As we continue to educate ourselves about sexual violence, inequality, we must also think about vulnerable groups that are largely invisible in our discourses. This presentation discussed intersectionality, trans women of color, and featured award-winning artist, activist and TEDx speaker, Dominique Morgan.
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[00:00:05.410]I like to be a person of my word,
[00:00:07.150]so I'll get us started.
[00:00:08.340]So thank you all so much for joining us
[00:00:11.340]for our December session of NCLUDE.
[00:00:14.450]What we'll do to get started is,
[00:00:16.110]we'll introduce ourselves
[00:00:18.110]and then we'll kinda go through a few areas
[00:00:21.590]in introducing NCLUDE, et cetera.
[00:00:23.900]But to get us started,
[00:00:24.850]I'm gonna introduce myself
[00:00:26.170]and then I'll ask my colleagues,
[00:00:27.700]Megan and Jerri to do the same,
[00:00:29.830]and we'll also, just sort of a brief introduction
[00:00:33.150]of Ms. Dominique Morgan.
[00:00:34.610]So my name is Nkenge Friday, I had the pleasure of serving
[00:00:37.530]as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives
[00:00:40.270]here in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
[00:00:42.630]at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
[00:00:56.268]Lost my Zoom controls there for a second.
[00:00:59.000]My name is Megan Cardwell,
[00:01:00.300]I am the graduate assistant
[00:01:02.100]for Inclusive Leadership and learning
[00:01:03.810]here at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
[00:01:05.910]it's great to see you all here.
[00:01:10.920]And good morning everyone,
[00:01:12.050]my name is Jerri Harner,
[00:01:13.370]I'm the executive specialist
[00:01:14.580]for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
[00:01:19.000]And of course,
[00:01:19.860]we'll introduce Ms. Morgan in a few minutes,
[00:01:21.970]but we also are pleased to have with us Dominique Morgan,
[00:01:25.330]who is our speaker for today.
[00:01:28.260]So thank you all again for joining us
[00:01:29.820]and I'll hand this over to Megan.
[00:01:34.610]So we wanna start of course
[00:01:36.180]with an acknowledgement of the land.
[00:01:38.730]So the University of Nebraska is a public,
[00:01:41.550]land-grant institution with campuses
[00:01:44.340]and programs on past, present,
[00:01:46.710]and future homelands of the Pawnee, Ponca, Oto-Missouria,
[00:01:51.680]Omaha, Dakota, Lakota, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kaw Peoples,
[00:01:57.510]and Winnebago, as well as the relocated Ho-Chunk, Iowa,
[00:02:01.830]and Sac and Fox Peoples.
[00:02:03.930]And with this land acknowledgement,
[00:02:05.410]we affirm Native American sovereignty
[00:02:08.170]and our commitment to working in right relationship
[00:02:11.400]with our Native American relatives and neighbors,
[00:02:13.980]as well as with the land they were historically
[00:02:16.330]and continue to be protectors and stewards of.
[00:02:22.400]So, before we begin,
[00:02:26.010]we just wanna go over some Zoom controls,
[00:02:28.830]am I correct that you're seeing my screen?
[00:02:31.530]Okay, just always have to make sure,
[00:02:33.120]and that's why we go over Zoom controls, correct?
[00:02:36.010]As we're transitioning kind of in-person
[00:02:37.897]and between Zoom, sometimes we forget,
[00:02:41.240]and our Zoom controls disappear.
[00:02:42.700]So today, we would love for everybody to ask questions,
[00:02:47.800]and as our brilliant speaker is talking,
[00:02:50.610]to keep track of your questions,
[00:02:53.020]just to paste them in the chat.
[00:02:54.720]I'm also going to drop a link here to a Google doc,
[00:02:58.020]if you'd like to share an anonymous question,
[00:03:00.400]you can just use this link
[00:03:01.990]and type your question in there.
[00:03:04.780]But you have your button to mute
[00:03:07.610]and unmute your microphone, to turn on and off your video,
[00:03:12.400]again, the chat function, please do use the chat
[00:03:15.140]to ask questions of our speaker.
[00:03:18.380]There is live captioning available,
[00:03:20.420]you should see a little box up on your screen
[00:03:23.800]to access the live transcript for captioning
[00:03:28.550]and of course, we love a good reaction,
[00:03:30.630]so if at any point Dominique's words resonate with you,
[00:03:35.010]you can go ahead and use your reactions to let her know
[00:03:38.530]that her messages are resonating,
[00:03:41.600]so I just wanna go over Zoom controls before we move on.
[00:03:48.850]So in terms of NCLUDE, before we can continue
[00:03:53.320]and introduce our speaker,
[00:03:54.790]our last NCLUDE session focused on Executive Memorandum 40,
[00:03:59.510]which is the Nebraska University systems chosen name
[00:04:03.730]in gender identity policy,
[00:04:05.670]and so, we had a panel of speakers
[00:04:08.910]telling us about how to use that policy,
[00:04:13.320]how to update our pronouns
[00:04:15.000]and chosen name in the Nebraska University system,
[00:04:18.650]and how to advocate for our students, faculty,
[00:04:21.770]and staff on campus.
[00:04:23.150]So we're going to continue here
[00:04:25.590]talking about gender diversity
[00:04:27.707]and intersectionality on campus
[00:04:30.380]and in the wider Nebraska with our speaker today.
[00:04:34.340]So I'm gonna hand it over to Dr. Friday
[00:04:36.420]to introduce our speaker for today.
[00:04:39.730]Thank you, Megan.
[00:04:41.000]So before we do that, one thing I love to do,
[00:04:44.370]because we are of course, an academic institution,
[00:04:46.930]is to really think about why we select
[00:04:50.550]or why we really try to identify different types of topics,
[00:04:54.010]especially as we present them to our NCLUDE community
[00:04:56.950]and one of the things that we thought about,
[00:04:58.320]especially as we were shaping this particular semester,
[00:05:01.730]is to try to think about all the collective voices
[00:05:04.080]for a number of reasons that have either been silenced,
[00:05:07.350]muted, or are just not as, I should say,
[00:05:12.060]understood or visible in our society.
[00:05:14.260]And here in Nebraska,
[00:05:15.210]I think one of the things that we've saw,
[00:05:16.860]especially more prevalent in the upcoming months
[00:05:19.840]has been this conversation around gender identity,
[00:05:22.620]chosen name and our first session
[00:05:24.640]that we held a few months ago,
[00:05:26.720]we really talked about ways in which Nebraska
[00:05:29.010]is trying to be more inclusive in that regard.
[00:05:31.520]Many people would perhaps say that this policy
[00:05:34.300]was long overdue, and absolutely it was,
[00:05:37.240]and I think this is an ongoing effort
[00:05:39.360]that our office is absolutely invested in and leading,
[00:05:42.520]but also helping other areas to really think about ways
[00:05:45.880]which we can better advocate
[00:05:47.280]and support chosen name, gender identity,
[00:05:50.430]and just understanding experiences of queer people,
[00:05:54.310]people of color, because those are sometimes,
[00:05:56.930]when we are thinking about that,
[00:05:58.320]that can be a little bit muffled.
[00:06:00.180]And so, part of what we want to do here today,
[00:06:02.950]is to think about this conversation,
[00:06:06.280]we've heard the term,
[00:06:07.640]sometimes we've heard it used correctly,
[00:06:09.730]sometimes we've heard people, probably a little bit,
[00:06:12.110]with opportunities to learn more in that space,
[00:06:14.627]and we're hoping that this conversation,
[00:06:16.530]especially as we're thinking about our community here
[00:06:18.880]in Nebraska, for a number of reasons,
[00:06:21.330]we wanna continue on in this engaged conversation.
[00:06:24.770]And this is intended to absolutely be educational,
[00:06:28.140]but this is also intended for us to think about the words
[00:06:31.280]that are being delivered today,
[00:06:32.850]to think about the resources that we have developed
[00:06:35.520]to help you and your ongoing effort to educate,
[00:06:38.600]support, and advocate.
[00:06:40.790]In our office, we absolutely,
[00:06:43.430]I should say support historically marginalized,
[00:06:47.330]vulnerable, oppressed populations,
[00:06:50.050]but we know it's absolutely the role
[00:06:52.070]of those who hold majority of type of identities
[00:06:56.120]to be there, to advocate
[00:06:57.930]and so, that's what we are attempting to do today.
[00:07:00.970]So one of the things that we challenge you,
[00:07:02.980]especially during this conversation,
[00:07:04.800]is to think about that role here at Nebraska.
[00:07:06.460]There've been a number of conversations in the past week,
[00:07:10.150]in the past month, and also, perhaps even in the past year,
[00:07:13.940]that's been absolutely transformative,
[00:07:16.900]but it tells us where we have to go as a nation right now,
[00:07:19.215]where we have to go as a state,
[00:07:20.860]and how we have to go a little bit further.
[00:07:22.780]Are these conversations
[00:07:23.850]perhaps for some of us uncomfortable?
[00:07:27.100]Are they necessary?
[00:07:28.230]They are imperative.
[00:07:29.500]So I think that's what we want to do today.
[00:07:32.190]We have sent out a number of resources,
[00:07:34.890]many of you should have received some videos
[00:07:37.510]of Dominique's talks, some of the ways
[00:07:39.333]that she's engaging in this work in Nebraska,
[00:07:41.440]but also, on the national stage now,
[00:07:43.530]and I think part of that is helping us
[00:07:44.910]to think about how we want to continue
[00:07:47.360]to be in this support system.
[00:07:50.070]It's no surprise that sometimes,
[00:07:51.560]we receive this conversation,
[00:07:53.130]and sometimes it's a echo chamber, right?
[00:07:54.990]It's those who we already know will show up,
[00:07:57.400]those who already advocate,
[00:07:59.330]so as you all are looking through the participants,
[00:08:01.030]if you're like me, you'll get to see
[00:08:02.240]who's participating in today's talk,
[00:08:04.450]maybe it's the same people, maybe it's people
[00:08:06.090]that hold certain identities, who we need to think about
[00:08:10.120]ways that we can better advocate for
[00:08:12.310]and who's missing from this conversation.
[00:08:14.790]Our office, NCLUDE, we're always aware of who's missing
[00:08:18.610]from the conversation, who needs to be here,
[00:08:21.530]and then, of course, ways in which we're thinking about
[00:08:24.850]extending this conversation for further opportunities.
[00:08:29.070]So with that being said, hopefully,
[00:08:31.340]this semester has shown us that this is our first step,
[00:08:35.770]I don't ever discount the work that we have
[00:08:38.350]to continuously do in this space, but this is the first step
[00:08:42.000]that we hope to continue to do to educate, to advocate,
[00:08:45.080]and inform, and we're always looking to you all
[00:08:47.814]for suggestions, not just suggestions in terms of speakers,
[00:08:51.890]but suggestions in terms of topics,
[00:08:54.190]ways that you want to this community to grow,
[00:08:56.060]'cause that's what we are absolutely here
[00:08:57.560]to do with NCLUDE.
[00:08:59.200]So I've said a lot of things,
[00:09:01.690]but now, I would like to introduce our speaker.
[00:09:05.660]When Megan and I were talking about
[00:09:08.030]who we would like to see in terms of December session
[00:09:10.920]of NCLUDE, we were shocked when we talked about Dominique,
[00:09:14.690]but we saw that our LGBTQ+ Center and our women's center,
[00:09:18.240]had already extended the invitation to her
[00:09:20.450]for the Gender Equity Conference,
[00:09:21.990]which I think that shows us that
[00:09:24.490]not only the importance of this,
[00:09:26.000]but the impact of Dominique on this topic in our state
[00:09:29.100]and also nationally.
[00:09:30.440]So with that said,
[00:09:31.300]I would like to introduce Ms. Morgan.
[00:09:34.270]Dominique is an award-winning artist, activist,
[00:09:37.330]and a TEDx speaker.
[00:09:38.970]As the Executive Director of Black & Pink,
[00:09:41.180]the largest prison abolitionist organization
[00:09:43.780]in the United States,
[00:09:45.200]she works daily to dismantle the systems
[00:09:47.190]that perpetuate violence on LGBTQ/GNC people,
[00:09:51.770]and individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
[00:09:55.710]Partnering her lived experience
[00:09:57.070]of being impacted by mass incarceration,
[00:09:59.780]including 18 months in solitary confinement,
[00:10:02.750]with decade of change-making artistry, advocacy,
[00:10:06.170]and background in public health,
[00:10:07.970]she continues to work in spaces of sex education,
[00:10:10.910]radical self care, and transformative youth development
[00:10:14.190]with intentions of dismantling the prison industrial complex
[00:10:17.160]and its impact on our community.
[00:10:19.210]Ms. Morgan is a 2020
[00:10:21.240]Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award recipient,
[00:10:24.130]NAACP Freedom Fighter Award recipient,
[00:10:27.070]and 2020 J.M Kaplan Innovation Prize recipient.
[00:10:31.500]Please help me welcome Ms. Dominique Morgan.
[00:10:37.230]Good afternoon, everyone.
[00:10:40.090]I am coming to you from Brooklyn,
[00:10:44.980]it's interesting to be blessed and privileged
[00:10:50.050]to be in a position to do the work that I get to do.
[00:10:53.240]And in addition to being the Executive Director
[00:10:56.020]of Black and Pink National,
[00:10:58.060]I have just been appointed
[00:10:59.010]as the new Executive Director of The Okra Project
[00:11:01.640]in Brooklyn, New York.
[00:11:02.560]So my plate, my already full plate,
[00:11:06.250]I don't think it could get more full,
[00:11:07.670]I think I have two plates at this point.
[00:11:09.700]But I'm really excited
[00:11:12.060]and it has been an opportunity
[00:11:14.440]for me to think about the ways that I can leverage
[00:11:17.150]my access, the ways that I can leverage the privilege
[00:11:19.620]I have as a black trans woman in this community
[00:11:22.450]to make spaces safer and affirming for my people
[00:11:26.890]and as a proud Nebraskan,
[00:11:29.560]born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska,
[00:11:32.280]the fight for me to continue to root myself
[00:11:34.060]in Omaha, as much as folks try to move me out of my state,
[00:11:39.087]I'm still a Nebraskan through and through.
[00:11:42.440]And I wanna start off talking about why.
[00:11:46.280]It's very important to recognize harm
[00:11:50.060]and not to dismiss, to try to minimize harm
[00:11:54.570]because that's not your experience.
[00:11:56.980]And in our community, we have many folks,
[00:11:59.500]young and what I like to call seasoned,
[00:12:04.260]as a seasoned person, who feels like Nebraska, Omaha,
[00:12:10.680]cities in our state is not the safest most affirming space
[00:12:14.580]for a queer person,
[00:12:16.540]not the safest most affirming space for a trans
[00:12:19.170]and a GNC person, a gender expansive person,
[00:12:21.800]not the safest space for folks with those identities
[00:12:24.070]to develop families in the very expansive
[00:12:27.330]and wonderful and magical ways
[00:12:29.670]that the word family can live.
[00:12:33.610]And sometimes, you're seeing that in high school students
[00:12:35.640]who are choosing to go to college somewhere else,
[00:12:38.270]sometimes you're seeing that in folks who have said,
[00:12:39.820]"I've tried to work here,"
[00:12:41.257]"I've tried to build here,"
[00:12:42.617]"I need to go."
[00:12:45.820]My story is that, I am someone who sees the greatness
[00:12:51.220]in our community in Omaha, in Nebraska.
[00:12:54.480]I am someone who's really had wonderful experiences
[00:12:57.330]working with folks, including many people
[00:12:59.550]who are here on this call,
[00:13:01.320]to develop and activate work in our communities.
[00:13:05.330]And I feel accountable to young people in my community
[00:13:10.640]as the first, in many situations, in Nebraska,
[00:13:15.720]the first black trans woman to lead a nonprofit in 175 years
[00:13:19.080]of Nebraska's existence,
[00:13:21.410]the first formerly incarcerated person
[00:13:23.480]to hold that same role.
[00:13:27.800]I need to show up right now,
[00:13:30.760]and I want to show up right now.
[00:13:32.930]And my hope is that by showing up,
[00:13:34.880]my purpose is not to make white people see me,
[00:13:37.670]my purpose is not to make cis people
[00:13:39.690]recognize my gender identity,
[00:13:41.980]my purpose for showing up
[00:13:43.140]is not to try to make people see me.
[00:13:46.770]Truth be told, my goal is to let you know I'm coming
[00:13:48.163]so you can get out of my way.
[00:13:52.360]I'm born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska,
[00:13:55.160]on the north side of Omaha.
[00:13:58.800]Being rooted in blackness from the start of my experience,
[00:14:02.850]but not feeling as if a quality experience
[00:14:06.540]as a black person was really accessible to me,
[00:14:09.100]as a young person who identified
[00:14:10.620]as queer at a pretty young age.
[00:14:13.250]At the age of 12, I engaged in this idea of,
[00:14:19.251]I don't feel like many of the things people are telling me
[00:14:21.620]that I should be feeling and experiencing aligns
[00:14:23.970]with what I want to experience and feel,
[00:14:26.830]but language and words like trans, and gender nonconforming,
[00:14:30.290]and gender expansive
[00:14:31.710]and access to comprehensive sex education,
[00:14:35.100]was not something I could reach into,
[00:14:37.790]but this was a time where the Sally Jessy Raphaels,
[00:14:42.200]Madonna fuse of the world,
[00:14:44.050]were starting to put gay people on TV.
[00:14:47.060]So I knew they were straight people and gay people
[00:14:50.410]and I know I did not feel straight,
[00:14:53.210]so I had to be gay.
[00:14:56.550]No one gave me the beautiful knowledge
[00:14:58.840]of these separations between my sexual orientation
[00:15:02.740]and my gender identity and my presentation,
[00:15:05.170]and the difference between
[00:15:06.520]who I may have romantic feelings with,
[00:15:08.350]versus who I may have sexual interactions with,
[00:15:11.400]versus who I may end up in a relationship with,
[00:15:14.010]and how that could all be very different in who I am.
[00:15:18.660]So I reached for what was the alternative to straight
[00:15:22.860]at 12 years old.
[00:15:26.240]But over the last two years,
[00:15:27.940]as I've navigated what I describe as a medical
[00:15:33.350]and a social transition,
[00:15:35.550]and when I described my medical transition,
[00:15:38.470]I want to just say clearly without question,
[00:15:42.250]that trans people don't need to touch a single pill,
[00:15:46.150]they don't need to talk to a single doctor,
[00:15:48.520]they don't need to tell a single soul
[00:15:50.810]about their identity for their identities,
[00:15:52.970]their experiences, to be valid,
[00:15:55.520]to be real, to be beautiful,
[00:15:57.320]to be as awe inspiring as some of the stories
[00:16:03.700]that I tell that people live for,
[00:16:05.930]I need you to also look at someone who may never tell a soul
[00:16:08.560]about what their whole experience is
[00:16:10.940]and know that it's just as important.
[00:16:13.960]Additionally, for many people outside of a choice,
[00:16:17.980]because of systemic oppression,
[00:16:20.630]because of access to quality health care,
[00:16:23.800]health disparities, impact depressed people
[00:16:26.310]long before we think about
[00:16:27.550]why aren't black people getting COVID tests,
[00:16:30.010]why aren't black people getting vaccinated?
[00:16:32.670]Well, there's been 50 years of black people
[00:16:34.540]asking questions about the harm we've experienced
[00:16:37.010]through health systems
[00:16:38.560]that position has to have real fears today.
[00:16:41.590]Those same fears lie with black trans people,
[00:16:44.660]black gender non-conforming folks,
[00:16:46.560]black gender expansive people
[00:16:48.940]that may not be a space that feels safe,
[00:16:50.930]but there are still incredible powerful folks
[00:16:53.220]amongst our community.
[00:16:55.130]Well, for Dominique, I turned 38, March 19th of 2020.
[00:17:01.680]Not knowing that the world was going to stop
[00:17:04.260]in the words of beyond say,
[00:17:06.300]and because I'm a Pisces and because we love anniversaries
[00:17:10.740]and synergy, if I got Pisces on here, Dr. Oberlo Omojes
[00:17:14.840]or something, I need to know my people are in space.
[00:17:17.540]So when I explained my shenanigans,
[00:17:19.290]there's an inherent understanding Asha.
[00:17:22.500]And for the Virgos in the room,
[00:17:23.860]what I'm gonna describe is gonna stress you out,
[00:17:25.780]but just hold tight.
[00:17:29.000]I turned 38 on the 19th of March
[00:17:31.700]and March 24th I was scared to go into the trans clinic
[00:17:34.750]here in Omaha at the university,
[00:17:39.080]scared, afraid, and extremely excited,
[00:17:42.380]not knowing what was on the other side,
[00:17:44.730]not knowing that within two weeks, we couldn't go anywhere,
[00:17:47.810]we couldn't do anything,
[00:17:49.450]so I was at home with estrogen running rampant
[00:17:53.510]through my body,
[00:17:55.650]that was a fateful day when I looked at a fan for too long
[00:17:58.570]and just broke out in tears because it was so graceful
[00:18:00.950]in the way that it moved.
[00:18:04.120]But there was also this powerful moment where I recognized
[00:18:07.320]my new ability to touch and engage
[00:18:10.290]with this expansive experience of emotion
[00:18:14.310]that I had only seen on a feelings chart as a sex educator,
[00:18:17.890]that I had only seen in my therapist office as a teenager
[00:18:21.160]growing up in this system, the first time that I cried,
[00:18:24.110]because I was happy, radically change,
[00:18:27.630]how I thought about emotions
[00:18:29.600]and things that lived in myself,
[00:18:31.680]I was extremely excited, but I also had a moment
[00:18:35.940]I was 38 and I kept asking myself, well,
[00:18:39.570]had I really been living?
[00:18:42.010]Had I really experienced the things that I believe
[00:18:44.710]that I had experienced?
[00:18:47.470]And almost two years later, yes,
[00:18:49.690]those things are real.
[00:18:52.640]Most people in 2020 would have probably described
[00:18:56.860]Dominique at that point had accomplished
[00:18:59.640]some of the most major things
[00:19:00.780]she would have ever accomplished in her life.
[00:19:02.500]What were you gonna do next?
[00:19:04.850]I had started Youth Pride in Nebraska,
[00:19:07.640]I found a Youth Pride with Heartland Pride in 2015,
[00:19:13.320]recognizing that young folks in our community
[00:19:15.850]deserved a space for themselves to be seen.
[00:19:19.690]That was a historic moment, being the first black person
[00:19:22.410]that was the vice president and president of Pride.
[00:19:26.270]Coming into my time as an ed at 36,
[00:19:29.560]with Black and Pink in 2018,
[00:19:32.320]moving an organization that had been in Boston for 13 years
[00:19:36.110]to the Heartland because you know what?
[00:19:39.070]I was not moving to Boston and,
[00:19:44.455]I believed and believed in the philanthropic bloodline
[00:19:49.730]that we have in our communities,
[00:19:51.100]yes, from families and communities donating,
[00:19:53.420]but I'm talking about the individuals,
[00:19:55.780]the heart that we have in Nebraska,
[00:19:57.580]the people who will show up,
[00:19:58.820]the people who will give without question,
[00:20:01.330]I believed in that.
[00:20:04.870]And then through the pandemic,
[00:20:06.070]I asked myself the same thing, what's next?
[00:20:09.470]So, you're a trans black woman,
[00:20:12.000]what does that mean to be a trans black woman?
[00:20:16.250]I had to first really dig into what it meant for me
[00:20:19.020]to be a black woman.
[00:20:22.381]The experience of black women in the United States,
[00:20:25.500]in our world in general, is not an experience
[00:20:29.660]that should ever be taken lightly.
[00:20:32.730]For all of the Granger, for the ways that black women shine,
[00:20:36.990]just because they exist, whether it's our nails,
[00:20:39.940]it's our hair, it's our skin, it's our dialect,
[00:20:42.440]it's our walk, it's our bodies, it's how we cook,
[00:20:47.070]it's how we love the people in our world,
[00:20:51.250]black women are the most harmed people in our communities
[00:20:53.700]on a daily basis.
[00:20:57.640]The fear of knowing that, now that I understood
[00:21:02.330]that much of the experience of loss in my life
[00:21:05.960]was rooted in a lack of access to a gender experience
[00:21:10.500]that made me feel like the best version of myself,
[00:21:14.530]the fear of becoming a target.
[00:21:18.870]The moment I realized that I would no longer get out
[00:21:20.910]of the car and pump my own gas,
[00:21:24.690]the experience of being afraid to go into my house
[00:21:28.570]when it was dark at night,
[00:21:31.130]the moment I realized I would move out of my home
[00:21:33.130]and move into a townhome with a gate and with cameras,
[00:21:37.890]because for the first time,
[00:21:39.090]when I got out of my car at night,
[00:21:40.980]I had to call one of my friends on FaceTime,
[00:21:43.140]so they could watch behind me, sharing my location
[00:21:46.610]with multiple friends, because it was scary
[00:21:48.660]to get on a plane and do the job I had been doing
[00:21:51.670]for the last three years.
[00:21:55.200]Now, you all are an academic bunch,
[00:21:58.880]so we're gonna talk about intersectionality.
[00:22:02.240]So not only to be a black woman in this world
[00:22:04.350]to be a black trans woman in this world.
[00:22:08.810]Now I had been to Trans Day of Remembrance,
[00:22:12.580]I had been a part of campaigns and planning committees
[00:22:16.020]for Trans Day of Visibility in March,
[00:22:18.520]I had donated to campaigns,
[00:22:20.190]I had sent money when numerous people reached out
[00:22:23.880]for the numerous trans black women who were being murdered.
[00:22:28.830]I'd seen it, I had hair, I had love, I had support,
[00:22:39.100]but the idea that one of those campaigns
[00:22:41.440]could eventually be for me,
[00:22:45.510]was something that I'm still reconciling with
[00:22:48.350]and I probably will, for the rest of my life.
[00:22:54.440]I have never been more complete
[00:22:58.650]and I have never been more afraid
[00:23:01.300]than being a almost 40 year old, black trans woman
[00:23:05.050]with an immense amount of access
[00:23:07.250]and privilege in this world.
[00:23:12.340]And so I had asked myself,
[00:23:16.180]what are you gonna do next Dominique?
[00:23:19.590]Yes, you have fears, you have concerns,
[00:23:22.690]but my story has always been laced with fears and concerns.
[00:23:27.530]I went into my first group home when I was 13,
[00:23:30.900]navigated the juvenile system from the age of 13 to 17.
[00:23:36.357]At the age of 17,
[00:23:37.750]I was walking the streets of Omaha, Nebraska
[00:23:40.240]and I say this and people are always so shocked
[00:23:42.650]because they think that, people aren't people in Nebraska,
[00:23:49.060]but I'm navigating the streets of Omaha, Nebraska
[00:23:51.560]engaging in survival sex work at the age of 17,
[00:23:55.130]engaging in survival crimes to eat,
[00:23:57.090]to have a place to sleep.
[00:24:00.310]And I enter Nebraska department of corrections
[00:24:02.170]at the age of 18.
[00:24:05.590]I will never forget sitting in Judge Coffey's courtroom
[00:24:12.100]and this man listing all of the reasons
[00:24:14.210]that I should have never been in his courtroom.
[00:24:16.020]You have great parents, you come from a good home,
[00:24:20.780]looking back, I think it's ridiculous for us
[00:24:25.720]to want to create reasons for why people are struggling
[00:24:31.010]to assuage our guilt of the ways that we treat people
[00:24:33.590]who are struggling.
[00:24:36.050]I think it's scary and frightening
[00:24:38.000]for someone who can be perceived to not have a reason
[00:24:42.480]to struggle, to be punished in a more harmful
[00:24:49.720]and impactful way, because we don't perceive to understand
[00:24:54.030]the reasons for the barriers that they're experiencing.
[00:24:58.800]But at the age of 18, my parents that met in the ninth grade
[00:25:03.060]that were high school sweethearts that had been married
[00:25:05.710]for over 20 years and my father, a middle-class man
[00:25:08.960]who worked at MUD and my mother who stayed at home
[00:25:12.510]and took care of us kids, were the reason
[00:25:14.280]that this judge felt like I needed to be sentenced
[00:25:16.950]to eight to 16 years in Nebraska system,
[00:25:21.080]I needed to learn a lesson.
[00:25:23.550]And because I was so young,
[00:25:25.900]I would get out and it wouldn't be a huge loss.
[00:25:31.990]Going into Nebraska system,
[00:25:35.760]now I can say, position me to grow up in a way
[00:25:40.670]that's made me the strong person I am.
[00:25:46.630]I also don't believe that we should be testing
[00:25:48.710]people's strength, so we can make sure
[00:25:51.370]that they're strong enough to battle the world
[00:25:53.430]that we've built around them.
[00:25:56.710]That's a toxic gas lighting approach to building community.
[00:26:04.120]My daddy was famous for one liners,
[00:26:06.440]and one of his favorite,
[00:26:08.160]we gotta make you forward tough, that was his language.
[00:26:12.570]And when he used to say that it was,
[00:26:14.240]let's teach you to take out the trash,
[00:26:15.700]all these other things.
[00:26:19.150]I'll get into the irony of a lot of things
[00:26:20.730]that my father tried to teach me to make me a man
[00:26:24.980]that are really useful for me as a black woman
[00:26:27.690]in this world, we'll talk about that later.
[00:26:34.430]this idea of the system was,
[00:26:36.270]the system was going to position me to have to grow up
[00:26:40.000]in a way that I didn't expect as a sex educator,
[00:26:44.090]as someone who is very much still steeped
[00:26:45.940]and rooted in comprehensive sex education
[00:26:48.510]as not only a tool to create safe and healthy communities,
[00:26:52.230]as an abolitionist, I do not believe that we can dismantle
[00:26:55.180]systems of oppression and not have a robust experience
[00:26:59.630]of comp sex education in our communities.
[00:27:03.310]This assumption that people know how to people is false.
[00:27:08.030]This assumption that people,
[00:27:09.620]we do know people with great personalities from The Jump,
[00:27:12.790]but do you know that you really have to learn
[00:27:14.460]how to navigate and build your personality?
[00:27:18.630]Do you know the people who may not be the most outspoken
[00:27:22.130]and the people who don't smile when you come into the room,
[00:27:24.710]aren't automatically angry,
[00:27:26.300]but maybe they need a language to express it,
[00:27:28.300]that's just how they engage with folks
[00:27:29.840]and what safety they need to be able to smile at you?
[00:27:33.303]Those are all ahas, I received as a sex educator,
[00:27:37.290]as I was talking to young people, I was teaching myself,
[00:27:43.860]but what I realized is that this idea of sharpens steel
[00:27:51.000]and pressure makes diamonds
[00:27:54.250]is how we do extreme irreparable harm in our communities
[00:27:58.560]all across the country.
[00:28:03.650]My mother and grandmother, strong,
[00:28:07.610]strong baptist black women,
[00:28:10.560]God don't ever give you any more than you can handle.
[00:28:14.060]And for the people who will be on the ticky talk
[00:28:16.070]as I call it, there's this recent video happening
[00:28:18.430]talking about, I dunno who told God
[00:28:20.710]that I was one of his strongest soldiers because I'm not.
[00:28:24.680]And it makes me laugh because in the space that I am
[00:28:28.500]in the space of faith, I don't believe that something
[00:28:30.950]that loves and cares about me,
[00:28:33.060]would position me to constantly feel harm and pain,
[00:28:39.760]I think we blame a lot of human behavior on God, on spirit,
[00:28:45.670]on the universe.
[00:28:47.190]I'm not saying that those things are not real,
[00:28:50.420]they don't manifest for individuals who see them as such,
[00:28:53.550]I'm saying that there's a lot of accountability
[00:28:55.970]that we as community need to take,
[00:28:57.490]that we rather put on things around us.
[00:29:02.350]God didn't make you not sweet to that person
[00:29:04.160]when they came in the room when you were in the office
[00:29:06.120]and no one else spoke to them.
[00:29:09.440]God didn't make you go on Facebook
[00:29:10.980]and getting that person's business,
[00:29:12.210]because you were on the planning committee
[00:29:13.910]or the hiring committee
[00:29:15.430]and you added something inside of that conversation,
[00:29:17.900]that was actually really anti-black,
[00:29:19.540]but you thought it was really important to the process.
[00:29:22.950]That wasn't God, that was you,
[00:29:25.143]that was racism, it was your bias,
[00:29:29.090]that was those parts of us that we don't engage in
[00:29:31.280]itemizing and recognizing so we can not remove them
[00:29:35.920]and eradicate them completely.
[00:29:40.060]We can name them and when they begin to show themselves,
[00:29:43.710]we can know why it's showing itself
[00:29:45.730]and we can be in control of how it manifests,
[00:29:49.680]because none of us are perfect, right?
[00:29:53.670]This approach to DEI where white folks, specifically,
[00:29:57.740]historically, I've seen it be,
[00:29:59.020]white women can take three classes and they're done.
[00:30:04.020]And there's two sides of that,
[00:30:05.060]they're the folks who facilitate those classes,
[00:30:06.890]who proport that lie,
[00:30:08.520]that disengaging with harm through race and identities
[00:30:13.190]is something that is a one plus one equals two approach.
[00:30:18.800]And the folks who are so hungry to not feel and own
[00:30:22.520]the very human ways that all of us cause harm
[00:30:24.940]on a daily basis, now there's a spectrum of harm.
[00:30:28.330]But all of us engage in it, that desire to say,
[00:30:32.830]I don't want that because I don't wanna grapple
[00:30:34.880]with what that looks like
[00:30:35.770]and how that could have impacted people.
[00:30:39.240]That's not the work.
[00:30:43.860]In my transition, in this medical space,
[00:30:47.170]there was this moment when I was having a tense discussion
[00:30:51.120]with a staff member,
[00:30:53.500]and I realized I was disagreeing with this person
[00:30:56.240]in a new way.
[00:30:59.304]And I was like, oh, something's different here.
[00:31:06.360]And then about six months later,
[00:31:08.120]this social transition happened.
[00:31:11.460]And there was this irony of my brain, my body, my spirit,
[00:31:15.180]feeling more powerful than it ever had been
[00:31:17.990]and then the world navigating and socializing my female body
[00:31:23.040]and assuming, I didn't know anything,
[00:31:25.140]I couldn't do anything
[00:31:26.860]and that I was at the back and call
[00:31:29.320]of historically cis men around me,
[00:31:34.260]and it was shocking.
[00:31:37.290]Now there's parts, don't get it twisted, getting on a plane,
[00:31:41.990]the number of men who jumped up and wanna get my bag
[00:31:45.030]out of the compartment that has never happened before,
[00:31:49.540]that's cute, that's festive.
[00:31:55.180]But outside of that, everything else is pretty much crap,
[00:31:58.380]but the bad thing is nice, I like the bad thing.
[00:32:03.280]But there's special socializing as a black trans woman,
[00:32:07.900]in the pandemic stores were closed
[00:32:10.570]and I remember going online and purchasing things
[00:32:14.310]I didn't know what my size was.
[00:32:15.990]Can we talk about, first of all,
[00:32:18.220]can we discuss how every piece of clothing
[00:32:23.570]that is historically aimed towards women and female bodies,
[00:32:27.650]some cis men may because the zipper is in the bag,
[00:32:35.570]why madam, why to get into this gown?
[00:32:39.360]I need another set of hands.
[00:32:41.400]Why to get out of my dress?
[00:32:43.470]I gotta hope that the kindness of strangers,
[00:32:46.130]or someone walk me down the hallway in the hotel,
[00:32:48.020]I can get out of it,
[00:32:49.170]why have I seen my life flashed before my eyes
[00:32:51.900]trying to come out of a summer dress?
[00:32:54.460]Because you chose to not put the zipper on the side,
[00:32:57.630]we have billionaires going to space,
[00:33:03.320]we're able to make like,
[00:33:04.580]we're able to clone cows out here,
[00:33:06.770]we've got impossible burger patties at Burger King
[00:33:10.370]and you mean to tell me that the zipper is still on the back
[00:33:13.870]of 90% of the garments that I've been given?
[00:33:18.080]Violence, violence, it's a problem.
[00:33:24.600]It was a huge moment for me 'cause I was like,
[00:33:26.940]why is the world trying to tell me I need somebody
[00:33:31.110]to function everyday now?
[00:33:35.980]Honestly, I was dating this guy
[00:33:38.170]and I was like, if I break up with him,
[00:33:40.320]I have this event next week,
[00:33:42.470]who's gonna help me out of my dress?
[00:33:46.880]I'm making real life and death decisions behind the zipper,
[00:33:50.440]it was ridiculous.
[00:33:55.210]The approach to wearing a heel, I offered on Facebook,
[00:34:00.130]a two apology and a call to action
[00:34:02.700]and a hope for restoration,
[00:34:04.670]of the times that I would make fun of people
[00:34:06.630]who weren't walking in their heels the best,
[00:34:09.310]of the times that I would make fun of the aunties
[00:34:11.580]wearing a kitten heel,
[00:34:13.760]when I tell you that a kitten heel is my Patronus
[00:34:17.690]in this new life, that anything over an ant I rebuke.
[00:34:24.990]And at the same time, I don't,
[00:34:26.980]I feel like if I'm not showing up with something like that,
[00:34:29.930]I'm not really showing up.
[00:34:35.430]Hair and make up in this space of a social transition
[00:34:38.780]in Nebraska, again, in the pandemic,
[00:34:40.950]I'm trying to get color matching online, was not a thing,
[00:34:45.340]it was, I do not recommend, do not recommend.
[00:34:50.770]Trying to learn a lifetime of experience of socializing
[00:34:54.590]as a female was a huge shift for me.
[00:34:59.010]I'm also thankful that I did have time in the pandemic,
[00:35:02.640]not in the space of active socialization,
[00:35:04.850]but in the space of feeling free enough to conceptualize,
[00:35:07.950]what did I want my womanhood to look like to my community?
[00:35:12.780]Thinking about the most powerful women that I had seen,
[00:35:14.670]that I loved and cared about,
[00:35:15.712]whether it was my mother or my grandmothers or my aunts,
[00:35:20.240]whether it was someone I had seen on TV
[00:35:22.660]or whether it was a friend,
[00:35:25.140]whether it was just this vision
[00:35:26.360]of what black woman looks like when I close my eyes
[00:35:29.070]and I can feel the warmth of what black womanhood feels like
[00:35:33.590]when it's on my skin and it's around me,
[00:35:35.810]who am I going to be?
[00:35:38.360]Because what I knew it instantly that at the age that I was
[00:35:42.540]at the time based on the access I had,
[00:35:45.110]I automatically was going to be a trans elder,
[00:35:51.080]simply because at that time,
[00:35:51.913]I was a 38 year old black trans woman.
[00:35:55.250]So what were the expectations for me to show up
[00:35:57.290]for the aunties on the call?
[00:35:58.460]Y'all know what that looks like.
[00:36:00.970]How do you show up, how do you invest,
[00:36:02.710]how do you listen to questions?
[00:36:04.490]How are people looking at you to figure out
[00:36:06.410]what's the right thing to do,
[00:36:07.500]what's not the right thing to do?
[00:36:09.140]And these moments when sometimes you feel like your life
[00:36:11.670]isn't even your life anymore.
[00:36:16.540]As a leader,
[00:36:17.690]that was something that I had slightly experienced before,
[00:36:22.960]but in this new iteration of my life, it's been exacerbated.
[00:36:28.560]As someone who has one of those blue checks on social media,
[00:36:34.943]I've never really thought those things mattered
[00:36:37.620]and then I got one and then people
[00:36:39.850]started treating me differently,
[00:36:42.370]having new expectations for what I would say
[00:36:44.940]and how I would move.
[00:36:48.850]And those things seem small,
[00:36:53.490]but I'm constantly recognizing the expectations
[00:36:56.880]on my black trans body as a black woman,
[00:37:00.030]what the world expects of me versus even white trans women.
[00:37:06.970]How many of you all have heard about flights farms
[00:37:10.300]and experiences of white trans women in the community
[00:37:13.927]in the US?
[00:37:19.200]If you've heard them, has it been comparable
[00:37:22.300]to the experience of black trans women?
[00:37:26.780]No, I rarely see need.
[00:37:30.160]And when I say need I'm meaning, it's expressed,
[00:37:33.960]they're reaching out to organizations,
[00:37:36.090]I can tell you the data from Black and Pink,
[00:37:38.960]the folks who reach out to us and express need.
[00:37:43.750]The truth is the experience of white trans women,
[00:37:46.030]the experience of white trans folks,
[00:37:48.720]white gender expansive folks, is as close as it can be
[00:37:53.510]to their cis counterparts, right?
[00:38:00.010]Now, in the spectrum of oppression,
[00:38:01.750]we know that these people are being impacted
[00:38:05.330]based on their identity, on their presentation,
[00:38:07.700]so on and so forth, but their whiteness still protects them.
[00:38:14.950]It is still a safety blanket.
[00:38:17.530]My mother grew up having us watch Charlie Brown,
[00:38:20.490]Christmas Charlie Brown, Halloween
[00:38:22.440]and anytime I think about, I think Alinas,
[00:38:26.310]that blanket that keeps you warm,
[00:38:27.980]but even in the midst of bad weather and turbulence,
[00:38:32.850]there's something that feels safe and secure.
[00:38:40.550]Every day, I'm watching black trans women tumble in the wind
[00:38:43.180]without a blanket inside.
[00:38:46.860]And a large part of my work
[00:38:47.870]is trying to collect as many blankets as I can
[00:38:49.880]and distribute them
[00:38:51.130]and realizing that I will never have enough blankets
[00:38:55.460]and then the scary moment when I realized
[00:38:56.980]that I was gonna need a blanket,
[00:38:58.830]I had been doing this work for so long
[00:39:00.280]and had so much privilege being perceived
[00:39:03.530]as whatever the world was seeing me as,
[00:39:07.750]and that moment hit me,
[00:39:12.450]and Black and Pink National every day,
[00:39:14.530]I am working to dismantle systems of oppression.
[00:39:19.040]Now people will commodify abolition to prison abolition.
[00:39:25.020]I will challenge that the work of abolition,
[00:39:30.230]if we focus to prisons and jails, will not be enough.
[00:39:35.420]If every person inside of prison, jails
[00:39:37.580]and detention centers were released today,
[00:39:39.950]where will I house them in?
[00:39:42.520]For the fall to them with HIV and AIDS,
[00:39:44.660]how will I get the medication?
[00:39:47.230]For people who have any experiences around the needs
[00:39:51.940]around their mental health,
[00:39:53.610]whether it's access to a therapist,
[00:39:55.440]whether it's access to medication,
[00:39:58.050]where will I find these therapists at
[00:39:59.960]and how will I pay for them?
[00:40:04.230]The same systems of oppression that position these people
[00:40:07.810]to be impacted by mass incarceration still exists.
[00:40:11.430]The jails, prisons and detention centers
[00:40:13.360]are just the holding ground.
[00:40:15.660]The harmful systems are out here amongst us every day.
[00:40:22.260]And then I will have people say, well, Dominique,
[00:40:24.953]what do you mean?
[00:40:26.860]You want a world without prisons and jails?
[00:40:28.910]I'm like, listen,
[00:40:30.170]okay, I'm a pie in the sky person,
[00:40:32.930]maybe you can't go there with me dreaming,
[00:40:34.870]but let's start here.
[00:40:37.870]Let's say that you go into, how many people
[00:40:40.250]know the experience of walking into a store,
[00:40:43.840]you see the outfit on the mannequin, you love the outfit,
[00:40:47.410]the first thing that hits your mind is, oh my God,
[00:40:50.200]I really hope they have that in my size.
[00:40:53.360]If you are someone that the world identifies as plus size,
[00:40:56.160]that experience of putting your hand all the way
[00:40:58.450]at the bottom of the pile and lifting
[00:41:01.060]and hoping that the largest number is a number
[00:41:04.270]that will fit your body,
[00:41:06.570]because you don't wanna waste your time
[00:41:08.180]on anything in between,
[00:41:11.030]and then I've also seen from my friends
[00:41:13.050]who have other bodies, other body shapes,
[00:41:16.070]this idea of what I really want this type of,
[00:41:18.210]they're never gonna make it, small enough for my body.
[00:41:22.720]Now people think clothes are something that's very tender,
[00:41:26.300]very petty or something that's small,
[00:41:29.330]but I will offer this to you for me and my body,
[00:41:32.080]as a black trans women, the clothes that I wear
[00:41:35.160]are additional level of safety for me,
[00:41:40.410]especially in a pandemic where my face was covered,
[00:41:43.670]I may not speak to anyone,
[00:41:45.170]so all that this person may see is the clothes
[00:41:47.960]that I have on,
[00:41:51.050]that for me and my body has helped people indicate
[00:41:56.790]how to navigate my experience socially,
[00:41:59.720]in a way that feels affirming.
[00:42:03.160]Dominique also has a lot of access to funds
[00:42:06.520]and credit cards, so on and so forth,
[00:42:09.180]so as a what society identifies as a plus sized person,
[00:42:13.900]I can, did y'all know that like they upcharge plus size,
[00:42:17.260]like over a one x, they charge more for those sizes?
[00:42:22.860]I can afford that,
[00:42:25.500]I can buy online, I can order something
[00:42:28.000]that I think will fit and if it doesn't fit,
[00:42:29.680]I can send it back or I have a terrible habit
[00:42:32.600]because I know I'm not gonna return anything.
[00:42:34.680]I have a terrible habit of buying the same thing
[00:42:38.950]in the next two sizes, I'm like, one of them will fit.
[00:42:42.680]That's a lot of privilege to be able to do that.
[00:42:47.780]So if I don't have financial access
[00:42:50.060]and I'm navigating the world as a plus sized person
[00:42:52.770]and what I wear offers an ability
[00:42:54.970]for me to experience safety,
[00:42:57.900]me being a person that's being impacted by poverty
[00:43:01.240]and being a black trans woman,
[00:43:03.080]putting those together, instantly positions me
[00:43:08.453]to not experience safety,
[00:43:11.150]but I need to go out into the world.
[00:43:13.310]I need to eat, I need to get gas,
[00:43:16.660]I have a job where I'm on planes every other day.
[00:43:21.300]So what if we abolish
[00:43:22.500]this sizes experiences around clothes?
[00:43:27.670]How many people's lived experience would improve,
[00:43:31.070]if you didn't have to worry that you were too big
[00:43:33.090]or too small or whatever there is in between?
[00:43:41.340]When I'm talking about oppressor systems,
[00:43:44.020]yes, we can go on this far spectrum talking about prisons
[00:43:47.130]and jails, but I'm talking about anything that positions
[00:43:50.960]an individual in our community
[00:43:53.130]to feel like their lived experience
[00:43:55.310]can't be the level of quality that they dictate.
[00:43:58.510]Not that I dictate, because some people want things
[00:44:02.323]that I have no desire to have access to,
[00:44:05.861]for instance, like a comfortable walking shoe,
[00:44:09.720]not my ministry,
[00:44:12.870]but I know some people who walk,
[00:44:14.562]no, I don't judge people's lifestyles,
[00:44:17.530]you can do that over there if you want to,
[00:44:19.480]wish you the best,
[00:44:22.790]but just because it's not for me,
[00:44:24.110]doesn't mean that I don't recognize
[00:44:25.610]people who want to engage in that,
[00:44:27.630]not having something that fits them
[00:44:30.050]can deeply impact their lived experience.
[00:44:32.370]I know people who walk and run
[00:44:34.150]for their mental health on a daily basis,
[00:44:38.470]that's the through line.
[00:44:40.050]So we don't want to throw away things
[00:44:42.200]that maybe don't speak to us,
[00:44:44.690]we want to recognize that because something feels small,
[00:44:47.920]that it actually could be a huge catalyst
[00:44:50.900]to someone's quality of experience
[00:44:53.770]and that the more of us in society and community
[00:44:57.570]who have had the opportunity to establish
[00:45:00.040]what the best version of our life looks like,
[00:45:03.550]the more apt we will be to engage in supporting others
[00:45:06.400]in actualizing that for themselves,
[00:45:14.320]my sister, Katrina has three boys that are stairsteps,
[00:45:17.750]so they're 16, 15 and 14.
[00:45:20.800]And what I realized early on
[00:45:23.050]is that when I got them birthday or Christmas gifts
[00:45:26.040]or whatever, I could get each of them
[00:45:28.350]exactly what they wanted,
[00:45:31.070]but they would end up arguing because all of a sudden
[00:45:32.810]they would want what the other one had,
[00:45:35.020]so I got into the habit of buying three of the same thing.
[00:45:38.750]And although it frustrates my sister,
[00:45:40.610]because she perceives it as me spoiling them,
[00:45:43.560]I realized that they all had it,
[00:45:46.130]what would be the reason for them to argue?
[00:45:49.760]And I use that same thought process for us as community,
[00:45:52.730]if everyone has their thing,
[00:45:55.330]why am I going to be pressed about you having your things
[00:45:58.520]or even more so, why am I going to engage in active harm
[00:46:03.460]to position you to not have your thing,
[00:46:05.780]or for me to try to take it from you?
[00:46:09.410]Have you ever seen someone who's full,
[00:46:11.810]try to take somebody else's plate?
[00:46:17.480]I wanna do work that makes everyone feel full.
[00:46:23.690]Vice Chancellor Friday, you had your hand up?
[00:46:28.300]I'm so sorry, I was agreeing with you.
[00:46:30.010]I should have--
[00:46:31.400]no, no, I just wanted to stay present,
[00:46:33.830]there we go, boom.
[00:46:36.540]That's important for me,
[00:46:38.880]not only because I am at a place in my life
[00:46:41.430]where I feel full, I'm a black trans woman
[00:46:45.710]who is, I will be 40 in March,
[00:46:49.970]I am a eight time felon, spend at one time,
[00:46:56.390]more of my life had been inside of jails
[00:46:58.130]and facilities and not,
[00:47:02.480]on February 16th, it will be 14 years
[00:47:05.740]since the day I was released from prison in Nebraska.
[00:47:09.440]And I've been able to acquire an undergrad degree,
[00:47:11.250]a master's degree from Georgetown,
[00:47:13.120]I am the executive director of $1 million agency,
[00:47:16.000]and on January 10th,
[00:47:16.950]I will lead two of the largest agencies in the country.
[00:47:21.250]And I'm a kid that grew up at 2560 Taylor street,
[00:47:26.290]a block south of Ames Avenue on the north side.
[00:47:31.510]I say all that to say,
[00:47:34.560]the more that I get access to the things that I dream
[00:47:36.830]and wish about, one, I'm able to check those things off
[00:47:40.270]and I began to dream new wishes,
[00:47:43.350]there are moments that I get access to things that I'm like,
[00:47:46.860]I had no idea that I would ever really want that.
[00:47:51.040]And that feels exciting and powerful,
[00:47:55.180]but additionally, the more abundance
[00:47:57.360]and access and the more opportunities I have to drive,
[00:48:02.190]the more excited I am to be a part of supporting other folks
[00:48:04.660]in their process.
[00:48:06.560]That's what I love about my work at Black and Pink National.
[00:48:08.940]We talk about abolition, we talk about this work,
[00:48:15.280]but I was able to bond a young person out of jail
[00:48:17.370]on Thanksgiving, so they could be with their friend.
[00:48:21.130]When we open Lydon House on February 16th of 2020,
[00:48:27.500]when Mayor Stothert established Lydon House day,
[00:48:32.430]the day that I had been released from prison
[00:48:34.070]was now a holiday in the city of Omaha
[00:48:37.690]for the house that I had opened.
[00:48:41.130]When I watched these young people move into Lydon House
[00:48:44.700]and they say, is this really just my room?
[00:48:48.980]I really don't have to pay rent?
[00:48:51.430]What do you mean, I get to eat whatever I want to eat?
[00:48:57.620]When I was able to sign the paperwork in April
[00:49:02.250]and purchase the land
[00:49:03.590]where we are building Opportunity Campus.
[00:49:07.800]An Opportunity Campus is as a comic book head,
[00:49:11.110]it is my professor Xavier school for the young and gifted
[00:49:15.180]that I am establishing in Omaha, Nebraska.
[00:49:19.050]As a kid impacted by the system,
[00:49:21.710]in a world where we are trying to actualize laws
[00:49:24.460]all over the country to attempt to please,
[00:49:26.830]the bodies of young people,
[00:49:28.230]the way that we have attempted to please the bodies
[00:49:30.320]of people who are birthing folks or folks with uteri,
[00:49:36.860]where's the safety net for young people?
[00:49:40.600]Where's the space where young people can come
[00:49:43.090]and no matter how they show up,
[00:49:44.320]they can feel like they can be loved and they can be seen
[00:49:47.350]as excellent and powerful and important,
[00:49:52.550]and Opportunity Campus is my answer.
[00:49:56.660]We have purchased half a block of land in north Omaha,
[00:50:00.580]a few blocks from the birthplace of Malcolm X
[00:50:03.400]in the space where my grandfather named
[00:50:05.690]the Neighborhood Association in 1979,
[00:50:10.120]my black trans body purchased that land
[00:50:12.450]and we are building a refuge for queer children
[00:50:15.020]that will serve the entire country.
[00:50:19.470]That's what I wanna do with the access
[00:50:21.930]that I've been given.
[00:50:24.860]I wanna multiply it, I want to invest it,
[00:50:30.835]I wanna this feel so full and I wanna feel so satiated
[00:50:33.570]that I begin to divest from it.
[00:50:37.900]I need to name that, it's interesting
[00:50:40.710]and oftentimes I struggle with this perspective
[00:50:43.840]that we are challenging the most oppressed people
[00:50:45.760]to divest immediately from things
[00:50:48.460]that they've never had access to,
[00:50:50.980]that we'll want to judge them
[00:50:52.440]for having access to these things, right?
[00:50:57.310]I never forget my first year as DB in front of the team,
[00:51:01.090]I was so hyped for Amazon Prime day,
[00:51:05.140]I mean, hype,
[00:51:06.270]now you gotta think, back then it was like, Prime Day
[00:51:08.380]was like a real thing.
[00:51:09.730]That was before everyone was getting things delivered
[00:51:13.080]three or four times a day,
[00:51:14.770]before we had a fleet of Amazon trucks in Nebraska.
[00:51:17.210]So it was like,
[00:51:18.330]that was like a new level of like experience.
[00:51:23.300]And prior to that to maintain a prime subscription,
[00:51:25.980]I was getting a new email every 30 days.
[00:51:28.630]And so for the first time I was making enough money
[00:51:33.100]to engage in this social experience
[00:51:36.160]'cause it's not the idea of, I'm getting the thing,
[00:51:40.200]it's that when you got on Facebook,
[00:51:41.910]everyone was talking about all the sales and the deals
[00:51:44.330]and it felt like you were apart.
[00:51:48.280]Now for the folks who were just like,
[00:51:49.400]who wants to be a part of that?
[00:51:50.850]Listen, I'm just telling you my experience don't judge me,
[00:51:56.988]but it was something I really wanted
[00:51:59.650]and there was an organization releasing information
[00:52:02.490]about how abolitionists needed to divest from Amazon.
[00:52:05.930]And these are the places you need to purchase from,
[00:52:07.920]so on and so forth.
[00:52:11.860]The power of the yes,
[00:52:13.010]and has radically improved my lived experience.
[00:52:16.670]As a Pisces,
[00:52:18.280]historically, we believe we're right about everything
[00:52:20.850]and if you don't agree with us, then you're an enemy of us.
[00:52:23.910]And I've tried to grow out of that,
[00:52:25.870]it's been a slow process, but I'm working through it.
[00:52:28.450]And the yes, and has helped me this idea
[00:52:30.900]that multiple truths can live at the same time.
[00:52:33.120]Yes, there are structures and their experiences
[00:52:36.210]at a space at Amazon, spaces where these employees
[00:52:39.710]need to be taken care of and loved and cared for
[00:52:42.320]and also as a black person in this community
[00:52:45.470]and now in my life as a black trans woman,
[00:52:47.850]it feels safer and more comfortable for my toilet paper
[00:52:51.130]to be delivered to my door than having to go
[00:52:53.640]into the grocery store and possibly someone not thinking
[00:52:57.050]I cannot even afford the toilet paper I'm getting,
[00:52:59.580]having to deal with the white supremacy to get my car
[00:53:02.710]and walk through the space,
[00:53:04.180]to have to show someone my receipt
[00:53:05.880]at the Walmart on 58 and Ames,
[00:53:07.680]and knowing that on 180 maple, I don't have to do that.
[00:53:12.153]For instead of taking all of that incidental harm
[00:53:14.960]into my body and going home and tweeting about it
[00:53:18.060]or calling my friends, I walk home and my toilet papers
[00:53:21.440]are on my front step.
[00:53:24.450]I say that to say,
[00:53:27.470]divestment needs to be based in someone's own autonomy
[00:53:31.910]and people deserve to be able to experience something
[00:53:35.180]before we, as a community,
[00:53:36.700]judge them or push them to not what will happen.
[00:53:39.900]And there's an irony
[00:53:41.370]that historically these have been organizations,
[00:53:44.150]grassroots work, that's led by white people
[00:53:47.140]that wants to tell black and brown people
[00:53:48.923]what we should not want.
[00:53:51.210]You shouldn't get that big house,
[00:53:53.450]just gets you a studio apartment.
[00:53:56.120]Can I have a big house before I decide
[00:53:58.050]that a studio apartment really suits my needs?
[00:54:02.170]That luxury car, what do you need that for?
[00:54:07.430]I work like 10 jobs, always have, probably always will.
[00:54:13.060]And last year, last fall,
[00:54:14.890]I purchased my first brand new car,
[00:54:17.260]not had nice car before,
[00:54:19.730]but this was a brand new 2021 Mercedes.
[00:54:25.350]Baby, it was snow white, you couldn't tell me
[00:54:28.150]that I wasn't...
[00:54:29.980]Listen, you'd have thought that Oprah herself
[00:54:32.370]had brought it to my doorstep.
[00:54:34.480]And I remember posting a picture of it on social media
[00:54:38.730]and immediately this gentleman emailed me and said,
[00:54:44.000]I donate to Black and Pink,
[00:54:46.470]so you can house and feed homeless trans women
[00:54:50.030]and you're in this expensive car?
[00:54:56.450]And I was like, okay.
[00:54:59.380]So I went through our donor database and I was like,
[00:55:02.930]let me look at, like this impactful donation
[00:55:06.420]this person sent to us that would position them
[00:55:09.110]to have the unmitigated goal,
[00:55:12.072]to email me directly about a personal purchase I made.
[00:55:16.570]Now, I wanna say this, that when I say
[00:55:19.190]any financial donation is impactful, I mean it.
[00:55:23.970]But also might not offer, might not call folks in and say,
[00:55:28.200]let your level of outrage be commiserate
[00:55:32.160]to your level of investment.
[00:55:35.380]This gentleman had donated a dollar,
[00:55:38.920]during our cash app campaign six months earlier.
[00:55:44.020]Now I do try to position myself to believe people
[00:55:47.020]when they tell me that they're experiencing harm
[00:55:49.010]and try to address what may not feel good to them.
[00:55:51.900]So in the spirit of that, I sent him his dollar back,
[00:55:56.800]but I also sent him a list of other trans led organizations
[00:55:59.760]in the country, that if he was passionate about the work
[00:56:02.580]and he felt like this purchase was a showing of me
[00:56:07.890]not being a good steward,
[00:56:09.940]that we wouldn't lose that dollar in the ecosystem
[00:56:13.520]of change for black trans women.
[00:56:17.040]But it was a moment where one of my good friends said to me,
[00:56:22.160]Dominique, they want us to do better,
[00:56:24.990]but they never want us to be doing as great as they are.
[00:56:30.460]Now, the truth is that a nice car
[00:56:32.340]does not equate me doing great.
[00:56:35.260]If you've been in Atlanta,
[00:56:36.250]you've seen a lot of people in brand new cars
[00:56:38.080]with no gas in them.
[00:56:45.370]but it's the assumption that those things
[00:56:48.650]meant that this perception is ideal,
[00:56:50.960]when you're a black trans woman,
[00:56:52.976]you need to look like struggle.
[00:56:55.290]What if you have the bag,
[00:56:56.350]it needs to be like someone who gave it to you,
[00:56:58.950]so on and so forth,
[00:57:00.430]and I struggle to see my body to see someone
[00:57:04.280]with the multiple ways I've experienced life
[00:57:07.890]as someone who is in one of the top tech brackets
[00:57:12.240]in the country.
[00:57:18.950]What I have now does not erase what I've experienced.
[00:57:22.910]At the same time, for me, what I've experienced
[00:57:27.460]does not completely manifest who I am today,
[00:57:32.770]but because we like labels because we like things
[00:57:35.090]very simple and tie them to a goal,
[00:57:37.940]it's like, wait a minute,
[00:57:41.939]you're supposed to be struggling,
[00:57:43.010]I'm not seeing the things that helped me understand, like,
[00:57:45.700]how am I supposed to care about you
[00:57:46.950]if I don't know how to have pity for you.
[00:57:52.180]In the space of building community, my challenge is that,
[00:57:56.150]engage in building relationships with the press people,
[00:58:01.110]that position you to care about their experience
[00:58:04.550]and not activate you showing up as an ally
[00:58:07.510]or a co-conspirator simply out of guilt, out of pity
[00:58:13.830]and out of save your shit.
[00:58:18.610]Has anyone ever helped or supported you
[00:58:20.387]and it felt like they did it
[00:58:21.570]because it was kinda like a chore for them to do?
[00:58:27.210]You might've accepted their support because you needed it,
[00:58:31.030]but the experience of the support did not feel affirming.
[00:58:36.300]It's like me getting one of these thousand dollar
[00:58:38.980]Wagyu steaks that they have out here in New York,
[00:58:42.400]when instead of like putting it on a table
[00:58:44.926]with the great set up and plating and all of that,
[00:58:48.043]I just walked into your office
[00:58:50.520]it's in a Tupperware container,
[00:58:51.840]I just throw it across your desk, here.
[00:58:54.840]It's still a thousand dollars steak.
[00:58:58.710]Would you like what?
[00:59:00.080]I mean, couldn't you had done that in a way
[00:59:03.120]that felt like you really wanted me to had it,
[00:59:04.920]that felt like you really saw me as a person that felt like,
[00:59:08.500]you were excited about offering it to me.
[00:59:17.270]It's easy to feel bad for someone,
[00:59:21.000]it takes intentional consistent work
[00:59:23.110]to be in solidarity with someone.
[00:59:28.270]As the new executive director of the Okra Project,
[00:59:32.840]every day I'm thinking about how do we build,
[00:59:36.390]bridge the gap between what Black and Pink does
[00:59:38.770]looking at housing, looking at support services
[00:59:41.930]with our therapy services, looking at the work
[00:59:44.960]we're about to do with Opportunity Campus,
[00:59:47.420]we're about to do a preview at creating change
[00:59:50.150]in January in New Orleans, if you all,
[00:59:51.990]if anyone's gonna be at creating change,
[00:59:54.180]make sure that you come to the Black and Pink
[00:59:56.240]four day Institute on Thursday, the 13,
[00:59:59.950]we're gonna preview our new abolitionists
[01:00:02.690]comprehensive sex education program
[01:00:04.520]that we've spent this year building.
[01:00:06.968]The Black and Pink is activating our sex worker
[01:00:10.360]a lot of people can say that sex work is work,
[01:00:12.780]then why aren't we investing in sex work
[01:00:14.650]the way that we invest in someone
[01:00:15.940]who's starting a new business?
[01:00:18.100]Why can't someone who's engaging in sex work,
[01:00:20.240]walk into a bank and get a bank loan to make their business
[01:00:22.630]stronger and more vital?
[01:00:25.990]The coins have to meet the top.
[01:00:29.040]And yes, we are abolitionists and we want to divest
[01:00:32.320]and also I am living in the midst
[01:00:35.050]of one of the strongest capitalist societies
[01:00:37.020]in the world,
[01:00:43.100]And then on Oprah side,
[01:00:44.070]we're looking at food insecurity
[01:00:45.570]and we're looking at this conversation
[01:00:46.830]of luxury for oppressed people
[01:00:50.090]and so now I feel like, if I'm looking at like the planets
[01:00:54.460]of the world, it's like, I have Jupiter
[01:00:56.400]and I have like Pluto in my hand
[01:00:58.790]and I get to kind of think about how they intrinsically work
[01:01:01.450]towards each other and it's so exciting
[01:01:04.140]to come from an experience of 20 years ago
[01:01:06.500]of feeling the most powerless
[01:01:08.070]that I ever thought I would feel,
[01:01:10.140]being 20 years ago at 39, this time 20 years ago,
[01:01:15.500]I was in Omaha Correctional Center about a year
[01:01:18.110]into my prison sentence.
[01:01:22.200]So to think about a space of feeling extremely powerless
[01:01:25.070]to feeling like I have access to this power
[01:01:28.480]and being blessed to have not only the lived experience
[01:01:31.320]and the people around me to support me
[01:01:33.360]in navigating my power
[01:01:34.640]in a community-based servant leadership experience,
[01:01:40.220]I'm excited to think about what's next.
[01:01:47.380]This whole idea, I've been looking at the other topics
[01:01:49.990]you talked about in your series.
[01:01:55.220]What is your plan?
[01:01:59.030]Yes, I know y'all want the university to have a plan.
[01:02:02.130]Yes, every day, I wish that governor Ricketts,
[01:02:05.540]would sit down with me and have a real conversation.
[01:02:08.340]Yes, I wish that I could walk into the unit camp
[01:02:11.920]and challenge and lead our state representatives
[01:02:15.980]to move in a way that I know will actually create access
[01:02:19.720]and quality experience for everyone.
[01:02:21.800]But what I know to be true is that I don't have that power
[01:02:24.400]and what I also know to be true is that we do have power
[01:02:27.160]over our body than ourselves.
[01:02:29.840]And what I have seen repeatedly
[01:02:31.610]is that when enough individuals have developed
[01:02:34.740]a individualized approach to creating healthy,
[01:02:38.800]thriving, positive community, it hits a critical mass.
[01:02:44.904]Now people discuss incarcerated people in the worst ways,
[01:02:48.620]they assume that incarcerated people are the worst
[01:02:51.530]of the worst.
[01:02:52.420]I'm gonna let you'll have that assumption
[01:02:53.860]and in the spirit of that assumption,
[01:02:56.150]in prisons all across the country,
[01:02:57.730]people figure out how to put enough food together
[01:02:59.560]to where everyone will eat.
[01:03:02.150]In prisons all across the country,
[01:03:03.480]it's not corporals and correctional officers
[01:03:05.760]that make sure that people are safe,
[01:03:07.840]it's the people inside of the prisons who are deciding that,
[01:03:10.516]we're going to make sure everyone is all right.
[01:03:13.220]That they're the disruptors, when there's arguments.
[01:03:16.580]In prisons all across the country,
[01:03:17.900]people are negotiating autonomy and permission and voice
[01:03:22.470]around sexual experiences.
[01:03:24.840]We don't think that's the case, but more often than not,
[01:03:27.660]people are negotiating how they want to engage
[01:03:29.580]with people physically.
[01:03:31.650]There are people in prisons all across the country
[01:03:34.070]that are in a space with a lack of access to condoms
[01:03:36.500]and prep or engaging in informed decisions
[01:03:39.160]around how to make sure themselves and their partner
[01:03:41.750]are having a healthy and safe
[01:03:44.500]based on what they have access to sexual experience.
[01:03:49.510]I can talk to the most privileged people in the community
[01:03:51.547]and don't get them to see the power in a condom.
[01:03:55.990]This idea that incarcerated people
[01:03:59.620]are so socially and socially corrupt is interesting
[01:04:06.230]when I watch these individuals create the sort of spaces
[01:04:08.870]that I can't get people to activate and familiar every day.
[01:04:15.380]But I believe it starts with this idea that each of us
[01:04:17.610]has to decide what that looks like.
[01:04:21.050]And that begins with absolutely white folks in this space,
[01:04:24.970]how are you looking at your access and your privilege?
[01:04:29.870]And again, privileged,
[01:04:33.450]things that you got because you just got them, right?
[01:04:40.120]But you still have them
[01:04:42.915]and they're still yours to wield.
[01:04:45.050]I love comic books because most people just get these powers
[01:04:48.670]and then they decide what they use them for, right?
[01:04:55.000]I'm also a huge "He-Man and She-Ra" fun
[01:04:59.270]and the newest, like five new episodes have shown up
[01:05:03.380]for this new "He-Man" series on Netflix.
[01:05:06.160]And it's interesting because out of all,
[01:05:08.650]being an '80s kid, if you don't know "He-Man,"
[01:05:11.500]powerful person, like by day is Prince Adam,
[01:05:14.600]gets this sword turns into this big hoping strong person,
[01:05:19.310]just in the old show, just a little more turn,
[01:05:21.930]with just a little more yellow hair,
[01:05:23.360]but obviously no one can tell they look alike,
[01:05:26.590]and then has this sister She-Ra who has the same thing,
[01:05:30.330]but in this new iteration,
[01:05:32.530]it shows a moment where Skeletor gets the sword
[01:05:35.440]and he gets the power and you see how some other characters
[01:05:39.010]who are historically evil, get it,
[01:05:41.100]and it's a great moment where I was thinking about
[01:05:43.240]choice and how you will power and access.
[01:05:47.230]But if you don't understand what you have,
[01:05:49.670]if you don't do that inventory,
[01:05:51.710]you will inherently be reckless with it.
[01:05:55.154]Have you ever pushed somebody and not realize
[01:05:57.730]that you kinda push or maybe you hit people harder
[01:05:59.990]than you thought?
[01:06:05.240]We rarely do a quality inventory of our strength and power
[01:06:08.127]and our access in our bodies, because many of us are faced
[01:06:12.300]with our oppression every day,
[01:06:14.090]so that is the consistent messaging that we don't have,
[01:06:17.810]we can't do, this is not possible.
[01:06:21.750]And that's oftentimes why I believe that many white folks
[01:06:25.040]who don't identify as male struggle
[01:06:27.370]because as a woman in this world,
[01:06:29.610]you're faced with oppression and the experience
[01:06:32.540]of being silent, as a person who may not identify as male,
[01:06:36.610]but not identify on the binary spectrum,
[01:06:38.910]there's so much gray in how that oppression can impact
[01:06:42.140]that body and that's real and that's valid,
[01:06:45.130]and also you have to root yourself in your privilege
[01:06:47.350]and access in your whiteness
[01:06:50.210]and sometimes in the way that you present.
[01:06:54.380]The struggle of folks who are gender expansive,
[01:06:58.180]that you know what short expression is,
[01:07:01.010]but the world is interpreting it in a certain way
[01:07:03.570]and therefore you're garnering privilege and access
[01:07:06.040]because of how the world interprets you,
[01:07:07.620]it's not your fault, it is still the truth.
[01:07:12.810]Black cisgender heterosexual people,
[01:07:17.460]I am living in a time where I can open up my Instagram
[01:07:21.150]and watch some of my closest friends who love Dominique,
[01:07:24.630]not comprehend the importance
[01:07:26.070]of a little Nas X in our culture.
[01:07:29.760]That I grew up watching Madonna kiss Jesus Christ
[01:07:33.930]nailed to the cross that I grew up listening
[01:07:36.910]to the songs of Uncle Luke and Adina Howard,
[01:07:40.630]that I grew up in a time where two live crew existed.
[01:07:45.780]And New Jack City was on big screens all over the place
[01:07:51.010]that they had a show called "Real Sex That You Can Get
[01:07:53.840]Depending On How Good Your Rabbit Ears Were In Your Home,"
[01:07:56.580]and people are distressed because two black men kissed
[01:08:01.810]on the BT Awards.
[01:08:03.770]And right after that, Tiana Taylor
[01:08:06.780]mimicked sexual engagement with Normani
[01:08:09.970]and no one had an issue.
[01:08:13.470]I'm blessed to grow up in a time where Zaya Wade exists.
[01:08:18.090]I'm even more blessed to grow up in a time where Zaya Wade
[01:08:20.740]has parents like Gabrielle and Dwyane Wade.
[01:08:26.690]I'm also shocked with this idea that for the first time
[01:08:29.920]we're watching a black trans girl grow up in front of us.
[01:08:37.400]Now I am Jazz has been out in the atmosphere
[01:08:39.820]for a very long time.
[01:08:41.470]If you've been watching, I am Jazz as of recent,
[01:08:45.250]there's been this interesting space where,
[01:08:48.180]historically because of how Jazz has been interpreted
[01:08:51.140]as most people, white or white passing,
[01:08:55.410]she's had a lot of privilege around her story
[01:08:57.320]and how her family has supported her.
[01:09:00.780]But there's been a recent change in Jazz's presentation
[01:09:04.620]that has shifted how the world interprets Jazz
[01:09:07.720]and therefore has shifted her access
[01:09:09.630]to some of her privilege.
[01:09:12.070]Over the summer, Jazz gained a hundred pounds.
[01:09:16.820]We do not treat plus sized bodies,
[01:09:20.040]nice at all in our communities.
[01:09:22.450]And so the conversations I'm hearing about Jazz now,
[01:09:26.580]I have not, Jazz's show has been on
[01:09:28.510]for almost close to a decade.
[01:09:32.730]I'm hearing conversations I've never heard before,
[01:09:34.450]maybe her parents are really hurting her
[01:09:36.810]because after her affirmation surgery, she gained weight.
[01:09:39.860]Y'all think that's the biggest issue,
[01:09:43.600]that's the concern?
[01:09:48.900]But Zaya not only gives me hope, it gives me fire.
[01:09:54.740]At the same time, I'm consistently asking myself,
[01:09:57.810]what about Zaya Wade, past position her,
[01:10:01.150]to experience what looked like a young 13,
[01:10:04.960]14 year old person, thriving.
[01:10:09.440]A lot of people will reach for financial access.
[01:10:12.710]Yes, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union have a great amount
[01:10:16.470]of financial support and wealth.
[01:10:23.220]But I know a lot of people who have access
[01:10:25.450]to financial support and stability
[01:10:29.090]that doesn't automatically equate to a positive experience
[01:10:32.760]of their young person growing up.
[01:10:36.200]Well, you know, it's a two parent household,
[01:10:37.900]we better have two parents in the house.
[01:10:40.090]I've seen two parents be the two worst enemies of a child.
[01:10:49.110]What I believe is the difference is that Zaya knows that
[01:10:51.790]no matter how she shows up, she is loved,
[01:10:56.870]and she's loved radically, and she's loved completely,
[01:11:01.750]And she's been loved in private,
[01:11:03.240]but she's been loved publicly.
[01:11:06.770]And in the face of societal harm,
[01:11:09.130]in the face of voices and opinions
[01:11:11.080]that should never have any impact on someone else's child,
[01:11:16.910]that love is her line as blanket.
[01:11:22.360]So I proposed,
[01:11:25.780]yes, housing, yes, education,
[01:11:28.240]yes, clothing support, yes, all of that,
[01:11:32.000]yes, workforce development,
[01:11:34.856]yes, yes yes.
[01:11:38.653]But we need to be creating systems and opportunities
[01:11:41.360]for love to live as radically as Gabrielle and Dywane's love
[01:11:44.940]lays on top of Zaya.
[01:11:48.170]And I also believe going back to that conversation
[01:11:50.510]I had earlier about, if you have your thing,
[01:11:52.790]you're rarely worried about somebody else having their thing
[01:11:56.050]in a space of grace,
[01:11:58.160]'cause I really tried to work to not throw people away,
[01:12:01.170]and as a Pisces, we love being petty.
[01:12:03.420]I got beef back to the kindergarten, like to the playground,
[01:12:07.020]like people got to answer to something.
[01:12:09.030]It's written down, I'm doing my best to work through it,
[01:12:11.200]but it's real.
[01:12:12.360]My Facebook block list is Legendary,
[01:12:18.000]but I'm always trying to say, okay, Dominique,
[01:12:19.790]can you at least anchor yourself
[01:12:21.200]in some part of this person's humanity?
[01:12:23.500]So even if they're engaged in a behavior that you don't see
[01:12:27.960]as a nice behavior, you can try to see the why.
[01:12:33.860]I think a lot of people have never experienced robust,
[01:12:37.470]powerful, or inspiring love.
[01:12:42.780]Most of us feel like we're loved for the things
[01:12:44.560]that we've accomplished or the things that we do for people.
[01:12:50.050]Many of us have people in our lives, including myself,
[01:12:53.110]where we think if I did not have this, this or this
[01:12:55.010]would this person still love and care about me?
[01:13:00.090]If I wasn't Dominique Morgan,
[01:13:01.680]I wouldn't have me on this call.
[01:13:03.869]Now, let me update that, have me on this call
[01:13:08.613]and sent a cheque to have me on another call,
[01:13:10.210]because the girl was asking me
[01:13:11.210]to come for free 10 years ago, they'll have you,
[01:13:15.090]but to see you and affirm you and validate your experience
[01:13:18.250]and your professionalism and your power
[01:13:20.110]and who you are, right?
[01:13:25.430]It's scary to think that if you don't have the things
[01:13:30.530]that you don't get the love and the appreciation.
[01:13:35.000]What if, just because you existed, people loved you?
[01:13:42.160]What if, just because you were in community,
[01:13:46.570]you were protected?
[01:13:50.198]I'm not frozen, is that me?
[01:13:54.130]Oh, is this me?
[01:13:56.300]I see, oh goodness.
[01:13:59.250]We're actually not frozen, can you hear me?
[01:14:01.900]I can, okay,
[01:14:02.740]y'all are frozen, like y'all are,
[01:14:04.360]or maybe y'all just are so wrapped
[01:14:05.690]that y'all just, aren't moving, okay.
[01:14:07.013]This is okay.
[01:14:09.610]Blink a eye to y'all,
[01:14:10.610]let me know you're still waiting in chat.
[01:14:14.810]what if that access was available to everyone?
[01:14:17.970]Because every time I look at this young person,
[01:14:19.950]I'm just like, again, outfits and clothes
[01:14:23.240]and all that stuff, but it's the love.
[01:14:28.750]And I can confirm that the love of your family,
[01:14:36.020]the love of the people who are closest to you
[01:14:39.120]is a type of love that will shift your entire experience,
[01:14:42.320]in my transition,
[01:14:45.230]I can't say that I have a close relationship to my siblings,
[01:14:48.170]I left home like permanently when I was 16.
[01:14:53.490]There is a 15 year age gap between me
[01:14:55.267]and my youngest sister.
[01:14:58.510]When I came home from prison in 2009,
[01:15:01.520]my father had passed away about six months
[01:15:03.800]into my prison sentence.
[01:15:05.620]I came home in February of 2009.
[01:15:07.840]My mother died three days before Christmas in 2009.
[01:15:12.740]And as the oldest of the four of us,
[01:15:15.680]even being six months out of prison,
[01:15:18.730]I was in the best position
[01:15:20.190]for my youngest sister, Andre to come live with me.
[01:15:23.670]So less than a year out, I was like a parent,
[01:15:26.820]still trying to figure out how to be an adult and scared.
[01:15:34.640]And he went through that,
[01:15:35.473]I did not see the sort of relationship
[01:15:38.420]I would have if I wanted with my biological siblings
[01:15:40.650]to really manifest.
[01:15:44.100]I've received a lot of gifts in my transition
[01:15:46.380]and one of the biggest has been the great relationships
[01:15:50.820]that we've been able to establish.
[01:15:53.560]My sister, Katrina is two years younger than me
[01:15:56.664]and have you ever sat down with your siblings as adults
[01:15:59.210]and realize like either stuff you argued
[01:16:01.220]about the chop out was insignificant,
[01:16:02.760]but was really about some deep stuff?
[01:16:04.880]Or like the real root of like, why y'all hadn't talked
[01:16:08.270]for all this time that maybe your mama said something,
[01:16:10.550]but she was going back and forth because moms play games
[01:16:12.830]and thought, all the things that happened in the world
[01:16:14.633]that we just think is really surfaced, but really affect us.
[01:16:18.470]And my sisters got married in 2020,
[01:16:24.640]and we had all of these moments where we were realizing, oh,
[01:16:28.050]I know we were fighting over these pants
[01:16:29.820]and I really was mad because I couldn't wear those
[01:16:34.050]or me being able to verbalize the anger I felt
[01:16:36.770]about watching her experience a life
[01:16:39.690]of being a daughter when that's what I really wanted,
[01:16:43.490]and that's unpacking those things.
[01:16:46.281]But one of my favorite stories, my three nephews,
[01:16:50.620]I promised them, I'm gonna take them to the mall
[01:16:52.350]and they're excited to go to the mall.
[01:16:54.220]Mind you, at this point honey, I'm in full wig regale honey,
[01:16:58.530]I'm getting romance, is very bad,
[01:17:01.370]and transition or not,
[01:17:03.220]most teenagers do not want any adult around
[01:17:06.530]at all whatsoever.
[01:17:07.830]Drop me off down the street, you be blessed,
[01:17:10.760]I will text you when I'm ready for you to come pick me up,
[01:17:14.680]may I have some coins or send me a cash app.
[01:17:17.180]Like, that is like a consistent experience across the board.
[01:17:22.810]But for some reason they think I'm all right,
[01:17:24.700]so they'll want me to go places
[01:17:26.160]and just pop up to their school
[01:17:27.830]and I really thought that would change
[01:17:29.080]when my transition happened,
[01:17:32.000]But the recent moment when I really was like,
[01:17:34.630]the sexual health expert in me,
[01:17:36.450]I can just sit down and talk with these young people
[01:17:38.240]and put names of things, right?
[01:17:40.590]And so I had came up with this whole speech in my head
[01:17:43.650]and I had gotten my estrogen tablets out
[01:17:45.717]and I wasn't to talk them through what they did,
[01:17:48.370]and I had videos on YouTube,
[01:17:50.420]like it's going to be a whole experience.
[01:17:53.410]And they're in the back seat and they're like, oh, like,
[01:17:57.440]oh, like Gigi from RuPaul's Drag Race.
[01:18:01.000]And I'm like, first of all,
[01:18:04.540]you're watching Drag Race without me,
[01:18:05.900]but that's a whole another conversation,
[01:18:07.520]but yes, like Gigi from Drag Race and,
[01:18:11.950]yeah and then like, okay,
[01:18:14.510]are we still going to the mall?
[01:18:15.900]I'm like, like slowly, like feeling very sad, sure,
[01:18:21.680]let me put my full presentation to go,
[01:18:23.880]I went and covered the whole PowerPoint,
[01:18:25.440]I could time in the day.
[01:18:28.270]How dare you all understand gender identity and orientation
[01:18:31.530]and presentation, who allowed this, I would stress,
[01:18:36.650]but it's been a huge gift to have these three young men
[01:18:40.390]who in this space identify as cis and heterosexual,
[01:18:45.490]who again are not perfect,
[01:18:49.360]but who understand that their auntie is trans,
[01:18:52.140]and who I've heard correct their friends
[01:18:53.850]when they mis-gender me and who I've heard them described
[01:18:57.170]to other adults who I am and what I am to them
[01:19:01.800]and will introduce me to their little girlfriends
[01:19:04.490]at their birthday parties, all these things.
[01:19:08.010]And so I know the love of family to love that feels unending
[01:19:12.800]can shift your experience.
[01:19:14.260]And that's what I want to make sure we're activating
[01:19:18.530]to Black and Pink,
[01:19:19.363]and that's what I'm hoping you all will start activating
[01:19:24.700]Yes, in your homes, in yourselves.
[01:19:30.470]Some of the most giving people I love are queer people
[01:19:32.900]and some of the people who refuse to give themselves love
[01:19:35.420]are queer people.
[01:19:36.940]This dichotomy that we sit in.
[01:19:42.530]Love of community, who's near you, who's around you,
[01:19:46.220]who's in your circle, who's in your space
[01:19:49.930]and how love of self, investment of self,
[01:19:53.720]actualizing the best version of yourself.
[01:19:56.990]And sometimes actualizing the best version of yourself
[01:19:59.350]is just naming your mess.
[01:20:02.340]It's not gonna be about you being perfect,
[01:20:03.755]it could be about, I know my things,
[01:20:05.420]I know how my things show up
[01:20:06.940]and I'm in charge of my things, right?
[01:20:10.450]How that investment of that experience
[01:20:12.310]and investment of looking at what's in your six degrees
[01:20:16.740]of separation, how you're investing in that compass,
[01:20:20.990]how that positions has to have this cultural perpetuity
[01:20:26.760]And when I say cultural perpetuity,
[01:20:28.010]I mean that Dominique Morgan,
[01:20:29.810]loving investing in Dominique Morgan,
[01:20:31.830]thinking about what my best life is, attempting to manifest
[01:20:34.490]as many dreams as I possibly can,
[01:20:37.240]Dominique loving those around me and doing that work
[01:20:41.250]to be a reciprocal with love and investment and care,
[01:20:45.770]means that if I'm consistently doing that
[01:20:48.440]and I'm able to dismantle all of these barriers,
[01:20:51.630]be them health and otherwise that position
[01:20:54.320]my black trans body to live the life expectancy
[01:20:57.020]that they always say this,
[01:20:59.000]we know the data for black trans folks
[01:21:01.580]is not inequality space,
[01:21:05.880]but I don't need data to see the numbers of,
[01:21:07.690]to see what's around me.
[01:21:10.170]The life expectancy of a black trans woman is 32 years old.
[01:21:13.930]So I get to live to be 60 or 80,
[01:21:17.770]that means I've spent 80 years loving myself,
[01:21:19.950]showing other people how to love themselves
[01:21:21.560]and loving on other people.
[01:21:23.350]You cannot underestimate how that shifts society,
[01:21:27.050]beyond your Pisces--
[01:21:29.260]I'm so sorry.
I got a 10 minute clock.
[01:21:30.580]Yes, go ahead.
[01:21:32.230]I was gonna say we had a few questions
[01:21:34.053]that came through the chat,
[01:21:36.621]but please finish what you were saying,
[01:21:37.883]then I can just kind of follow with the question.
[01:21:41.610]We can not underestimate how that shifts
[01:21:43.370]our societal experience
[01:21:44.900]and if we're doing that, how are we gonna continue
[01:21:47.550]to manifest that all over the place.
[01:21:51.850]What is your individual plan?
[01:21:53.820]What is your community plan
[01:21:55.230]and how do those two plans position?
[01:22:00.026]Whatever culture you represent,
[01:22:02.568]how does that position those cultures to move forward
[01:22:05.410]to elevate, to thrive, to be affirmed.
[01:22:09.940]That also says to people who are just like,
[01:22:12.020]everybody's not an activist,
[01:22:13.360]everybody's not going to take it to the streets,
[01:22:15.020]everybody should not be an executive director,
[01:22:16.710]everyone does not need to start a nonprofit.
[01:22:18.740]I say that again, Nebraska,
[01:22:20.590]just because you have a good idea, leave those 501s
[01:22:23.320]in three applications alone, my God, my God, my God.
[01:22:28.560]It just means maybe you just do good works at home,
[01:22:31.890]because what I've known is when you do good works period,
[01:22:34.340]good works live period.
[01:22:36.160]And sometimes that's on a macro scale, but historically,
[01:22:40.410]and most often in our history,
[01:22:43.000]it's on a micro scale, but it's valid and it's powerful
[01:22:47.210]and more of us doing it, means that there's a larger shift.
[01:22:50.650]So that's my calling today, look at your self,
[01:22:54.600]look at what's around you
[01:22:56.280]and think about how you're investing in that,
[01:22:58.050]but at all costs, think about how you're investing
[01:23:00.500]in yourself as changemakers, as educators,
[01:23:04.290]as community members.
[01:23:07.669]I've seen, ask yourself how many retirement parties
[01:23:11.960]have you went to for people who are activism in community,
[01:23:16.270]and then ask yourself how many funerals you went to.
[01:23:24.990]Thank you so much.
[01:23:28.350]Yes, I used your emojis on the Zoom,
[01:23:33.310]I think absolutely.
[01:23:35.250]We have a few questions for you and in the interest of time,
[01:23:39.060]I will kinda go from those that I think really resonate.
[01:23:42.740]One of them says, Dominique, hi friend,
[01:23:46.960]thanks for sharing so much with us today, I am so grateful.
[01:23:50.840]I've seen some of your performances and I'm wondering,
[01:23:53.650]how do you feel your art has been impacted
[01:23:56.220]by your trans identity and gender experience
[01:23:58.960]over the last couple of years?
[01:24:02.540]Yeah, that was interesting for me.
[01:24:07.170]I've always loved music.
[01:24:09.070]I wrote my first song while I was in solitary confinement,
[01:24:13.300]really out of a desire
[01:24:15.010]to just like maintain my sanity, honestly.
[01:24:18.380]And so I've always called myself a songwriter
[01:24:20.930]that happens the same.
[01:24:22.570]And I had a aha early in my transition of,
[01:24:27.130]what had I really ever written my most like real song?
[01:24:30.650]Because I felt like I was just now becoming
[01:24:32.570]the most full version of myself.
[01:24:35.700]And I think that's the biggest shift
[01:24:37.320]is that I feel like my artistry can be larger
[01:24:40.480]because I feel larger.
[01:24:42.990]That was the importance of me,
[01:24:45.200]like also the pandemic I was in the studio,
[01:24:47.650]I would be on Zooms from like eight to five
[01:24:49.930]and I would be in the studio at night,
[01:24:51.620]just writing and the Pisces and e-flat major album
[01:24:54.590]came out of that.
[01:24:55.890]We are preparing a new EP in the new year
[01:24:59.010]that's called sex education, honestly,
[01:25:02.248]that's more songs about just life and experiences,
[01:25:06.020]and then I'm preparing a one-woman show that is called
[01:25:09.660]A Home, and it's gonna talk about the shifts between
[01:25:13.550]incarceration on home, but home within myself
[01:25:16.750]and I 100% know these are works
[01:25:19.180]that I would not have felt safe enough or short enough
[01:25:22.190]to not only create, but perform
[01:25:24.820]and that feels really powerful.
[01:25:27.310]The last thing I will say is, it's been really wonderful
[01:25:30.820]for me to be very clear about who I'm talking about
[01:25:33.830]when I'm thinking about love or the real identities
[01:25:37.410]and genders of the folks that I'm referring to,
[01:25:39.780]if I'm talking about not being in love and that folks
[01:25:43.350]of all identities can still see themselves in my art,
[01:25:46.880]that arts manifested by trans folks is not trans art,
[01:25:52.650]that it's art and it still feels accessible,
[01:25:56.010]which really makes me excited.
[01:25:58.000]And it feels like a way that I get to communicate
[01:26:01.010]not everybody's gonna listen to a keynote,
[01:26:03.070]not everyone's gonna read a book,
[01:26:04.610]but I can get them to listen to a song
[01:26:06.500]about loving themselves,
[01:26:08.070]and that feels like I have multiple kind of tools to wield
[01:26:12.300]and getting to that space that I've discussed
[01:26:13.650]in the keynote today.
[01:26:16.560]Thank you and I will be honest,
[01:26:18.130]many of the questions we received,
[01:26:19.650]I feel like you really touched on those.
[01:26:21.760]Some of them were on ways in which we can engage
[01:26:24.640]in critical hope in our own communities.
[01:26:27.300]We also had some questions about your own personal sense
[01:26:30.540]of power, but I think that you really tackled
[01:26:33.100]some of that,
[01:26:34.520]because not only were the emojis across,
[01:26:36.600]but we received some personal messages from people
[01:26:38.993]that talk about how your message is resonating.
[01:26:41.730]And some questions about the multiple moving parts
[01:26:44.680]that you highlighted about the prison industrial complex,
[01:26:48.010]for example, in ways this abolitionism,
[01:26:51.020]this radical abolitionists that you talked about.
[01:26:53.500]I think you've been connecting that
[01:26:55.300]to kind of real quote unquote real world examples.
[01:26:58.800]But I gotta say, I think on behalf of so many of us,
[01:27:03.360]your message was timely.
[01:27:05.250]It's always on time, but in particular,
[01:27:07.570]I think right now we are seeing,
[01:27:10.690]we're seeing just conversations, attacks from every angle
[01:27:13.800]and to know that this work is on all of us,
[01:27:17.040]I think that's what you emphasize
[01:27:19.240]and something I do wanna emphasize,
[01:27:20.350]this work is on all of us to do, to educate ourselves
[01:27:22.907]and we don't use people by the way,
[01:27:25.610]our office in particular,
[01:27:26.710]we believe in investing in this, because we understand
[01:27:29.340]the talent that it takes both personally
[01:27:32.200]and your own emotional labor in this space,
[01:27:33.960]so we thank you for that,
[01:27:36.140]and we will have this information,
[01:27:38.370]I know many of you have said that you
[01:27:40.340]kinda missed some parts of Dominique's talk,
[01:27:42.520]we'll have some of this available on our website soon,
[01:27:45.260]we do, we will set out some information regarding that.
[01:27:48.780]But I wanna wrap us up and have Megan
[01:27:50.770]to kind of wrap us up.
May I say one thing
[01:27:53.150]before y'all wrap up.
[01:27:53.983]I just want to name,
[01:27:55.700]especially in the work that y'all are in,
[01:27:57.277]and the climate wording.
[01:27:59.320]I want y'all to see the positivity and the importance
[01:28:02.070]of people who may not see your vision.
[01:28:05.810]Now, the way that they tell you, they don't see your vision,
[01:28:08.890]that can be harmful.
[01:28:10.040]But I wanna say as someone who more often than not,
[01:28:12.890]I have someone looking at me and saying, well,
[01:28:14.740]what you're thinking about is not possible,
[01:28:16.630]or what you're saying is ridiculous,
[01:28:18.420]or they try to switch up the meaning of what I believe,
[01:28:24.250]please hold grace and love for those people.
[01:28:28.860]You cannot manifest hope and love and care,
[01:28:32.010]and it be based in anger, that is how they win.
[01:28:36.500]Because one of the favorite things I love to do
[01:28:39.890]is to walk into Nebraska department of corrections
[01:28:42.750]and look at the people who locked me in cages every day
[01:28:46.270]and talk about how I'm doing work to make the experience
[01:28:48.860]of folks inside and make their job better today,
[01:28:52.190]and mean it out of love and care.
[01:28:54.660]Let their pushback further affirm you,
[01:28:58.920]let their misunderstanding position you
[01:29:01.740]to engage in further clarity,
[01:29:04.610]do not fall into the trap of us versus them
[01:29:08.350]because when you don't, you make decisions
[01:29:10.730]from where you are today.
[01:29:12.460]I was a black person who in 2015, 2014,
[01:29:15.730]understood why they wanted to take away affirmative action,
[01:29:18.640]what you don't know is what you don't know,
[01:29:20.720]and you make choices out of that, unfortunately,
[01:29:24.440]please hold on to grace
[01:29:25.683]because y'all are in some important work
[01:29:28.560]and I know that can be arduous
[01:29:30.780]and I just want you all to continue to tether yourself
[01:29:33.390]to the human part of everything that we have going.
[01:29:36.500]Thank you so much for having me today,
[01:29:38.690]and I hope I continue to see y'all out here in the world
[01:29:43.170]and any way that I can be of support,
[01:29:44.780]please let me know.
[01:29:46.890]Absolutely, thank you.
[01:29:47.940]Thank you so much Dominique for being here today
[01:29:50.970]and just to wrap us up,
[01:29:55.290]this was an amazing talk that, just as Dr. Friday said,
[01:29:58.480]resonated with a lot of us
[01:30:00.200]and taught me in particular how much I don't know,
[01:30:03.770]and how amazing that is to know how much you don't know
[01:30:06.330]and how much we have to continue learning.
[01:30:08.490]So thank you so much.
[01:30:10.330]Look out for our Spring 2022 sessions,
[01:30:12.740]we're looking to put something new together on religious,
[01:30:15.080]spiritual and secular identities at Nebraska,
[01:30:18.820]and more about diversity in the classroom
[01:30:21.690]and equity in the classroom.
[01:30:23.700]So we'll be in touch a little bit more
[01:30:25.690]about what those sessions will look like,
[01:30:28.180]Jerri shared a PDF in the chat to some videos
[01:30:32.760]that Dominique shared with us,
[01:30:34.480]just in case you missed them and places to read more,
[01:30:37.380]to learn more, to increase your education.
[01:30:40.100]And there's also of course, a survey on there
[01:30:42.130]for you to let us know what you want
[01:30:44.120]out of your NCLUDE experience in the coming semester
[01:30:49.050]for the rest of the academic year.
[01:30:51.010]And in the interest of some of Dominique's words
[01:30:55.550]of sharing love and giving people their flowers
[01:30:58.330]and letting them know while you have time to let them know
[01:31:00.771]that they've done well for their community
[01:31:03.250]and have positively impacted your life.
[01:31:05.590]We're still looking for nominations
[01:31:07.960]for the Chancellor's Fulfilling The Dream Award for 2022.
[01:31:12.340]So I'll drop a link if you have any nominations
[01:31:16.260]lingering in the next couple of days to share those with us
[01:31:19.030]and a final, thank you so much to Dominique
[01:31:22.360]for being here for us and sharing so much today,
[01:31:25.500]we appreciate you and we'll be in touch.
[01:31:28.200]And for those of you who came in late,
[01:31:30.450]we are recording this session,
[01:31:32.100]so you can go back to these words and replay them
[01:31:36.580]to remind yourself of all these amazing messages today.
[01:31:39.460]So, y'all have a great day, survival and finals week
[01:31:43.400]and thank you again, Dominique.
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