Beyond the Usual, Passive DEI Efforts in Tech

Blog: Queerstorias - Nothing About Us, Without Us

Manny Becerra as a child

October 2019

Last month, the Nevada Humanities Literary Crawl continued its annual tradition of presenting notable local, regional, and national authors at venues throughout downtown and midtown Reno, where readings of fiction, non‐fiction, and poetry where given, shared and received by many.

One of several events I attended was: Queerstorias, a panel dedicated to showcasing the activism, organizing and storytelling created by local queer and trans people of color.

The panelists included: Felicia Perez, Dr. Lydia Huerta, and Anthony Martínez.

Nothing about us, without us — Felicia T. Perez

Each panelists shared insightful perspectives, anecdotes, and advice on various matters ranging from gender and race issues, Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC), diversity and inclusion, and community activism.

Panelists from left-to-right: Felicia T. Perez, Anthony Martinez, and Dr. Lydia Huerta

Don't forget the "I"

One thing that resonated with me, one of many throughout the event, was a remark from Felicia Perez: Nothing about us, without us. This related to the topic of D&I (Diversity & Inclusion), particularly, how D&I, as it appears to be approached by many organizations and corporate businesses alike, tend to only touch on the diversity aspect of D&I. But without the Inclusion part — radical inclusion! — nothing really changes; at least, not for the historically overlooked, the non-represented, and individuals of marginalized communities. For me, as a person of color and first generation Mexican-American, along with many others from marginalized communities, this was not shocking to hear, nor new; however, it sure was powerful to have it be said loud-and-clear to a wider audience beyond us.

Reading recommendations

At the end of the panel, each panelists shared some of their current reading recommendations, which have been great:

  • Anthony's: Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Paulo Friere)
  • Felicia's: An African American and Latinx History of the United States (by Paul Ortiz)
  • Lydia's: Am I This or That? Supporting Queer and Trans Students of Color (K. Martinez & Romeo Jackson)

Audio interviews

My friends over at the Holland Project and KWNK Community Radio covered the literary crawl, and now have some of the interviews, like one with Felicia, available for listening on their blog.


Manny Becerra as a child

I operate from a place of compassion, possibility and imagination. My work and efforts share a common goal: create a better, sustainable and equitable world by building inclusive communities, products & experiences.