By Douglas Jessop, ABC4 News
(ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) Kamea Johnson is the 2019 Utah Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. Not only is Kamea the owner of a design and print company called Chosen Creative , and the leader of The Utah Letter Writing Club . She is also an accomplished speaker. One of the topics she talks about is “cultural identity.” Oxford Reference defines cultural identity this way;
“The definition of groups or individuals (by themselves or others) in terms of cultural or subcultural categories (including ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, and gender). In stereotyping, this is framed in terms of difference or otherness.”
Who are you? How do you identify yourself?
Here are some of the parts that stood out to me (and fit into the time restrictions of being on ABC4 News at 10 p.m. )
With the “book definition” covered, I asked Kamea what her definition was. She replied; “Culture is how I identify with our family. It’s how you and I communicate at some level correct? At some level we are looking for common ground. We find common ground through our culture a lot of times. We also find discord through it as well. “
It’s clear that discord has been at the forefront of the news lately. Kamea attributes it this way; “We find discord when we lack a cultural understanding of each other and a baseline understanding of where we come from. So culture is important. I do believe that the more we understand each other the more we want to know about each other. I think the cultural divide is something we come to embrace.”
I’m not necessarily a big fan of “labels”, but the reality is that they exist in both self-identity and the how other people see us. I asked Kamea what labels she put on herself? “My labels if I’m going to label myself are compassionate, kind, strong, and caring. I think it really important that we spend time in those identity factors.”
It is no revelation that men and woman look at things differently. In fact, in the spirit of this interview, I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that men and women both belong to different “cultures.” I found it interesting that Kamea used personality traits in her personal definition.
That observation was reiterated as Kamea continued; “Culturally, I know what culture I’m part of but as a woman, a businesswoman, an entrepreneur and a citizen of this community and the world. I identify with compassion and understanding. I think if we all looked at each other a different way with terms, maybe in some sense. How we conduct ourselves is how people are going to remember. Are they going to remember that I’m a woman color? Probably, but they are going to remember how I treated them. They are going to remember more the time I invested in getting to know them and remember more the feeling I left them with.”
Well said Kamea. Well said.
With another Utah Success Story, and Kamea Johnson, I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.
You can see my positive business profiles called “Utah Success Stories” every Sunday in the ABC4 News at 10 p.m. or online at www.ABC4.com/Success
Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life.
I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”
You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.
A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. I invite you to watch each episode of Jessop’s Journal at www.ABC4.com/Journal and share these stories with your friends and neighbors. Your feedback is always welcome.