Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Let's Build the House of Panama"

"The House of Panama (est. 1989), also known as the Casa de Panama, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) volunteer-run organization that presents the traditions, music and culture of the Republic of Panama to the public. It has been working tirelessly for 25 years - to bring the legacy of Panamanian culture to Balboa Park’s more than 10 million visitors annually.  We are drawn together by the love of Panama and desire to share that love with the world."

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Because of Them, We Can...

The Mission :To Educate and Connect a New Generation to Heroes Who Have Paved the Way

"The Because of Them, We Can campaign was birthed out of my desire to share our rich history and promising future through images that would refute stereotypes and build the esteem of our children. While I originally intended to publish the campaign photos, via social media, during Black History Month, I quickly realized how necessary it was to go further. With so many achievers to highlight, and thousands of children to engage and inspire, 28 days wasn't enough. On the last day of February, with just 28 photographs in my collection, I decided to resign from my job in order to continue the campaign. On March 1, 2013, after most national and local conversations about Black History and Achievement ended, I released a photo of a mini-inspired Phyllis Wheatley and began the journey to continue the project for a full year." -Because of Them, We Can

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Elizabeth Acevedo: Writer, Performer, Educator

 I’ll never forget the first time I heard her words. It was December of 2012. Somehow I had stumbled upon a video on YouTube of Elizabeth Acevedo performing her poem, “Tumbao.” It was her words that captured me—“It’s the way our hips skip to the beat of Cumbia, Merengue, y Salsa,”—and had me shouting YESSSSS at my computer screen.
“We are the unforeseen children born out of cultural wedlock-
                  hair too kinky for Spain, too wavy for dreadlocks- so our palms tell the cuentos
                  of many tierras: read our lifelines.”
And it’s still her words that have kept my attention for all these years.
Born to Dominican immigrants, Elizabeth’s words have taken her places she never imagined while growing up in New York City. Whether performing internationally or at a local bookstore—where I met her last month, Elizabeth is just as humble and down to earth as a poet who is just starting out.
She has been featured on BET and Mun2, has graced the stages at Madison Square Garden and Lincoln Center, and has also delivered a Tedx Talk about being present. Most recently Elizabeth compiled her poems into a self-published book titled, Birth-Marked.

Read More: Here

Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's Okay... Take A Break

There are all these quotes and motivational sayings that are supposed to keep us going on a daily basis. But sometimes you just need a break from all of it. This was me last Friday. I had the day off
from work and planned to do plenty of writing. But when I woke up that morning, not only was I unmotivated, I was tired. Not physically, but tired of working on the project that has consumed my life since February. And the more and more I thought about how important it was to work on said project, I started to feel very anxious. And that led to me wanting to give up altogether. But I saw that for what it was and realized a break was necessary.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Gentrification: The buying and renovating of houses and stores in deteriorated 
urban neighborhoods by upper- or middle- income families or 
individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing 
low-income families and small businesses.

The above picture: 103rd street and Lexington in NYC. Luxury apartments that cost a grip (I know, I visited their website) sit in between buildings that are probably older than me.

This issue of gentrification is something I never knew much about until I moved to NYC. In California I am sure there are places that are or have experienced gentrification, but I've never lived in or near them. Everywhere I've lived has been new... so I never understood why people wouldn't want big stores and one-stop shops because that's all I've ever known.

But after hearing writer Vanessa Martir read her piece, This is Not My Brooklyn, I'm finally starting to understand.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Supplementing My Freelance Career

When I moved to NYC I had this grand idea of my freelance writing and editing career immediately taking off. I pictured myself living this luxurious life, where I trotted around town writing at these cool little coffee shops and getting published and featured in all the top magazines I enjoy reading. I also imagined I would have this huge following who waited at bated breath for my next piece, so they could be inspired by it and share it with all their friends.
However, after my first year of freelancing none of the above was happening. I mean, I did have a roof over my head, I wrote whenever and wherever I wanted, and people were and still are inspired by my writing and share it. But things were not happening at the level I expected.
Since those early freelancing days, I have learned a lot about what it takes to work for myself. Any freelancer will tell you, you have to put just as much time (maybe more) into promoting your craft/services. In addition, I quickly learned that when starting something new, it takes time for it to grow. It also takes time to make a certain amount of money to live a particular lifestyle.

Read More: Here

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tuesdays With Morrie

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.
For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?
Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons in how to live.
Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world. Now the best-selling memoir of all time,Tuesdays with Morrie began as a modest labor of love to help pay some of Schwartz’s medical bills. Today, the book has sold more than 15 million copies in more than 50 editions around the world. -Mitch Albom

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Favorite Podcasts

The Podcast app on my phone is probably the one that gets the most use and gives me the most pleasure. With literally hundreds to choose from (Apple) and new one's starting every day, there
are Podcasts to peek everyone's interest. And with many of them producing weekly content
that run for over an hour, I stay thoroughly entertained. 

And shout out to Loud Speakers Network, they have a bunch of
Podcasts that I love.