Shows: One Drop of Love

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-31 22:53Z 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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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

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

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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Should “Latino” be a Race on the Census?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-10-29 16:08Z by Steven

Should “Latino” be a Race on the Census?

National Institute for Latino Policy
Guest Commentary

Thomas Lopez, President
Multiracial Americans of Southern California

Few questions cause as much existential angst among Latino intellectuals as this one. The Latino origin question was added to the Census in such a hurry back in 1970, that little thought was likely given to how it would fold into the existing racial categories at the time. It has remained a separate question ever since; thus was born the ubiquitous phrase “Latino (or Hispanic) can be of any race.”  It has been stated so often that it has become more of a platitude than a validated scientific fact.  Kudos should be given to the Census Bureau for finally addressing this issue.  Even if nothing changes in the Census, just considering the question forces us into a deeper conversation about identity in general. Because in order to answer the question of whether or not Latino should be a race, one must first answer a more fundamental question: what is race?

Perhaps it would be easier to start with what race isn’t. There is no biological or genetic basis for race. The full argument supporting this assertion is beyond the scope of this commentary so we will just have to accept that as truth for now.  So what is race? Race is a social construct, which is fancy academic speak for simply being made up. That isn’t to say it doesn’t have meaning just because it is made up. We infuse numerous social constructs with meaning. However, it does create a challenge for demographers to determine what society considers a race and what it doesn’t. The key is looking at the context in which it is used…

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 University

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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Why Latinos won’t become white

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Economics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-28 17:22Z by Steven

Why Latinos won’t become white

Al Jazeera America

Gabriel Arana

Assuming Latinos will join the white majority ignores the stark divisions in a racially diverse group

In the lead-up to the midterms, President Barack Obama has been parroting the conventional wisdom about the GOP’s future: Republicans are doomed if they keep up their opposition to immigration reform and continue the inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric. “It’s anybody’s guess how Republicans are thinking about this,” he said during a town hall event in Santa Monica, California. “If they were thinking long term politically, it is suicide for them not to do this.”

Latinos make up 14 percent of the population, and their share is projected to grow to 29 percent by 2050. This demographic traditionally identifies with the Democratic Party; the toxic immigration debate in Washington, fueled by xenophobes in the GOP, will only increase that tendency. In 2006, 49 percent of Latino eligible voters identified as or leaned Democratic. By 2011, that number jumped to 67 percent. With the United States projected to become a majority-minority country by 2043, Republicans’ chances of winning the White House on the backs of white voters will grow ever slimmer.

But a counternarrative, one that would put Latino votes back in contention for the GOP, has begun to emerge. In the coming decades, Latinos could become “white” — a process in which cultural assimilation would presumably be followed by political realignment — opening them up to affiliation with the Republican Party. It’s a theory espoused most prominently by Slate political writer Jamelle Bouie, who argues in the winter issue of Democracy that “the future won’t be majority-minority; it will be a white majority, where Spanish last names are common.” But this vision of complete assimilation ignores the stark racial divisions in Latin American societies, in which socioeconomic status and skin color, as in the U.S., tend to fall along parallel lines.

Ethnic attrition

The idea of Latinos becoming white in the American sense — a vision of racial and cultural assimilation independent of self-identified race — isn’t a new one. Economists Brian Duncan at the University of Colorado and Stephen Trejo at the University of Texas at Austin call it ethnic attrition. As Latinos intermarry and climb the socioeconomic ladder, the theory goes, they are less likely to self-identify as Hispanic. Duncan and Trejo’s research shows (PDF) that while virtually all first- and second-generation Hispanic immigrants identify as Hispanic, in the third generation, those of mixed heritage start to self-select out of this group. Among third-generation immigrants with only two Hispanic grandparents, 79 percent identify as Hispanic. Among those with only one Hispanic grandparent, the number falls to 58 percent. Think of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, whose father is Cuban and whose mother is white, or comedian Louis C.K., whose grandmother is Mexican and whose other grandparents are Irish and Hungarian…

Read the entire article here.

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Negro? Prieto? Moreno? A Question of Identity for Black Mexicans

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2014-10-26 17:33Z by Steven

Negro? Prieto? Moreno? A Question of Identity for Black Mexicans

The New York Times

Randal C. Archibold, Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean

JOSÉ MARÍA MORELOS, Mexico — Hernán Reyes calls himself “negro” — black — plain and simple.

After some thought, Elda Mayren decides she is “Afromexicana,” or African-Mexican.

Candido Escuen, a 58-year-old papaya farmer, is not quite sure what word to use, but he knows he is not mestizo, or mixed white and native Indian, which is how most Mexicans describe themselves.

“Prieto,” or dark, “is what a lot of people call me,” he said.

This isolated village is named for an independence hero, thought to have had black ancestors, who helped abolish slavery in Mexico. It lies in the rugged hills of southwestern Mexico, among a smattering of towns and hamlets that have long embraced a heritage from African slaves who were brought here to work in mines and on sugar plantations in the 16th century.

Just how many people are willing to share that pride may soon be put to the test as Mexico moves to do something it has not attempted in decades and never on its modern census: ask people if they consider themselves black.

Or Afromexican. Or “moreno,” “mascogo,” “jarocho,” or “costeño” — some of the other terms sometimes used to describe black Mexicans.

What term or terms to use is not just a matter of personal and societal debate, but a longstanding dilemma that the government is hoping finally to resolve…

Read the entire article and view the slide show here.

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Does Diversity Breed Intolerance?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-17 19:38Z by Steven

Does Diversity Breed Intolerance?

BU Today
Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

Rich Barlow, Staff Writer
Telephone: 617-358-3877

Some whites fear impending minority status, research says

“Diversity” is said to be the sun of our civic solar system, shining bright harmony everywhere from society at large to university campuses. Katherine Levine Einstein is certainly an apostle of this view. The College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of political science studies racially segregated areas and finds that separation polarizes and paralyzes those places’ politics.

But Boston’s commuter rail system shakes her faith.

Harvard colleague Ryan Enos surveyed white subjects about their views on Mexican immigration levels, asking, among other things, if they favored allowing noncriminal, employed illegal immigrants to remain in the country. Enos sought responses twice: once before exposing the whites to more Hispanic commuters on train platforms and once after. Support for immigration and allowing the undocumented to stay plunged in the “after” follow-up from what it had been in the “before” survey.

In addition to the Harvard research, two Northwestern University studies fuel Einstein’s pessimism. One found that as whites learned that they will become a minority, they grew more conservative and Republican-leaning. The other reported that whites who were aware of their future minority status became more negative towards nonwhites and preferred hanging out with their own race…

Marilyn Halter (GRS’86), a CAS history professor, sees a fundamental flaw in the Northwestern methodology. “I have found no evidence whatsoever of backsliding on racial tolerance in the marketplace, whether from the marketers or the consumer side of the equation,” says Halter, whose 2000 book Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity is about how American businesses have tailored their products to immigrant consumers in recent decades.

She also argues that the growth of mixed-race Americans—more than nine million checked two or more race categories on the 2010 US Census, up 32 percent from 2000, she says—means “it will be increasingly irrelevant to divide up the electorate into white, black, and brown.”

“Future projections about the impact of a minority white nation don’t take into account the changing meaning of whiteness,” she says. “I know that the research is attempting to measure how people react to the idea of a future white minority, but the very concept is so oversimplified and inaccurate, I think it invalidates the findings.…I do not think that greater diversity leads to more intolerance.”…

Read the entire article here.

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11 ways race isn’t real

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-12 18:46Z by Steven

11 ways race isn’t real


Jenée Desmond-Harris

It was surprising — and, to many, annoying — to learn that Raven Symoné, the brown-skinned girl who played the adorable youngest character on TV’s seminal black sitcom, The Cosby Show, doesn’t consider herself “African-American.” (In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, she said she thought of herself as “a colorless person.”)

Symoné ultimately responded to those who’d called her comments misguided or tone deaf, clarifying in a statement to, “I never said I wasn’t black.” But the most fascinating thing about the whole story is that, even if she’d flat-out rejected that label, none of us could, with any authority, tell her she was wrong.

The discussion surrounding the actress’s identity is just the latest example of how there’s no consensus when it comes to who should be called what — black, white, Asian, or Latino — in the United States. It’s a reminder that race is a social and political construct.

Most people have heard that concept by now. But what does it actually mean?

It means that racial categories are not real. By “real,” I mean based on facts that people can even begin to agree on. Permanent. Scientific. Objective. Logical. Consistent. Able to stand up to scrutiny.

This, of course, does not mean that the concept of race isn’t hugely important in our lives. Although race isn’t real, racism certainly is. The racial categories to which we’re assigned, based on how we look to others or how we identify ourselves, can determine real-life experiences, inspire hate, drive political outcomes, and make the difference between life and death. But these important consequences are a result of a relatively new idea that was based on shaky reasoning and shady motivations. This makes the borders of the various categories impossible to pin down and renders today’s debates about how particular people should identify futile.

If you have any lingering belief that the racial categorizations we use make any real sense, read this and change your mind:…

Read the entire article here.

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Census Bureau Names 10 New Members to National Advisory Committee

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, United States on 2014-10-06 19:59Z by Steven

Census Bureau Names 10 New Members to National Advisory Committee

United States Census Bureau
Release Number: CB14-186

Public Information Office

The U.S. Census Bureau today announced 10 new members to serve on the Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations.

The National Advisory Committee advises the Census Bureau on a wide range of variables that affect the cost, accuracy and implementation of the Census Bureau’s programs and surveys, including the once-a-decade census. The committee, which is comprised of 32 members from multiple disciplines, advises the Census Bureau on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race and ethnicity, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other populations.

“The expertise of this committee will help us meet emerging challenges the Census Bureau faces in producing statistics about our diverse nation,” Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. “By helping us better understand a variety of issues that affect statistical measurement, this committee will help ensure that the Census Bureau continues to provide relevant and timely statistics used by federal, state and local governments as well as business and industry in an increasingly technologically oriented society.”

The 10 new members are:…

Lily Anne Yumi Welty Tamai, the curator of history at the Japanese American National Museum who is in the final months of a postdoctoral fellowship in critical mixed-race studies at the University of Southern California. She has a doctorate of philosophy in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a former Fulbright Scholar and Ford Foundation Fellow…

Read the entire news release here.

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