Unpacking Identity Across the US
Amidst an incredibly polarizing election season and national conversations surrounding police brutality, systemic racism and implicit bias, Mapping Privilege, a multimedia project centered around my solo journey across the US, aims to unpack messy dynamics by expanding on individual stories, perspectives and voices. The story of a person’s lived experience should be not up for debate—and everyone can learn something by listening.
I've been on the road working on this project for almost one month. Your support will help me continue connecting with communities and individuals throughout the rest of the year. In addition to helping me share what I'm learning with quality videos and audio along the way, your support also goes to the development of three bigger projects:
-A weekly live-streamed show on BidChat , a new app that lets celebrities and media makers communicate while streaming content
-A world premiere play in San Francisco in 2017 with Faultline Theater company
-A book about my journey in (works to be published 2017)
But who am I anyway?
Just like Liam Neeson, I have a 'certain set of skills.' My work has been featured internationally as a comedian, writer and diversity and inclusion trainer. Earlier this year, I created EquiTable at Comedy Hackday, a comedic hackathon that brings comics and techies together. EquiTable satirically solved the wage gap problem by adjusting a person's dining bill based on their demographics. It made headlines across the world- featured in The Atlantic, the Huffington Post, The Telegraph, NPR, just to name a few. As a writer, I'm a frequent contributer to Fusion , with articles that explore the intersections of identity. You might have seen me in a few viral videos from AJ+ as well. I've also been honored by KQED as one of 20 women artists to watch in the Bay Area,
As an artist, it's been amazing being able to make a dent in the national conversation surrounding privilege and identity. However, it is a conversation that I'm not new to professionally. With a master's social work from Columbia University, I've worked as a community organizer and direct service provider for years supporting communities and individuals from all backgrounds. Most recently, I was the director of education for the Central-Pacific Region of the Anti-Defamation League- training universities, workplaces, and schools in creating inclusive spaces.
Mapping Privilege allows me to utilize all those experiences and skillsets in breaking down issues with folks in an approachable, understandlable and even humorous way.
The time to do this is now- right in the final days of a really tense election cycle. However it goes in November, it's clear there will be a lot of healing and listening that will need to be done and this is just the beginning. Your donation will help be with basic travel expenses, adminstrative costs, and development for the larger project pieces of the book and the play. Again, you can follow the journey along right now with #MappingPrivilege and the upcoming show on BidChat!
There are plenty of ways to get involved! Have an idea about what we should cover, or thoughts about your identity you would like to share? Please fill out any part of this quick survey!
$1-49 - Shout out on social media, personal thank you
$50-99- Acknowledgement on website, as well as ^^
$100-299 - Mapping Privilege T-shirt of your size plus ^^
$300-999 - Special thanks in credits- for book, play and BidChat show
$1,000-2,999- Producer credit in all material, ^^^
$3,000- Executive Producer Credit
(I share snippets of the conversations on social media #MappingPrivilege)
For more of me and snippets of my work, check out LunaIsAmerica.com
I just want to share out how humbled and grateful I am for all the support behind this project! I wanted to share an important update- months of interviewing and writing are really coming to fruition in several ways! And I wanted to thank you again and update you on the next steps of the journey.
In case you missed it- Mapping Privilege is now a monthly series on KQED! This has been an awesome opportunity in ensuring that a broad audience is able to benefit from these conversations- here's my latest, with Jessica Jin of the Texas student gun violence prevention group Cocks Not Glocks : https://ww2.kqed.org/pop/tag/mapping-privilege/
Secondly, the play that culminates many of the conversations I've been having on the road is going up in two weeks! "How to Be A White Man" will be premiering June 16th- July 1st at PianoFight, with Faultline Theater! This would never have been a reality without your support.
And lastly, I want to thank you again for your generosity, enthusiasm and helping spread the word! I've received an ongoing grant from the NEA to support more work, allowing me to build upon what you've helped me accomplish thus far!
Ever so thankful for your support. Please stay up to date by visiting my website, LunaIsAmerica.com
Just want to give another big thanks for all your help and support! The latest "Mapping Privilege" article has been featured on KQED! I can't thank you enough for all of your generous donations and help spreading the word!
Check out the full article here: https://ww2.kqed.org/pop/2017/02/22/mapping-privilege-skyler-cooper-on-fighting-for-ones-very-existence/
I cannot thank you enough for your support of this work! Wanted to share that #MappingPrivilege project was recently featured in The Establishment, and Center for Investigative Reporting joined me for a few conversations about identity and privilege earlier in December. (Link below)
Over the past few weeks, I have continued to hold Mapping Privileges conversations with individuals and groups and have delved even deeper with writing to explore how we are affected and shaped by identity and perspectives. Seeing a national rise in hate crimes and white supremacist rhetoric has made me even more cautious, but I am ever more committed and gearing up for more work and journeys in the New Year.
Sending you so much gratitude, peace and love and a joyous and prosperous 2017,
I see 'Privilege' as what happens when a person's humanity is accepted and unquestioned based on they are are identified.
To be fully humanely accepted is to acknowledge the fullness of a person and all their possible needs, ranging from their need for food and shelter to their longing for love, community and self actualization or autonomy. These are things that everyone deserves and should be basic human rights- but because of bias- often people are seen as 'other' first and then human.
Whether that is thinking that sexual assault should be acceptable to perpetrate towards women aka "I grab them by their pussy" as just "locker room talk" or believing that someone does not have the right to clean water at Standing Rock, bias continues to show it's head. But the good thing is, bias can be unlearned.
Let's continue to expand the conversation, one person at a time.
Thanks for all your support,