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In the pause: Reflecting on Hidden Figures

I went to see Hidden Figures on Thursday night. I felt uplifted right after seeing it and then all weekend felt sad and frustrated by it. Don’t get me wrong; I love seeing stellar performances from three female women of color portraying real women who are intelligent, courageous, and determined. And let’s face it – the BS that the women portrayed in the film faced still runs rampant in the American workplace and society at-large, especially for women of color.

This is absolutely true in technology, science, and business. I have lost track of the number of times in my career that I was and am expected to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and my smile wide so that I don’t seem threatening to others by questioning assumptions and points-of-view, no matter how respectful and professional my comments are. And here’s the worst part: if I were to tally the worst bullying I’ve received in the workplace, it’s come from an equal number of women and men. It’s unfortunate, and it’s my truth. Women still fight for equal pay, respect, and promotions, and far too often we’re fighting one another.

So this is what I’m going to do about it: I’m going to work on making the workplace, wherever I work, a kinder, more collaborative, diverse, accepting place. There are too many hidden figures in the world today, and I intend to spend my time bringing them into the light and celebrating them.

 

 

About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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It’s difficult to put into words the emotions that surface during Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself. Part magic show, illusion spectacular, storytelling night, and clairvoyant event, it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. His poise, grace, empathy, and masterful command of the stage and audience are on a level of genius that I didn’t know was possible. I alternately cried and laughed for close to two hours, completely riveted by the through line and captivated by Derek’s presence. Mostly I sat there with my jaw on the floor because I was astounded by his work. * My friend and mentor, the incomparable writer and storyteller @tellingabetterstory, took me and our friend, @hellosemrick, to this show a few weeks ago and I’ve thought about it every day since. I will be thinking about it for many days, weeks, and months to come. Even now as I write this post, I keep getting chills down my entire spine. In & Of Itself is that electric. * Derek gave every member of the audience a gift, personal and perfectly crafted. I’m not quite sure how I’ll ever be able to repay him, and legendary director Frank Oz, for all they gave me—a stranger they will likely never meet—during this performance. Thank you feels so woefully inadequate, and it’s what I have. I mean it from my whole spirit. * Thank you, @Derekdel and Frank, for showing all of us what can happen when we show up with our whole heart, pay attention, and make purposeful connection with another person our single goal. It is the purest form of magic I know—to really see and be seen. * In & Of Itself runs this weekend at the Daryl Roth Theatre in Union Square. After Sunday, August 19th, it will be never be done again.

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