, filled with embracing words and vibrant kindness, it was clear that a whole lot more than One Drop of Love is coming to the Phoenix Valley and gracing the Mesa Arts Center stage this weekend.

“The crowd can’t just sit back and watch. Everyone is involved in this story,” said Cox DiGiovanni of the inclusive environment the show exudes. “I’ll be playing lots of characters, sometimes coming out into the house, talking to and asking questions of the audience.”

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are notable among the show’s past participants. As producers of Cox DiGiovanni’s One Drop of Love, a dynamic multimedia live, solo performance that explores how race has been constructed in the United States, they too were deeply affected by the message conveyed…

Read the entire article here.

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BSt 335U The Multi-Racial Experience

Posted in Communications/Media Studies, Course Offerings, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-10-29 21:04Z by Steven

BSt 335U The Multi-Racial Experience

Portland State University
Portland, Oregon
2014-2015

Explores what it means to identify oneself or be identified as multiracial/ethnic. Considers how social class, gender, race and other factors shape the multiracial experience. In addition, explores interracial relationship and the representation of multiracials in the media.

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Conceptualizing, and Re-conceptualizing, Mixed Race Identity Development Theories and Canada’s Multicultural Framework in Historical Context

Posted in Articles, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2014-10-29 17:51Z by Steven

Conceptualizing, and Re-conceptualizing, Mixed Race Identity Development Theories and Canada’s Multicultural Framework in Historical Context

SFU Educational Review
Volume 1, Number 1 (2014)
ISSN: 1916-050X
18 pages

Samantha Fischer
Department of Psychology
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

“Racism is like a fleet-footed bedbug that runs for cover under a sweet-smelling duvet stuffed with politeness and tolerance for multiculturalism” (Hill, 2001, p. 155).”

Scope of the topic, and paper organization

This paper will examine the most prominent theories of identity development of mixed race people in Canada from the late 1800s to the present day in the emergent multicultural context. It will examine the theories and contexts related to all mixed race people rather than focusing on a specific group.

This paper will commence with a discussion of the relevance of the topic, and an overview of multiculturalism policies in Canada. In the second part of the paper, the history of concepts relating to mixed race identity development in Canada will be analyzed in historical context and, when possible, related to the Multiculturalism Policy. In the third section of this paper, the current theories of mixed race identity development and multiculturalism will be addressed. Finally, the need to re-conceptualize race and/or mixed race identity, and current proposals for re-conceptualization will be outlined. When selecting this topic, it was assumed that identity development theories would need to be adapted to suit multiculturalism; however, it was found that the current theories addressing mixed race individuals were comprehensive, and enough empirical and theoretical evidence existed to suggest that they meet the needs of mixed race people. Thus, to address the incongruence between mixed race identity development models and multiculturalism, the focus will be placed on the latter, but a few ideas that are in accord with existing theories on Mixed Race Identity development and the empirical research to address the discrepancies will be suggested. Then, a theory of reconceptualization will be argued as the most appropriate, and the implications for research, the challenges/disadvantages, and the remaining challenges will be addressed.

This paper will be somewhat limited in its ability to discuss identity theories in an exclusively Canadian context, and it cannot accurately reflect the unique situation of the Metis peoples of Canada, or other multi-racial First Nations Peoples. This is not because this topic is unimportant. However, given the remarkably unique socio-cultural position of the First Nations Peoples in Canada, while some of the content of this paper may apply to multi-racial First Nations Peoples, it is beyond the scope of this paper to explore in a manner that would be both appropriate and comprehensive (this remains a critical direction for future work). Although the body of work on Mixed Race identity development in a Canadian context is growing, most of the research on this subject has largely been done in the United States (Taylor, 2008). When possible, exclusively Canadian sources are used, but they are supplemented with American sources interpreted for a Canadian context. Furthermore, due to space constraints, not every development model could be included; however, the most commonly cited, influential and representative ones have been added…

Read the entire article here.

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The End of Race As We Know It?

Posted in Census/Demographics, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2014-10-29 15:06Z by Steven

The End of Race As We Know It?

Stanford+Connects
Stanford University
2014-10-09

Michele Elam, Professor of English
Stanford University

Sharing demographic shifts and a personal story about the use of her photograph in various advertisements, Professor Michele Elam traces multiracial identities from the 1940s to present day. In this talk, she explores how society understands race through context and their own cultural perceptions, and what this means for society.

For more information, click here.

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One of Us

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-29 01:17Z by Steven

One of Us

Boston Magazine
November 2014 (published 2014-10-28)

Jennifer J. Roberts


Portrait of the author by Jason Grow

I was a typical Southie kid, one of six, born to a single mother, raised in a triple-decker, surrounded by Whitey Bulger’s violence and fierce Irish pride. There was only one thing that kept me on the outside: Despite my mother’s claims to the contrary, we were black.

When I was six years old, I was bused to school at John Winthrop Elementary on the Dorchester/Roxbury line. The school was in a mostly black neighborhood, about 3 miles from the South Boston neighborhood where I lived, but even then I understood it as enemy territory.

My mother had made that clear: She was ­aggressive about her stance against busing, and “those blacks.” By which she didn’t mean us. I was the youngest of six kids, and the darkest, but if you asked my mother, she’d tell you we were Irish. Virginia Roberts was a proud supporter of Jim Kelly and Billy Bulger, hugged them flamboyantly at every St. Paddy’s Day Parade. They would give her a kiss on the cheek. I would cringe. Tall, thin, and attractive, she wore a shamrock brooch on her housecoat. Her kinky hair was usually covered by a kerchief or a wig. Her skin, like mine, was a warm beige in the winter and a deep red-brown in the summer. But we were Irish, she insisted, and nothing else.

Sitting in a neighbor’s kitchen, racial slurs would buzz around like hungry mosquitoes waiting to suck my blood out and leave me cold. Inevitably one would land on my mother. “Why can’t they just stay in their neighborhood? No offense, Ginny,” waving a cigarette at my mother. “You know we don’t mean you!” My mother would swat away their words with indifference; of course they didn’t mean her! She’d scoff right along with them.

When I was a child, the origin of our shared skin tone and hair texture was a mystery. Out on the street, though, kids had theories: “I heard your grandmother was raped by a black man,” they’d say to me, or, “I heard your mother was found on a doorstep and your grandmother took her in.” What was clear to me, even as a little girl, was that my mother wanted no part of our shared racial heritage. The bubble of denial she created for herself was solid Teflon. Everything rolled right off of her and onto me. At home, I was Irish. On the street, I was something different: “jigaboo,” “nigger,” “Oreo,” “Jenny the spook.” These names were spoken to me almost as if they were endearments, nicknames. Nearly everyone in Southie had a nickname.

I was from Southie; I was one of them. I was their black girl…

Read the entire article here.

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Shows: One Drop of Love

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-28 20:57Z by Steven

Shows: One Drop of Love

Mesa Arts Center
Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse
One East Main Street
Mesa, Arizona 85201
Box Office: (480) 644.6500

Performing Live Series
Saturday, 2014-11-01, 15:00 & 19:30 MT (Local Time)

Produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and the show’s writer/performer Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, One Drop of Love is a multimedia one woman show. It incorporates film, photographs, and animation to examine how ‘race’ has been constructed in the United States and how it can influence our most intimate relationships.

For more information, click here.

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Are Biracial Children Damaged?

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-27 15:15Z by Steven

Are Biracial Children Damaged?

HERS Magazine
November/December 2014
page 36

Cherrye S. Vasquez

Approximately seven years ago, I was engaged in what I thought was a friendly conversation with a group of ladies at my work. As mothers, we often talked about our daily activities our children were engaged in. Our conversations were personal, easy stress relievers, and generally ended with much laughter among the group.

When I ended my “story of the day” on the subject of my daughter’s latest activity, one of the ladies turned and said, “Well she’s going to have psychological problems anyway.”

I looked at her, startled, and asked what she meant by that. “Well, she’s biracial,” she continued, “and all biracial children end up with psychological problems.”

This woman was the first person who’d ever made such an asinine statement to me, but unfortunately not the last. What she claimed never crossed my mind. Why would it?

Read the entire article here.

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Children (but not adults) judge similarity in own- and other-race faces by the color of their skin

Posted in Articles, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-21 18:55Z by Steven

Children (but not adults) judge similarity in own- and other-race faces by the color of their skin

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume 130, February 2015
pages 56–66
DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2014.09.009

Benjamin Balas, Assistant Professor of Psychology
North Dakota State University

Jessie Peissig, Associate Professor of Psychology
California State University, Fullerton

Margaret Moulson, Assistant Professor & Director of Psychological Science Training
Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Highlights

  • We examined how children and adults use shape and skin tone to recognize faces.
  • Participants judged face similarity within multiple race categories.
  • We used graphics techniques to match face shape and color in test faces.
  • Use of face shape depends on age and stimulus race.

Both face shape and pigmentation are diagnostic cues for face identification and categorization. In particular, both shape and pigmentation contribute to observers’ categorization of faces by race. Although many theoretical accounts of the behavioral other-race effect either explicitly or implicitly depend on differential use of visual information as a function of category expertise, there is little evidence that observers do in fact differentially rely on distinct visual cues for own- and other-race faces. In the current study, we examined how Asian and Caucasian children (4–6 years of age) and adults use three-dimensional shape and two-dimensional pigmentation to make similarity judgments of White, Black, and Asian faces. Children in this age range are capable of making category judgments about race but also are sufficiently plastic with regard to the behavioral other-race effect that it seems as though their representations of facial appearance across different categories are still emerging. Using a simple match-to-sample similarity task, we found that children tend to use pigmentation to judge facial similarity more than adults and also that own-group versus other-group category membership appears to influence how quickly children learn to use shape information more readily. Therefore, we suggest that children continue to adjust how different visual information is weighted during early and middle childhood and that experience with faces affects the speed at which adult-like weightings are established.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Little White Lie at DOC NYC

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, United States, Videos on 2014-10-19 23:47Z by Steven

Little White Lie at DOC NYC

DOC NYC
2014-11-13 through 2014-11-20
New York, New York

Showtimes

IFC Center
323 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10014
(212) 924-7771

Sunday, 2014-11-16, 19:00 EST (Local Time)
Wednesday, 2014-11-19, 10:45 EST (Local Time)

Official Site: http://www.littlewhiteliethefilm.com
Producer: Lacey Schwartz, Mehret Mandefro
Cinematographer: James Adolphus
Editor: Toby Shimin, Erik Dugger
Music: Kathryn Bostic
Running Time: 66
Language: Englsih
Country: USA

Growing up in an upper-middle-class Jewish household, Lacey Schwartz knew she looked different from the rest of her family, but her darker complexion and curly hair were brushed off as traits inherited from her Sicilian grandfather. When she finally begins to dig deeper, Lacey uncovers unspoken family secrets and willful denial that cuts to the core of her very sense of self, inspiring an intriguing re-evaluation and redefinition of identity.

Filmmaker is expected to be in person for both screenings.

For more information, click here.

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