Over the last few months, especially as America engages in her political process, we have been incredibly focused on the “importance” of demographic allusion. We are inundated with phrases like, “Suburban women are likely to support all measures of gun control,” “Mayor Pete can’t win the black vote,” “Young voters love Bernie,” or “White men will be the key to Trump’s reelection.” While there might be some kernels of flexible truth in many of these statements, they leave little room for the intersections of our multiple identities and the individual nature of our varied lived experiences. They demand that you are the box that you are forced to check. What’s more, this checked box implies that you are homogenous and monolithic in your thinking and being. And while there are obvious commonalities that individuals within each identity description share, it is more important to clarify how each individual, personally, describes each of her, his or their identities.
As the CEO of the Deep Wells Group, I believe that just checking a box is tantamount to digging a very shallow well. Therefore, I have asked nine friends to travel with me on a very vulnerable journey of deep identity clarification and, to a degree, a public unrobing of our inner selves. After today’s introduction, we will use the next ten days to write and share 100 words on what it means to us to be an individual in a specific demographic group. At the end of the ten days, we expect that all who read this will have a clearer picture of who we are; most importantly, so will we.
MEET THE TRAVELERS
Student, Northeastern University
Who am I? I am a young woman, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I have one living parent. I am an older sister to a three-year-old boy. I’m a poet, a dancer, a foodie, a traveler, student, author and much more. Most of all I am a fighter. My journey through life hasn’t been easy, but I firmly believe a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor. Life is short, so I want to leave a lasting impression by challenging tradition and digging deeper into what experiences and influences make each of us who we are.
Network Development, Bento
I was born in San Diego, California, as a part of a military family and grew up moving every few years. I have lived in California, Florida, Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Naples, Italy, and Warboys County, England. I come from a family of six, one brother, two sisters, my mom, and my dad. I always used my family and Boston sports as my two constants growing up, as everything else around me constantly changed. I am an athlete, a writer, and a proud uncle and godfather, currently working my first “real world” job in Boston.
Educator/Coach, Brewster Academy
I was raised in Southern Illinois, a ten-minute metro link ride away from the city of St. Louis. I have spent the last eight years in New Hampshire graduating from Plymouth State University, and currently residing in the small town of Wolfeboro. I attribute my laid back attitude and manners to my midwest roots, my humor and wit to the east coast, and any other negative traits to my father. I’ve grown up in a small family and I’m engaged to someone who visits more houses on Christmas than St. Nick. I am an educator and a problem solver who works best on a team. I am still figuring out my life’s journey, and I am just that much closer by asking the question.
Founder, Deep Wells Group
Instagram - @deepwellsgroup,
I was born in Liberia but I have lived my entire self-acquainted life in the United States. This past September I officially became an American and I continue to process the Dream. I am of two loving parents (still married after 50+ years), seven siblings, and myriad others who constantly inspire me towards the Idea of me. I am an educator and a learner; my life’s journey is about my personal growth and the growth of the people that travel with me. I want to change the world for the better, but realize how small I am in that endeavor.
Owner, Meg Gaudreau Shooting Academy Austin, TX
Instagram - @meg_gudro
I am originally from Brooklyn Connecticut but I currently reside in Austin Texas. I coach a homeschool basketball program here in Austin and have my own training company. One of my biggest passions is working with people on expanding their knowledge surrounding social justice and racial issues around the world. I assist in running a program where we bring groups of women to Cape Town, South Africa for a social justice and leadership experience where we learn from various groups in Cape Town in hopes to bring back that knowledge to our own communities.
Educator/DEI Practitioner, Wolfeboro, NH
I’m a brown girl from the Bay whose brain is never at rest. I’m the youngest of immigrant parents who came after the US lifted a ban against Asians. I’m a consummate learner, a recovering valedictorian, that character in that movie who’s overcoming a hot sister and a difficult high school experience. I’m an ex-college athlete who doesn’t like to get pushed around. I’m a mom of boys, an ideas person, a problem-solver, a bridge builder. Efficiency is attractive, but creativity and innovation win. I set out every day to try to make others’ lives better.
Occasionally I succeed.
Teacher, Brewster Academy
Instagram - @myquestionlife
I’m an upstate-NY transplant who found my home and heart in New Hampshire. I teach English, a subject that develops the invaluable skills of perspective-taking and communication. My boarding school job allows me to tap into my extroverted ways in a community with endless opportunities for relationships. I’m ambitious and disciplined by nature (at times, to my own detriment). Every week, I put hours toward a blog that may or may not become “something,” but the slim possibility that it could drives me forward. I’m continuously asking questions of myself and the world, for I believe questions are the answer.
Pablo Montoro Alonso, PhD
Educator, Pomfret School
I was born and raised in Salamanca, Spain, where I lived for the first 27 years of my life. I am lucky to have continued the steps of many members of my family as an educator and my job is one of the engines of my life. It allowed me to find a new life here in the USA where I have lived for the last 13 years. The other engines that keep me running are my family, starting with Charity and Earl, my friends on both sides of the ocean and traveling the world.
Leslie Rosario Olivo
Student, Wesleyan University
I’m a deeply curious person, which has lead me to question everything around me, from blue to grains of soil. My desire for some semblance of understanding of external stimuli we colloquially refer to as the world drives almost everything I do. Among many things, I'm a writer, a musician, an artist, an advocate, a friend - all pursuits I follow in hopes of quenching my curiosity about "things", but mostly to sit peacefully with the nebulous experience of being a human. I find peace in listening and sharing with others, and in attempting to see the beauty of our collective being.
Instagram - @chefruss101
I was born and raised in the Bronx N.Y. in the ’90s which I feel was a great time to be alive. A time when playing outside was all you wanted to do. My father was a city bus driver, My mother is a Registered nurse. I grew up living across the street from my grandparents, which was a highlight of my childhood. I am currently living in Rhode Island with my wife and two beautiful daughters. My love for culinary arts and passion for business instilled in me by my grandfather led me to currently owning 2 food trucks. I love traveling with my family, animals, quiet time to gather new ideas, cars and of course food and business. I have been through a lot of trial and error in life which has helped me grow stronger. I am 35 years young with big life goals. One day soon I will reach all my goals then create new ones.
The Daily Lineup
Day 1: Wednesday, March 25 - Introductions
Day 2: Thursday, March 26 - Occupation/Profession/Job Day 3: Friday, March 27 - Race/Skin Color Day 4: Saturday, March 28 - Gender Identity Day 5: Sunday, March 29 - Family Role Day 6: Monday, March 30 - Socio-Economic Status Day 7: Tuesday, March 31 - Sexual Orientation Day 8: Wednesday, April 1 - Ethnicity/Heritage Day 9: Thursday, April 2 - Religion
Day 10: Friday, April 3 - Political Leaning/Views Day 11: Saturday, April 4 Other (Writer’s Choice - Any part of our identity that we haven’t touched on) Sunday, April 5 - Closure
See you tomorrow.