What Does Crystal Do?

I travel with relative frequency. In just one month, I might be found in the US, Finland, the UK, and China. In fact, that was my September last year. I enjoy seeing the world, and love bringing my work with me wherever I go.

In the past two years, I’ve spoken in Trinidad (T&T), Mariehamn (FI), London (UK), Manchester (UK), Dublin (Ireland), Vancouver (CAN), Beijing (PRC), Shanghai (PRC), Chengdu (PRC), Toronto (CAN), Houston (TX), Los Angeles (CA), Walnut Creek (CA), Madison (WI), Warwick (RI), Chicago (IL), Newark (NJ), Minneapolis (MN), Spokane (WA), several times in San Francisco (CA), many times in Helsinki (FI), and countless times in the Boston (MA) area.

What do I DO around the world, though? Generally, I aim to make the world a more inclusive place. There are two avenues I walk in pursuit of this goal: working on Include Better, and working for the Future Affairs Administration. Include Better is a small company in the US that I’ve cofounded with Riley to address the impact of the kyriarchy through consulting and workshops. The Future Affairs Administration is a science fiction and fantasy company in Beijing, China which aims to increase the exchange of sci-fi between China and the rest of the world.

No matter where I land, I often give a training and/or consultation on inclusion and social justice once there. Sometimes I give a talk or workshop with a collaborator. Sometimes my purpose is my own education on social justice issues. I also frequently visit people around the world to work on science fiction collaborations (also with a social justice bent). Recently, I’d say about half of my travel is for sci-fi projects, and half for Include Better work. Finding a balance that sustains me is part of the work, after all — no one working on Include Better wants to burn out, including me.

I generally don’t post publicly about inclusion and diversity consulting work we do for private organizations, and obviously those are closed sessions. If I’m speaking at a public event, I’ll almost always post about it to my social media unless I worry that I or the event organizers will be overly harassed as a result. Being an intersectional feminist who works in the tech sector (although not exclusively in tech), that’s always a factor to consider.

I try to take action with integrity, which means acknowledging that I am a queer Jewish woman, but my background includes the type of racism common amongst white feminists. We live in a racist world and I grew up in a culture dominated by white supremacy. I strongly believe that making a better future involves acknowledging the past, culturally and individually, in order to collaborate toward and participate in an improved tomorrow.

Teaching a workshop in Beijing, China. May 2017.


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