Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories

Yvette Dubel

March 30, 2021 Yvette Dubel Season 1 Episode 11
Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories
Yvette Dubel
Show Notes Transcript

Mentioned in this Episode:
Web Antiphon
Empowered Innovation
we.net
A Cure for Racism Project

IG: @yvettedubel

Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo
White Rage by Carol Anderson

Yvette Dubel is your go to person for the perfect blend of innovation know how, vision and wisdom. She is an artist-researcher, founder CEO of WebAntiphon Group, author of "Why Brand Risk Management Innovation is a Game Changer", creator of the Empowered Innovation System[CFAaP] and a personal innovation mentor.

Dubel specializes in helping conscious leaders looking for creative strategic thinking with broad knowledge and wisdom to drive triple bottom line success (profit, people, planet). 

Dubel is also Artist-Researcher in Residence Coordinating the We,the World Freedom Campaign and Founding Director of the [We] Freedom Film Fest.  As part of this collaboration on MLK Day 2021 she launched " a cure for racism" project powered by the Empowered Innovation System[CFAaP].



Take Notice w Yvette Dubel



[00:01 – 05:33]

Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Welcome to Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories. I am your host Allison Preisinger-Heggins. The mission of this project is to Take Notice, to listen, to hold space by amplifying Black stories, experiences and voices; conversations on family life, finding joy and interests of folks in our country and around the world who encounter racism on a daily basis. A portion of these discussions will be dedicated to holding space for guests who are comfortable sharing their personal experiences with racism. Stories help us all learn and connect; we are here to listen, to Take Notice. Thank you for being with us. Let us take a moment to recognize, to Take Notice of the voices that are so often unheard. Land acknowledgement statements are an important part of honoring those whose land we now live and work on. I have chosen to begin each episode this way to spark ideas and keep these conversations in the front of our minds, so that we may learn how to do better. 

I would like to acknowledge the land on which this episode was created. I would like to show gratitude to the traditional ancestral land of the Shoalwater Bay and Chinook tribes, recognizing that these names are not the original names of the people of these areas. As I continue to learn how to better acknowledge native people of these lands, I will adjust the wording of the beginning of each episode. I encourage listeners to research the land on which you live and are listening right now, recognizing this is just the beginning. Welcome to another episode of Take Notice, and thank you for being here with us. I want to take a moment to acknowledge the tragedy that took place recently in Georgia. We stand with the Asian American community and recognize how much work needs to be done to continue to fight against white supremacy, and terrorism. 

As host and producer of this project, I am dedicated to continuing to learn how I can better serve communities that are on the receiving end of violent, deadly attacks, verbal harassment and systems that are built to discourage equity. I will be continuing to research and seek out resources to do what I can and I encourage listeners to do the same and feel free to share what you find, resources you find, things that you feel like might help others, in just showing support for the Asian American community. So, there is more to be done and it will be never ending. So, I am here for that and hope that this project will assist in that effort as well. In this episode, my guest and I dive straight into an important conversation regarding one of the questions that I have asked every guest so far as part of this project. I mentioned it in a previous episode intro as the reason why I changed the wording of the question, what would make you feel equal; I changed it to what would make you feel seen as equal. 

And now you will get to hear more of the background of that change, though in listening back to Yvette and my conversation, I realized that I am still digesting what Yvette’s point of view is on the subject. There is still more to explore in the wording of the question, the question itself in terms of attention and so, I will keep you updated on the progress, as I learn and analyze the question more deeply. Always eager to hear your thoughts as listeners as well on this subject or any other subject that we bring up in this project or in the episodes. Feel free to get in touch via email through our website or social media. We would be happy to hear from you. Yvette Dubel is an artist, researcher, founder, CEO of Web Antiphon Group, author of why brand risk management innovation is a game changer, creator of the empowered innovation system and a personal innovation mentor. 

Dubel specializes in helping conscious leaders look for creative strategic thinking with broad knowledge and wisdom to drive triple bottom line success, Profit People Planet. We talk more about her work in our conversation, including some of her artwork that since we were able to see each other while we chatted through zoom. She was able to show me but unfortunately we are not able to share that with you all, so apologies on that. It is just a short little spot where she shows me a piece of artwork. But, you will have to check out her websites instead, and we discuss those at the end of our talk, and they are in the show notes if you want to check those out. So definitely please do. Thanks again for being here. Please enjoy my conversation with Yvette Dubel. Take Notice would like to take the time to acknowledge Black owned businesses, organizations and artists. If you have a suggestion of, who we should highlight during our episodes, please find us on social media or visit our website. 

Based in Portland Oregon, the Black resilience fund is an emergency fund dedicated to healing and resilience by providing immediate resources to Black Portlanders. As of September 2020, the fund has raised over 1 million eight hundred and five thousand dollars, funding over three thousand eight hundred Black Portlanders across five counties and counting, including three thousand two hundred grocery boxes delivered to more than one thousand five hundred households. To learn more about the Black resilience fund and to support, visit Blackresiliencefund.com. Thank you, Yvette for joining me for Take Notice. How are you today? 


[05:34 – 10:10]

Yvette Dubel 

I am great! How are you, Allison? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Wonderful! It is been great to meet you in these brief few minutes before recording already. You are over in North Carolina, right? 


Yvette Dubel 

I am. Yeah. I usually do not like to divulge my location and give the state any promotion at all. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Well, then we will say; you are over on the east coast then. 


Yvette Dubel 

There you go, in the southeast. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

There you go. 


Yvette Dubel 

There you go. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Well, we are on opposite sides of the country, which is, you know, I can gripe a little bit about technology but it is kind of great in this way. 


Yvette Dubel 

It is absolutely amazing because I am old enough to remember when we did not have this. I remember when I got my first computer in like 1981, and you could basically like text somebody from your personal computer, and we thought that was amazing. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

No, kidding. Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

Yeah. We felt like that was really quite incredible. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

So, it is pretty awesome, it is gone so far since then in such a short amount of time. 


Yvette Dubel 

It is. So, thank you for having me. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. Thanks for being here. I am really excited to chat with you today, and hear your stories, and hear what you have to say. The first thing that we had gone back and forth in email, and decided to start with, was you had pointed out that one of the questions that I asked each guest, kind of did not sit with you very well, and so I would love to hear, before I go into it much, I would love to hear your thoughts on that. 


Yvette Dubel 

I think it was a question like what would make you feel equal, right and it hit me like why would you assume they do not feel equal. Yeah. That was what stuck with me and I think that was what I emailed. Is that what I asked when I emailed you back? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. Yeah, you are like what is this about, you know and you suggested to reword it, and I totally understand because this had come up with… and I think I mentioned this to you, this had come up with one of my other guests where she was… she, Melanie Bell, who has already… the episode is already been released and she was like, well, I just do not let anybody treat me like I am not, because I am. But, the intention of the… and you emailing me is kind of made me look at it, and I really appreciate it because then I reworded it, just a little bit to say… because to align with the intention which was, what would make you feel seen as equal given our world and the issues of racism around us and things. So that is the intention of the question. So, I appreciate the feedback because then I was able to align the question in a more straightforward way. 


Yvette Dubel 

Okay. So, I want to react to that change because I thought about what was it that struck me about that, and I cannot remember who wrote this book but it is called mediocre, and basically… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

I think it is Ijeoma Aluya? 


Yvette Dubel 

Yes. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. I have not read it yet but… 


Yvette Dubel 

I started listening to it and it really kind of supports what my take on it was, which is racism is not about our inferiority, it is about protecting white mediocrity and so that was… the question sort of, I was like, okay, so that is a whole different way of seeing the issue because I do not know that, of course, I am sure not all Black people necessarily look at it that way. But, that is been my understanding of systemic racism is, it does not exist because I am inferior, it exists because mediocre white people want to prevent the competition of people that… because to me it suggests knowledge of the opposite, that if we let them in kind of a thing because otherwise why would you need to keep us out. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right. 


Yvette Dubel 

And so, it spoke, it made me realize that I see this, I think as the opposite because I was like this close from sort of like do I think I am better than a racist. Because I do not want to really want to think of it in those terms of who is better or worse. But, it definitely made me ask that oh, when it comes to like racism, like the problem is not my inferiority, it is your insecurity with whatever it is that you are experiencing. I am not going to say I am superior but it suggests the fear of Black superiority and so, it is like are they afraid that that is what we will implement? Are they afraid that that is what we embody? Do you know what I am saying? 

[10:11 – 15:07]

Yvette Dubel 

And so white rage, I think sort of speaks to that same thing, Carol Anderson’s book, I think and she talks about it for people, for listeners who may not know what that is. She talks about she traces the policy that has institutionalized racism, starting with the policies that allow domestic terrorism to end reconstruction and so, one of the other, I am answering questions for an article interview, now and I am noticing something similar in their questions is there is things that I am hearing in the question that is not exactly what is being said and I am very interested in what that is about, like what is happening there. In my work it started out with us researching attention, and attention as a flow, and as a personal intangible asset and so, I have had this sense that there is some sort of physics to it. I do not understand it. 

And the example that I think that we used to use was like great works of art and I cannot remember which piece it was, but at the time there was some piece of Matisse painting, I think it was. That was being, no, it was a Van Gogh, it was a van Gogh painting that had sold for, I do not know 14 million dollars or whatever it was and we were talking about attention gravity, and like was the value in relation to the amount of attention flow that had gone towards it over the all these years and at this point does that price then reflect some kind of attention gravity, like so much attention has gone towards it. So does that make sense? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. Let me see if I am grasping it… 


Yvette Dubel 

Okay. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

The way that you intend it. So, are you saying that to continue to ask that in ask questions in that vein that we are kind of upholding the idea that you are not equal? 


Yvette Dubel 

Exactly! That the expansion is flowing into that question, from that perspective, so that is the energy of the intention, it is sort of my position with anti-racism, you are never going to get the answer, the solution to racism through anti-racism, because you have not gotten people to acknowledge that race is not a real thing. Race is a socio-political construct. There is one race, it is humanity, it is humans, humankind is the race, and we are the human race. When we talk about cultural legacies or cultural inheritance that is what I think of when I say I am Black, when I identify that way that is what I am speaking to. I am speaking to a cultural lineage, a cultural tradition that I inherit through my cultural identity as a Black woman. Based on this work and the reason that I use art is because to change things at a system level. You cannot get there with those… with the Einstein quote, that I love so much, “we cannot solve the problems with the same thinking, we use when we created them, that is what that embodies”. 

And so it is been a real uphill challenge to get people to understand that attention work, so I started to focus more on just the outcome piece. Okay, I can use this particular system to help transform a challenge into a launch pad. So, racism, the cure for racism project is basically that, applying my system to that challenge, it does not directly bring people into a whole conversation about the attention flow, but that is what is behind it, that is what is underneath it, that is the foundation of that work and those processes and getting people to think about their problems in a different way and in this case it would be race, and it starts with acknowledging, race is not a real thing, it is a socio-political construct, which then leads to, well why would you need to create a social political construct, called race? Well, to determine who were the haves and the have-nots, and then how would you go about doing that, right? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

So, I think there is an attention thing at work there and that is really the heart of my research is using art to explore that. But, there is a very, I do not know what the market is for that… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, I think…


Yvette Dubel 

The way I am like a living. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, yeah with art combine. 


Yvette Dubel 

No, it is for research, using as my methodology for that research, it is very academics and since I am not a professor, there was not really an avenue. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. It is really an interesting approach though because I do think that any type of art, I am a musician, so any type of art or music is an avenue towards a better understanding and education, if it is not just art in itself or music… 


[15:08 – 20:32]

Yvette Dubel 

And it communicates at that deeper level, like with music, there is the way you hear the music, you know what you hear and what you are interpreting, there is also the feeling of the vibrations from the instruments and the music and the way it interacts, and some music you feel it that way, do you mean that to me is like what is happening with that artist's attention, and the production of that piece that that is the experience and so, I mean ideally an ideal world, I would love to just go around exploring that. But, with research you always have to figure out how to commercialize it, how to… and with attention what ended up this is the before Facebook became the thing, when we were much more idealistic about what the future of the internet was going to be and this uplifting of humanity and all this, bringing people together and all the stuff that we have. But, they took that attention concept and wanted to commodify it and that is where I think sort of like the data mining, you know, Facebook becoming like the king of data mining. But, when I was looking at those issues that are not what I was thinking about… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Sure. 


Yvette Dubel 

In terms of application and I was thinking. I mean the data mining piece was not what I had a problem with, but I saw it being used more, I still want to do this but using it as the basis of a community economic system, that could actually create universal basic income. So, imagine if that had been done that way for the public good instead of privatizing it, to be brokered because that is basically an intangible asset that belongs to you and all these people are brokering it and you are cut out of that deal and that just does not make any sense because they could not do that and I am on a quest to help people understand this and use art to help people understand data in a different way because they think that if more people understood it, then we could have a policy change and I think that if people understood that we could have universal basic income without increasing taxes, I think that is a revolutionary idea. 

Yeah. That was where I was going with the research in the beginning and I fell into consulting, basically to pay for my projects. When I was doing community development projects, it was how I got programs for my guys. I would offer consulting to have somebody else come and present their program either for free or without cost and I will do… how much would you charge for that fine? What are your problems? Okay, I will be your consultant, and I will give you this much in consulting, and when we go over that. I will do like a weekly payment plan, to make it like really easy for people to say yes and that was how I first put my programs together. So that is how I actually started consulting. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, that is great! Yeah. You never know where your passions will take you and the path. Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

But anyway that attention piece is, I am still very interested in that, I still think it has a lot of promise because it is not been explored to its potential. So, for now, I focus on the kind of solutions and trying to get people engaged in a way that they are dealing with these issues, recognizing them as part of the system and so, I call it a soul food framework and so racism only shows up when we bring it. So, it is a poison that is within us, and we bring it to everything that we see, create or experience as an ingredient of self and so, the process that I share in a cure for racism is about helping people identify that poison and I teach them a process, so they can begin to remove it because it is not a one-time thing but it is something they can use and also to take down the stress of doing this kind of works to bring some fun, imagination into it and also to help give people a way to deal with the guilt or shame that they might feel about the things that might come up for them. Because I think that is also a big part of it. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. So, I am really… I am going to ask you all about that project because I am curious but before we move along one, I really appreciate your response to the question, the whole question thing and that is part of the reason why I enjoy that question in a way, because I have gotten such a variety of responses to it. Though I do see your point in it, and am definitely going to explore, how to adjust or what to do next with it. So, if you have more feedback that you would like to share at another time or now, just let me know but I… 


Yvette Dubel 

Maybe took a more open-minded question about their thoughts about equality or inequity. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

Maybe something about it… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

That is a great point! 


Yvette Dubel 

More neutral. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

And can I just say I applaud you for being able to have that conversation because that is one of the things that is really, I think shows like this, really do a service because you are modeling something that a lot of white people do not know how to do and they avoid it like the play, because it is crossing that line of going from what I know into the unknown and so, it is important for them to see this modeled in a way that they understand, you are not going to die, it may be uncomfortable for a little while, and I have been comparing it to birth. Do you have children? 


[20:33 – 25:16]

Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

I do not. I have a stepdaughter but I have not. 


Yvette Dubel 

Okay, have you ever watched a birth? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

Okay and it is like when you go from that point of like, okay, the contractions are coming, and then it gets really intense, they call that transition when the baby is like crowning and that is when it gets really intense and if, with your first kid that does not happen, after you have had more than one but with the first one, it makes you think you are going to die because something is about to happen that you have never experienced before and it feels like nothing else that you have ever experienced, you have nothing to compare it to, and there is nothing anybody can say that helps you understand it and then when it is happening, there is just that fear of I might not survive this and I compared to that but then if you move through that, it gets easy after that, like that is the hardest part and then after that the whole thing is much easier. So, I think it is like that, it is like it is crossing that line of what you know into the unknown and it is just fear and fear is not going to kill you and as a personal innovation mentor, I tell my clients, it is like, and I am with you, so there is no reason to freak out. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Totally! Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

I have never felt like this. I have had three kids and I had them at home, I know how to coach you through this. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

There you go. Yeah. Yeah, it just takes being willing to go through that uncomfortableness and seeing the purpose to go through the uncomfortable feelings. 


Yvette Dubel 

So thank you. Bravo! 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. Oh, no, thank you. Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

How did you learn that? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, it is been a process for me, that is a great question. I think there is a lot of ingrained. As I am learning, there is a lot that is been ingrained just from our culture and from growing up in rural areas. I grew up in the suburbs of Seattle and so, just things that are ingrained in the community that you do not even recognize when you are growing up or things like our US history and blah… that just is not accurate, not complete, not anything. That until you start looking at, I do not know. What spurred it though to your question are experiences working at a venue in downtown Seattle, where I was just exposed to so many different events, that I really appreciate being exposed to. But, the biggest transformation for me has been meeting my husband, who is Black, and grew up in Seattle, and having my stepdaughter, who is also Black, of course! And just seeing the world through their eyes more, and just that… as a white woman growing up in suburban, mostly rural white communities, you do not realize what is actually happening in the world for people of color. 

So, until you get outside of that zone or reach out and branch out to other people that do go through these experiences, and then all of a sudden you love people who are in it, you know. Because I think before I met him, I had experiences through college and all kinds of great experiences where I met all kinds of people from around the world. But, still did not have the conversations and things where that opened my eyes to what they may be going through in these circumstances, it was more just we had a common interest of music or a common interest and that is what we would connect on. But, I did not have that deeper knowledge of what they may be going through day-to-day or month-to-month, you know, so then meeting my husband and our experiences together where he would notice things straight away and have that antenna for things. 

And I think before we started recording, you are mentioning something about being hyper aware of certain things, and I just did not have that, like what really are you sure. So, gradually through conversations and experiences with him, that is really opened up my awareness, and we both say now and he definitely says like once you see it, you cannot unseen it. So, it just builds, it builds on that and I think as humans, we are all like no one of us is free to be, if one of us is not free to be, so there is once I saw it, I cannot unseen it and I have to do something and this project is a part of that, so that is a long answer to your question but… 


Yvette Dubel 

Great answer! 


[25:17 – 30:02]

Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Thank you. Yeah and I appreciate this project so much because now… I mean it spurred on from conversations with my husband and like everybody should benefit from these conversations that I am having with him. How can I help that, you know and without doing it in a way that is like please teach me all that you know or… but just hearing people's stories, I think in general is so connective and important. So, in meeting all the people that I have interviewed so far or some of the people that I had already known, it is been amazing. I am just really grateful that people are appreciative and connecting to this project in the way that they have. I mean, we just started, so… 


Yvette Dubel 

Right. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah.


Yvette Dubel 

You have Pretty few episodes though, I mean we have talked to quite a few and a very different kinds of people too. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, Yeah. It is been awesome! And part of me is like this is what I love to… I just love to listen to people. So, now I feel like I have been talking way too long. 


Yvette Dubel 

And so, your story is interesting too. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

I appreciate that. Yeah. Thanks for asking. Yeah. I would love to hear your background, like if you are comfortable sharing where you grew up and who you were surrounded by, I would love to hear that and then I would love to hear more about your work that you were mentioning with a cure for racism and all that too. 


Yvette Dubel 

Okay. Sure. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

But, yeah, where did you grow up? 


Yvette Dubel 

On the Carolinas. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Okay. Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

I was born in South Carolina, I grew up in North Carolina, got married moved to Atlanta for a while or outside of Atlanta, around 2000, yeah. I was like 2000 came back to North Carolina. My kids, my boys were about to become teenagers, and I felt like, it was really… my grandfather was still alive and I was becoming aware that they needed to have like a Black man in their life and also my mother was here and my brother and I thought my grandfather, my brother could be like Black men role models for them. They do have a dad but my husband is white and so, he is from Lake New Jersey, and could not really address those kinds of things and then also looking at the foundation that my grandparents had provided for me, I thought I wanted my kids to have that and in Atlanta we did not have any family or anything until we moved back here and I thought it would just be for a few years but I am still here, 21 years later. 

And so, I think I shared with you that I aspire to move to Washington. I think Seattle. But, I am open to what the universe, you know, will present. So, I grew up here, and then I came back to do community development work. I never thought I would be in the south this long because I really do not… there I guess, I should not say I do not like it, they are aspects of the culture that I guess I do like because when I was in Atlanta, I remember missing the way people would just stop in the middle of the street and have a conversation in their car. Like somebody was in their car and somebody might see them from their yard, and like yell out, hey Allison, and then you would stop in the middle of the street, and they would come out and you just stand there. When somebody would come around; you just go around, go around, and they… so, silly things like that. Like I remember missing that, there was a barbecue place that I missed. I had a friend who used to FedEx me barbecue. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, nice. 


Yvette Dubel 

And cheddar cheese bagels from this bagel drop, but mostly like my mom, my brother, and so I do not really have community here. So, it is not I do not feel like it is my community, although I vote here and that sort of thing but I have never had like a politician that I really wanted to vote for, it is more usually voting against someone else kind of a thing. Because we are dealing with like voter restrictions and I think they are trying to do the voter ID thing again. So, just that kind of thing and trying to… if not necessarily in my area through the organizations I am doing the cure for racism with, we the world, it is a new york city, non-profit, working with them to help educate people about different organizations that exist to. For example, I think it is called bridge alliance that has a course that educates you about how districting is done because we have a lot of problems with the gerrymandering. Do you have that? I do not know if you have that there. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

I am not sure exactly. I mean I would not be surprised if it was everywhere, but I do not know. 


[30:03 – 35:11]

Yvette Dubel 

They are like these ridiculously drawn districts, that no sense except for the political agenda, that is behind them. So, like educating people about that, how to get involved before it gets to the legislative branch, when it is still the community, when there is hearings and so, getting people educated about that sort of thing because I think we need that level of civic engagement, particularly with minorities or nonwhite populations to be engaged at that level and not just at the voting at the ballot box, because there is a lot of things that we could probably prevent from even getting to the bill stage and I think that it would require less in terms of resources, you do not need a ton of money to like pay lobbyists, if you start at that level. So, like educating people about that sort of thing in a general way since I could not really engage enough people in my local community, around that sort of thing. So, kind of like I have always been kind of geared towards activism being an advocate since me… 

When I was 13, I started with the Democratic Party, working the polls, working for different campaigns and things like that and then when I was 15, ‘you too’ introduced me to amnesty international. I shared that story with somebody the other day and I was talking about YouTube and like the band and those like back in those days; they were what getting their music was like an import item and it was like; I could tell like he did not know what I was talking about. Okay. So, back in the days of albums, you got records from Europe or Africa or anywhere else, abroad. You would get them through like an import distributor and those are special orders and not all record stores would do them and so, when you found one, it is like that was like the cool store. So that was kind of like that was my jam, when I was young and when you would get bands like that with those little indie bands, did not have a lot of money and that was back when album jackets were like art pieces sometimes. 

And so, instead of elaborate jackets, you would get like a cassette, they were photocopied, Black and white but they would give you flyers from their shows, would be included, you get like almost a little package, stickers, and amnesty international stickers, and amnesty international brochures, I think were part of it at that time. Because they were doing amnesty concerts and I got really into that and that is sort of like, that was like my first date with my husband was an amnesty. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, really? 


Yvette Dubel 

Yeah. We were working… well, I was working a table, and we had a date like a lunch date, that is like well I have to go do this thing, and like he still wanted to hang out and sounds like, well you can come to this with me. We sold a story in the wall street journal in an article about love at first sight. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh! 


Yvette Dubel 

Because I did not know how to introduce him and I was working the booth with an ex-boyfriend and I could not call my date my boyfriend. So, there was just the lapse of, like I fumbled, like I did not know how to introduce him and he said I am her future husband or she is my future wife, would you know however you want to look at it and he turned out to be right; it is been over 30 years. 30th anniversary was in September. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, congratulations! 


Yvette Dubel 

Thank you and that was my senior year of high school so… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, wow! 


Yvette Dubel 

Yeah. I know right. So that was a big turning point. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

I think I was sort of, I was an optimist fighting it, I guess that is what was happening. But, I got much more optimistic I think after that and my life just got a lot funnier and happier. I was able to really focus more on my art and then the activism and advocacy. I was always involved in homelessness. So, when I was raising my kids that were something I was still involved with. I was a mentor for homeless women with children, like a family mentor help them but just do grocery budget, plan meals, cost effective meals look at where they were spending money, help them come up with a budget and parenting stuff, hanging out with them so they could see… basically, alternative to like spanking and yelling at your kid, and just kind of like modeling and just be somebody they could talk to. So that was, I guess like that really was eye-opening to because I sort of drifted into like sort of a stay-home mom type life. I did not really know any single parents.

I did not know people that were really struggling and so it got me sort of reconnected because I did grow up around people, who were struggling. Even though I was sort of living like my comfortable life in the suburbs that was kind of like how I knew that was not going to be enough like that was not going to be my life. So, I was still doing art and trying. I was not doing as much because it was harder with the kids. I homeschooled my kids and we had like natural home birthing and look with that whole kind of, I do not know my friends just call it, what is that? 

[35:12 – 40:13]

Yvette Dubel 

Granola Crunchy lifestyle with the Birkenstocks, and all of that… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Sure. Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

Yeah I had like long dreadlocks back in those days and the jumper dress, I used to call that the homeschool mom uniform. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

The big pockets man that is what it is. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

Because kids are giving me stuff all day and I would just unload my pockets when I got home. So, like that was my life for a while and so it is like trying to figure out how to balance the things that were important to me. So, I started working with… what was it called? There was the peach program; it was welfare to work program in Georgia and I helped a few of the women who did not get the grants because I thought my opinion. I did not think the grants went to like people that did not have the greatest ideas. I was like I would totally not have given the money to that person but that is alright.  And I was like the early days, like desktop publishing and faxes and that sort of thing. So, I help them bootstrap, help them put together a basic business plan and bootstrap their idea, one woman, the woman that I remember, I stayed with the longest, hers was gourmet sandwiches and salads, delivered to a couple of office parts that were out like on beau fort highway. 

So, they were not near any restaurants or anything and there was just the one snack bar downstairs was just sort of like hot dogs, hamburgers kind of a thing. So, people would fax their orders in to me and then I would send them to her. I got her set up on prodigy to get emails. I would email them to her until she got a fax machine and then load them up in her cooler and we would go and take them and deliver them to people, got this church that I volunteered through, even though I was not, I did not go to service but I volunteered there. They let her rent their kitchen for twenty dollars in the morning, like do the orders. The orders had to come in by a certain time and so, she was able to bootstrap it, and eventually get that space in that building and open up her little salad lady gourmet sandwich bar, whatever it was called. I think it was called the sandwich lady or the salad lady or something like that. But that kind of put me on the course with consulting that was the point of that. 

So, I was still in my early 20s, so I still felt like I was growing up because that was the first time I would been away from my mommy and those were the first people that knew me only as an adult. They only knew me, you know, so that was like a big deal. So, I feel like I grew up there, even though I had all my school experiences and stuff and yeah. So that was what I… oh I forgot, I did drop out of school to get married and move to Georgia. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, you did. Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

I was in art school and I already had like some commissions and my introduction to racism was with institute choices were through school. So, it was not like a fan of school, college was not much better and the visiting professors that I really liked were all leaving; either because they could not get hired… the Black professors were leaving because they could not get hired full-time. So, they were leaving to go back to DC and I kept Melanie, I think was her name, was from California and she could not take the racism and she was tired of painting tobacco barns because that is the kind of art that the gallery, the museum here had back in those days, was lots of rural, tobacco barns, and that kind of scenery and she just could not really stomach it anymore. So, I was like now there is nobody here that I would really want to learn from. So, he had asked me to marry him, I was like alright, let us doing that. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

I can do the art anyway because I already had like a couple commissions. So, sort of feeling like I can do this without them and it was a hostile environment, I mean and I also did not, that just was not going to pay for that anymore. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Sure. 


Yvette Dubel 

That was kind of part of it too was. I was running out of money and I was going to have to get a loan and I was really thinking about, like if one of us, if we both have to get loans, because he got cut off and said his father was not going to pay for school anymore, so… because of the whole interracial thing. Although, he would always say that is not what it was but… yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

That was not your impression. 


Yvette Dubel 

That was not my impression and that is not the story that I have heard is told. I have heard that it was because we were living together and it is like other people lived together, they did not get cut off and they still got a house when they got married. We did not get any of that. So, yeah, I was just like… there did not seem to be any reason to stay here. I did not. I never really liked school anyway and I was not even really majoring. I wanted to major in art therapy but there were not many places in the states that offered that as a major and the schools they did, they were all private schools that I could not afford. 

[40:14 – 45:18]

Yvette Dubel 

So, I was just a general fine arts painting major, and I was like what am I going to do with it, I thought I was going to be an art teacher and I had gotten a part-time job, working with an after-school program, and discovered like, I do not even know if I like kids. So, I definitely do not want to be a teacher. So, my plan was falling apart, it is like okay, being an art teacher is totally not going to fly. Yeah. The kids themselves were not that bad but like dealing with kids that had issues and their parents not wanting to address them. The administration not really wanting you to go to social services without like you had to see like the child bleeding. It is like; at that point it is kind of too late. I mean this is like… this could still be an intervention; she is still young, so anyway, I was like yeah, I am not, and that is not going to work. So, I do not know does that tell you where I grew up. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, really. Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

I know you see why. I am vague about the southeast thing. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Understood! Yeah. What is your favorite art medium to work with? Do you still or do you have it…? 


Yvette Dubel 

I still paint but the work sort of expanded because I really wanted to do like modern experimental art installations. But, I was deterred because that was not apparently something a Black girl could do and so, nobody encouraged me to do that and I believed them. So, I sort of settled on painting. So, I still do a lot of painting but all this work that I do is actually part of my art now. I mean like this is part of the performance. I have a whole, we did a… we will see I do not have the makeup on now but usually we have like a whole Pinterest board. I got with a makeup artist and I consulted with an acting coach, and to develop this persona to do the work because I this was not really necessarily what I wanted to do. But, all of my business coaches kept telling me that you have to get out there, that you have to talk to people. 

And I sort of like stepped out and I did some… did some workshops and I did conferences, like no, you have to talk to like do interviews and like really talk to more people and it took a lot of years for me to really figure out that I could use this embodied performance to do this and so, I worked on creating what that and what I would need to embody to do that, to be able to do this and so. This is part of the work. The whole thing, I mean, the idea was an inclusive art movement that was the idea, as the basis for community change management and so, when I talk about that though, it goes like shoot, so I do not really talk about that but that is kind of like the foundation of it, there is like a whole wiki site, we spent years, like working on all of this language and verbiage and like breaking down words and these terms to develop this framework that I have mentioned to you before. So, all of this is still my art, if that makes sense. 

And then along the way I create artifacts and that is what I consider the physical pieces to be are my artifacts. So, part of that is also. Like one of the things with social media, I had a question about social media that somebody in terms of feeding into the polarization and how do we do it differently and I was like well one thing is people need to like actually start journaling and stop using social media, like their public journal. Yes. Somebody had asked me about relationship advice, a couple weeks ago and I was making the point that when you have an issue with somebody, you need to separate what the issue is from your feelings, deal with your feelings on your own privately, that is what journaling is for and then you can come to the issue conversation with a lot more clarity and a lot less baggage.


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

So, I think the same thing sort of applies here. Does that make sense? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. It does. 


Yvette Dubel 

So, a lot of my art is about using essentially that understanding to process things as they come up rather than just reacting or projecting onto people because all of this was about what would be an alternative to protest art. This was doing the after 9/11, when we got into the Iraq war, when that was starting and the question that got it started was what peace is and then through exploring that question, realized that this was my process, my practice was all about using art to get clarity, to understand, to see things differently and so, we just kind of like went with that and this idea of like, okay, what if you could have like an inclusive art movement, where you engage people on what they love, what they are passionate about and engage them on the level of an artist whether they identify that way or not. 

[45:19 – 50:09]

Yvette Dubel 

And, yeah, I just decided like I am going to go with that. So, I am still going with it. I feel that at some point, it will be understood as art. Because I was… it was like man I feel so old, anyway. Like 2006 or something like that and I was looking back at like Yoko, oh, no. She was doing, I think it was like this peace tree and this project where she shot signs this beam of light up on John London’s birthday, every year and she had this wish tree that is what it was a wish tree, but her… it opened on the international day of peace and I went back and I was looking at her work because I remember as a kid, whatever I heard about her, left a negative impression. At some point I became interested in her aside from whatever this impression was and she started with like something called the Flexes movement in like the late 60s and like I do not know if you have ever seen her early stuff where she is just like, it is her in a room like screaming, like doing different intonations and things. 

And so, she in the writing about it in interviews, they talked about how the artist cannot be separated from the thing that they are creating and so, I started thinking about that in terms of business and change and how all of these things are ingredients and how art is essentially a model of inclusion. Because art is all about how you include everything, nothing is excluded, everything can be included, and so that is why art remains the foundation because that end on a practical level but also it keeps me connected to my heart and otherwise I would get into my head, and my judgments about things and people and all of that. So, I do not think that that is… Again that attention thing that we started out talking about earlier, it is a way of my attention mindfulness and working in a way that is based on me paying attention to my attention. 

So that is what I am doing with my heart and of course! Like these are pieces that I am thinking about now, so these are things that I am… these are the last ones I have done and… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, lovely. Nice! 


Yvette Dubel 

This one, I did this the night that George, I watched the George Floyd murder, but it is on top of something that was also about some racial stuff. Our parents met after we would be married for 20 years for the first time at a dinner for our daughter's 15th birthday. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, really! 


Yvette Dubel 

And some people would have you believe that that is just a coincidence and that has nothing to do with racism. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right. 


Yvette Dubel 

And it is my anger over that insistence and that denial and so, the piece that was under that is what I was painting over because I no longer speak to those people and I just decided, I was at a different, it is called timeline and so, I have a couple of pieces that are done that are related to this timeline piece. But, I just was feeling like, I was putting that to bed and then this happened and the thing I had going on that I thought was going to replace it. Yeah. The George Floyd thing happened and immediately I was like acrylic paint and acetone and I used to follow my fingernail polish and I sent my husband out to get another like, I was like, get me one of those big industrial bottles and that is what that is, that is acrylic paint. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Wow! Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

Well, red, white and blue. Loving a country that does not love us back was what I was thinking when I first started it. So, I still use the art and this was sort of related to that and a constellation, a systemic constellation I was a part of, maybe the week after, a few days, a few days or a week after and so, this was something that came up in that constellation and it was just so… it felt so big that I was like, okay, I am going to have to do a series on you. So, I am doing a series of collages based on this painting. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Okay. So that is awesome! Hopefully I get to see that sometimes. That is awesome! Oh, we need you in Seattle, just come on over, just make… 


Yvette Dubel 

You see what I mean, it probably, I would find people who would not even think it was that weird. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, I do not think it is. I think it is beautiful. Yeah. All of everything that you have been saying I think is beautiful and I think maybe there is a reason why Seattle is in your mind. 


Yvette Dubel 

Well, I mean I am putting the call up to the universe officially, if it was not official before I am open up…


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Sure. 


Yvette Dubel 

So, yeah, it is like I just… I have been waiting for something to present itself, like a reason because I have found that things just work better that way if you wait for a sign from the universe. It is so much easier than when I get it in my mind that I am going to make something happen… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Try to force it. Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

So, I have learned enough to know that. So, for now, I am just happy with the fact that I keep connecting virtually with all of you people from Washington. So, I feel like, okay, that is a good sign. 


[50:10 – 55:11]

Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yes. We would love to have you. What else we talked about the one question I have. The second question I ask everybody though is what brings you fun or joy? 


Yvette Dubel 

I like to sing, not like in front of people, but just like I like I love to come in here and well, I take the bag; I think when I am out running errands and out and about. I sing all the time, that is one of the things I do that I have always done that I think keeps me in a good mood, is I think hello another cat, as I sing all, I sing a lot like a lot. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

That is awesome! Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

So, music brings me joy, I do not dance as much as I used to. So, I have been thinking about that, like I need to dance more because that used to be like a lot of fun for me and like hanging out in the studio painting, the work that I do is also… some of my specs are more fun than others but the work that I do it because I love it and apparently it is hard for me not to do it because in 2016, I said I was done and I do not care anymore and then 2017, I went on sabbatical and did this love heals stuff, retreats and workshops and did that for a year and it is like crap! I still care. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. I hear you. 


Yvette Dubel 

Alright, when I come in the studio, it is like I come in here and I have like some bead work. I make jewelry like this necklace you cannot see. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

That is nice. 


Yvette Dubel 

So, I cannot when I do not feel inspired, I put on music and come and I fix jewelry that I like to wear. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, that is great! Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

I love crystals. Pull out my tarot cards or something that is fun. Playing with the cats and the dogs, hanging out with my husband, sitting and listening to music with my husband, looking at the fire, outside that is probably my one was chill things or taking a ride with our dogs. We hold hands a lot. So, I guess holding my husband's hand that is something I do. That sounds so boring. Does not it? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

No, sounds sweet! It sounds sweet and that is what brings you joy and that is beautiful. Yeah. 


Yvette Dubel 

I love him, he is my dude. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yes. I cannot thank you enough for joining me and sharing all of your thoughts and your stories. Where can we find, where can someone find your work, your art, your work that you are working on, any of that? 


Yvette Dubel 

Empoweredinnovation.org is where you can find the work related to the cure for racism. I do not really share my art that much. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Okay. 


Yvette Dubel 

I am going to get a little bit of it in that introduction webinar and if you sign up for that, I think with the donation you get the playbook and so the playbook has… I have it and some examples of that technique, I was telling you about with the journaling and then we transformed the journal into a piece of art and it is about taking that stuff; you do not feel great about and transforming it. There are some questions and some internal inquiry that we do as you are going along. So, there are some examples of like my artwork in there. So, it is a picture of flowers in a vase and here I am going to bring it closer, so you can see what I mean here. So, see the pictures are made up of the journal pieces of paper, and they have been torn up and reassembled to create flowers and then the paint to give it like depth and make it look like. They are popping off the page. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. That is beautiful! And that is found on that website that you mentioned, is that right? 


Yvette Dubel 

Yeah. Get the playbook and in the playbook it guides you through the exercise and that is the finished piece that I create in the playbook example. I am looking at doing some like live, like maybe some live streams doing these kinds of things. So, if there is anybody that be interested in on jumping on and doing that with me, definitely reach out. Also, wetheworldwe.net, you can find out more about them but if you go to innovation.org or webantiphone.com. Those links will take you to the virtual film fest, short film festival that I created for the 11 days of global unity and as well as a cure for racism which is a part of our MLK 40 days of peace project. I launched that as part of that, this year and if you like the… a cure for racism is an intro webinar. But, if you like that, there is like more to help you like dive in into that, and like really customizing what my empowered innovation system for you and if anybody wants to work with me or collaborate, that is the easiest way to reach out. 

And of course! You can find me on Instagram or Facebook. I do not check Facebook very often, so Instagram might be better, twitter, but again not super active. LinkedIn, I get those notifications, so any of those places, you can find me and always happy to explore collaborations and working with people, who also share my interest in creating a better world that works for all of us. 


[55:12 – 56:24]

Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Thanks for sharing that. 


Yvette Dubel 

Thank you so much for having me. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. I am really grateful to connect with you and to have this conversation with you and have you be a part of this project. So, thank you for joining me and sharing your story, I appreciate it so much. 


Yvette Dubel 

My pleasure! Thank you for doing this. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Absolutely! Alright, well I will see you when you move to Seattle. 


Yvette Dubel 

No, you absolutely will. I will totally email you, Allison, that is going to be the subject line, it happened. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yes. Perfect! I am going to look out for that. 


Yvette Dubel 

Yeah. I love that. Thank you. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Thank you that. Thank you for joining us for Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories. Please subscribe and follow us on social media, we are at Take Notice podcast; it would really help us out if you could take a couple of minutes to review our podcast. Thank you for your support. Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories is produced, hosted and edited by Allison Preisinger-Heggins, co-produced by Amanda Rae, music by Version Big Fi featuring Darius Heggins. Thank you for being with us and thank you for taking notice.