Honest Explanations of Race and Racism from Your Local Mixed Woman
Take a look at recent news and see a world that is emotionally-supercharged with criminal acts committed on the basis of this concept we call “race,” a word we use so often, along with “racism.” As elements of this society, we hope that we can move past the evil acts of some, and yet there are cries from people of colour (including myself) that more needs to be done, that whatever actions are being taken by our friends, families, employers, etc. just aren’t cutting it. The thing is, what we end up doing in many of our conversations online and in real life is that we do not meet on even ground – or anything close to it. We start discussions on race without acknowledging the very basics, the very histories!
With the misunderstandings that constantly occur it is imperative that we start making new efforts. Most of the indie game population is white and male, but that doesn’t mean that we can do nothing about the lack of representation in games and in the industry. We can have more POC involved in our game-making, and we can have them in our games in a respectful manner. Believe it or not, understanding race and racism and discussing what those mean are the tools you absolutely need to do these things. We can take the steps to create a responsible, honest environment.
Whether you are an academic in the field, a person of colour, an ally, or someone who is blissfully ignorant, this talk will give you an exploration of what those words mean here in the United States, where everything – yes, everything – is hinging on us making efforts to treat each other, especially minorities, better. Our games depend on it, our incomes depend on it, and based on some of the terrible things occurring recently in the media, lives are depending on it. Join me for a primer discussion on race and racism so that we may attempt some real work.
IMPORTANT: There will be mentions of cruelty, there will be angry words, and there will be the ugliness that sometimes comes with honesty. Trigger warnings for verbal mentions of violence, racism, mentions of sexism, and other sensitive related topics. There will be no associated imagery. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any specific concerns and I will be absolutely willing to accommodate you.
Khadeja A. Merenkov is a Master’s Degree recipient in Intercultural Relations where she studied intercultural training, cultural psychology, and diversity in the United States. She also is a local voiceover artist currently working for indies and beyond. Her passion for doing what’s right in today’s world is matched only by her love of video games and general art criticism. Khadeja is a veteran of the WIG stage. She has previously spoken about using art historical analysis to better understand games. In her day-to-day life, she is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural world traveler of dubious origin with plenty of stories to tell.