By Cara Cruickshank
As Hollywood and other major industries continue to reel from revelations of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace, men are doing some soul-searching and asking questions:
"How do we know when we've crossed the line?"
"How do we know where the line is?"
"How do we know how to behave around women at work or on a date?"
"How do I not be THAT guy?"
These are just some of the questions swirling in men's minds as they express their concerns and bewilderment, both in private conversations and on social media platforms.
Enter my project, “Cafe de la Culture: The Venue for Visionaries,” a nonprofit, internationally touring event that has chosen to step forth, invite those very questions, and make space for this conversation in an inclusive and nourishing way.
The Courageous Vulnerability #MeToo Tour is visiting cities across the U.S. in a series of community-driven evenings where audience participants can engage with informed experts of many fields to ask questions and engage in crucial conversations. "How Can Men Support Women to Speak Up and Be Seen?" is the topic of the evening.
Uri Talmor, an audience participant and a licensed professional counselor in Boulder, Colorado, said, “It was eye-opening to hear and feel into a deeper exploration of how I can better support women. It was a privilege to witness such an experienced, intelligent, embodied panel of men and women. Each one brought something new and challenging to my attention. I feel I left a slightly different person and fully committed to becoming as different as I need to be.”
Cafe de la Culture's mission is to give a voice to women and minorities while promoting diversity and social change. Recently in Denver and coming to San Francisco for one night only on March 25, it will continue up to Portland and Seattle in April. Oh, and it includes Mediterranean appetizers, dessert and a multimedia theater performance with world-class artists as well.
Geneva Turner, a recent college graduate in Woodstock, New York, who watched the event on livestream, said, "I loved seeing the discussion evolve through counterpoint: between analysis and creative expression, studies, and personal stories, the structured and the abstract. I heard voices that I might not have heard without seeing this incredible collaboration.”
I am a social entrepreneur based out of Paris, New York, and Boulder. I recently created a new ensemble theater production, “The Alchemy of Imperfection,” a poetic piece which explores the psychology of post-modern women and illuminates intersectional feminism and universal female experiences that defy cultural boundaries. This performance is part of the event, “The Courageous Vulnerability #MeToo Tour”.
Cafe de la Culture is known for drawing an extraordinary blend of diverse participants socio-economically, culturally, and professionally. The most exciting thing to me is bringing a room full of people together of different ages, cultures and backgrounds who might not otherwise meet each other, to explore an important question that's difficult to answer and even talk about. When people come in the spirit of curiosity and discovery, that's the space in which vital ideas and new vision is born.
The next Cafe de la Culture event will be on March 25 at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco at 6:00pm Pacific. For tickets and to see featured guests, click here or here. Out-of-towners can also visit the Le Cafe de la Culture Facebook page to live stream the event.
Cara Cruickshank is a Brazilian-American living in France. As a woman living in three cultures, she has a first-hand, intersectional view on cross-cultural themes relevant to modern women. She began her professional career in theatre at age 10 on Broadway in the musical “Les Misérables.” She has independently produced, directed, and choreographed over 60 independent productions in the U.S. and abroad (including Turkey, France, and Brazil), often focused on women's' empowerment.
Cara founded Café de la Culture in 2011 to promote diversity, arts, and culture. She recently showcased her international, original production “The Alchemy of Imperfection: Inside the Minds of Global Modern Women,” in Paris, France. Since then, she has launched an international Live Reading and Literary Salon tour with sold-out performances in Los Angeles and Boulder, Colorado.
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This article appears in:
2018 Catalyst, Issue 6: Plant Medicine