Have you ever been the only one with an identity or group membership that nobody else around you has? If you have, what was your positionality within the settings where you were the only one? If you have not, what factors have contributed to you leading a life where never being the only one is possible?
You might not know what positionality means. As I type this term in this blog post, the gods of WordPress have underlined the word with a red squiggly line. This is what happens when a platform thinks you misspelled a term. The fact that the WordPress gods do not recognize this word in itself demonstrates that more people, including those who design website platforms, need to understand the concept of positionality and that it is in fact a real word. You can learn more about what it means by doing your own independent research, but here is the Postionality and Intersectionality webpage from Indigenous Initiatives at the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.
The following text is a post I shared with friends. Originally, it included a photo of me at the hospital, waiting for my mastectomy. In the photo, I was lying in a bed reclined back at about a 45 degree angle. My body was snugly tucked under white sheets, and my head was propped on a matching pillow. A light blue bouffant cap contained my thick, long dark brown-black hair. I wrote it this morning to reflect on the anniversary of my mastectomy. It goes like this:
Since the United States has been coming to terms with its reckoning with racism, I have observed the ways in which certain people feel ambivalent about what is next. What does this mean for the future of the workforce?
During the summer, I was in a meeting with colleagues across departments at my workplace. We were grappling with how to conceptualize the COVID-19 pandemic. A few people in the virtual meeting wanted to make sure that we were not making blanket statements about these times. One person emphasized that we were all in the same storm, but we were on different boats.
It has been seven weeks since you heard from me. Since I last wrote on here, I have been so busy that I recorded my last episode of Lunch with Lindsay in late August; however, I did not get to share it here until today. If you read my post on my other blog, you know that I am Forcing Myself Off of the Hamster Wheel in order to make time to blog again.
Last week, I continued the Lunch with Lindsay video series with my friend Paty. She and I met our first year at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Almost two decades later, we reminisced on college, reflected on how we have evolved, and discussed how she approaches diversity and inclusion work during a reckoning with racism and the COVID-19 pandemic.