From CIC

Happy Pride from CIC #Stonewall50

CIC strives to create an environment where everyone is welcome. We owe our success to the diverse group of employees and community members who make the space what it is. In honor of pride month, we asked some of our queer team members about their experience in the workplace and their thoughts on Stonewall’s 50th anniversary. We’re proud to share their responses.

What does CIC do to create a culture of inclusion?

Skylar Kergil (he/him):

As a transgender person, I am grateful for our gender inclusive bathrooms, gender inclusive wording for rooms like the Nursing room, and overall, how CIC embraces terms like "partner" which helps foster acceptance rather than assumptions. I recall asking my boss for permission to wear my "This is what Trans looks like" shirt on transgender day of visibility ... and her reply being "Absolutely! At CIC, that shouldn't even have to be a question."

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Leona Dougherty (she/her):

CIC has been the most queer friendly environment I've had the pleasure to work in. As a trans person who has mostly worked in environments that were unequipped at best and outright hostile at worst, CIC has noticeable policy in place to give the appearance of trans friendliness, and makes efforts to provide substantive space-improvements to its trans clients, which gives me comfort as a trans employee. 

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Jason Connell (he/him):

As the organization keeps growing, I value the fact that CIC not only allows, but sees value and worth in me being my true self. Part of our jobs as community team members is to help add to, or even create the workplace culture for the companies that call CIC home, and it feels good to have that influence. I've gotten positive feedback from companies in the space about the inclusion of preferred pronouns in our email signatures, absence of dress code, gender inclusive restroom signage, and more, and have even seen some of them incorporate that into their workplace norms. We have the power to model an inclusive workplace for our clients, so it's encouraging to see us always striving to improve.

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ALexa Benson (she/her):

The work we do at CIC creates really strong relationships between coworkers, and I feel totally at ease here. This is the first workplace where I've been comfortable enough to be open about being queer.

What does Stonewall mean to you?

Skylar:

Stonewall helped kick off the expansion of LGBTQ+ rights in a completely unprecedented way. Led mainly by drag queens and transgender women of color, the Stonewall riot defined the future of LGBTQ+ pride. Understanding the history of Stonewall is important, as transgender women of color continue to be murdered at some of the highest rates in this country and worldwide. When I think of Stonewall, I appreciate the many brave LGBTQ+ folks who spoke up, stood up, and helped us get us to where we are now - and I feel empowered to continue the fight for inclusivity worldwide.

Leona:

The stonewall riots occurred because queer people were effectively criminalized to the fringes of society, and had to resort to mafia-run bars in order to congregate. 50 years later - and 30 years since the Reagan administration’s complicity in the deaths of gay people during the AIDS crisis - we as queer people are surrounded by rainbow branding once a year. Meanwhile less than half of the states in the United States have discrimination protections for LGBT people. In the UK, transgender hate crimes have increased by 81% over last year. Brazil continues to be one of the most dangerous places for LGBT people, with hundreds of people killed each year. And back to the US, nearly half of queer people who come into contact with the police experience harassment and misconduct. 

So for what strides have been made since Stonewall, movements and governments around the world continue to be hostile toward queer people. Pride is commonly seen as a celebration, and for many it is - it's an opportunity for gays to take a day off work or school, hang out and drink, wear cute outfits, and be their biggest selves - but the importance of pride is a demonstration of queer culture in public. It is meaningful expressly because queer people still face violence and oppression.

Jason:

To me, Stonewall represents the power that we have in community. It took a concentration of marginalized queer folks of color to feel strong enough to do what was necessary and fight back. As queer people, we often have to build a chosen family of people we know will support us and fight for us, in good times and bad.

ALexa

I was in Florence, Italy when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in Obergefelle v. Hodges. From my window I could hear the American students at the bar down the street celebrating. Someone lit fireworks left over from Florence's Saint Day. I felt overwhelmed -- with sadness, being so far from home at such a special moment; with relief, to be free from one of the remaining legal discriminations against my community. Four years almost to the day from then, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the protests at the Stonewall Inn. 

The Stonewall Inn welcomed the members of the LGBTQ+ community who were least able to conform to straight norms -- trans people, gender non-conforming people, drag queens -- and was frequently raided by police. On June 28, 1969, one of these raids started a revolution in the LGBTQ+ community.

This Stonewall anniversary reminds me that our community is not a monolith -- it is inclusive of a broad range of genders, sexualities, and identities, which can't be distilled into one voice. We are a community but not a singularity. There is infinite diversity among us and I am proud to see new voices gaining strength.

Our third location in St. Louis is open!

One month ago,

clients moved into our third St. Louis location. We're excited to be able to support even more amazing thinkers and entrepreneurs in our brand new, beautiful space. Let's celebrate our one month anniversary by re-living 4220's incredible open house!

Haven't made it out to the new space yet? Come out and see us! Click below to set up a visit.

Schedule a tour!

Making it Personal: What is CIC's Responsibility for Advancing Social Equity?

 Making it Personal: What is CIC's Responsibility for Advancing Social Equity?

St. Louis is a city with a complex history. CIC knew some of that history when we began establishing the company’s first expansion location, but as our space opened on the heels of the unrest in Ferguson, we were forced to examine both our understanding of that history, and our place in St. Louis’ future.

At the end of last year, CIC St. Louis worked with the Diversity Awareness Partnership to assess our spaces, find out how our community was feeling, and discover whether there were changes we could make to build a more inclusive and welcoming environment. It was a great exercise that gave us our first real data on the diversity and inclusivity of our internal community.

The Third Industrial Revolution is Here — At Fab@CIC.

Drop in for a hot coffee or a pastry at Render Coffee, and the whirr of the espresso machine won’t be the only buzz you hear. You’ll likely also see and hear a digital fabricator or two laser-cutting a rough, miniature prototype for a new chair, building a dental model for a custom oral retainer, or simply “printing” a beautiful piece of digital art. You might also hear the buzz of designers, entrepreneurs, educators, and other innovators – coffee in hand – collaborating across disciplines and sharing skills with each other.

Welcome to Fab@CIC, a digital fabrication lab and community providing an open platform for people to support each other in their efforts to make new things. Powered by CIC Boston, Fab Foundation, and Render Coffee, Fab@CIC is a fabrication lab, yes, but we’re more than that. We’re one of more than 1,000 “Fab Labs” in 78 countries around the globe providing space in which the technological future of personal fabrication and manufacturing can be tested and tried. We’re bringing together innovators from across the region to collaborate, as well as connecting our local design and startup communities with a rapidly flattening global business network.

To understand the significance of what we’re doing at Fab@CIC, one must understand the era in which we are now living. Technology historians say we’re on the precipice of a Third Industrial Revolution. The first American Industrial Revolution, born in the mill towns of Massachusetts in the late 18th century, launched the transition from handmade products to machine-powered manufacturing. The Second Industrial Revolution, which ran roughly from 1870-1914, involved another rapid ramp-up in industrialization behind mass-production of steel and the use of interchangeable machine parts.

This Third Industrial Revolution, sometimes called the Digital Revolution, involves the digitizing of how we make things. And like the first Industrial Revolution, this digital revolution we’re experiencing now was born in Massachusetts. Futurists see a day when rather than producing something in one place and shipping it thousands of miles away to be used, communities are producing more of what they use locally in fabrication labs.

Here at CIC Boston, our fabrication lab is a place where designers and entrepreneurs – really, anyone in Boston – can experiment and create in a supportive and collaborative environment. Technology available to the public in Fab@CIC includes 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC milling, vinyl cutting, soldering and electronics, and large format printing — skills that should not be hijacked by the scientific elite.

“We want to democratize access to the tools needed to invent the next generation of manufacturing and personal fabrication,” says Julia Hansen, one of Fab@CIC’s managers. “Everyone should be able to take part in shaping our physical world. We love great coffee, too.”

In the coming months, this blog will unpack some of the ways in which digital fabrication is being used here at Fab@CIC to design products that will improve lives around the world. We hope these stories – like Fab@CIC itself – will inspire someone who didn’t know she could make something, connect our work to the global Fab Lab movement, or link a product conceived in Boston to a market beyond the city limits. We hope you’ll check in here regularly, because, as we believe at Fab@CIC, the unexpected unfolds when new technology and creativity meet.

This post was written by CIC Member and Fab@CIC Contributor, Steve Holt.

Announcing CIC Providence! (+ an update on CIC Philadelphia)

CIC is thrilled to announce that we just broke ground in Providence, Rhode Island on a new innovation complex. Partners on the project include Brown University and Johnson & Johnson.  

CIC Providence will be situated in a brand new building in the historic Jewelry District, an easy walk to the Amtrak station, Brown and Rhode Island School of Design. We will have a gorgeous innovation space, as well as a gathering space modeled after our District Hall project in Boston.

#CICGetsGreen: Where does our waste go?  

#CICGetsGreen: Where does our waste go?  

In honor of green industry and innovation month, we’d like to shine a quick spotlight on CIC’s internal efforts to go green!

Two small but mighty CIC crews, the Planeteers and the Kitchens Team, are jointly leading a grassroots effort to institutionalize the 3 “R’s” – Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle – within CIC’s day-to-day operations. Below you will find a quick reference guide on some of the current initiatives.

Connect at Venture Café Mini-Conferences

Connect at Venture Café Mini-Conferences

If you’re from the Boston/Cambridge area and in the innovation community, it’s very likely that you’ve found yourself at Venture Café Kendall recently, hosted every Thursday at CIC Cambridge. These events are inarguably the preeminent networking gathering in the area. As a matter of fact, several hundred people attend each week.We’re going to highlight one of Venture Café Kendall’s rarer events, Mini-Conferences.