Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Letter to Editors @ Latina Magazine

For too long media has found ways to exploit people. To promote a certain angle for personal gain and agendas. This has been some of the challenges we (the Afrolatinos Documentary Team) has had to face during documenting and filming of the Afrolatinos Story.

We publicly reject the irresponsible use of term AFRO-LATINOS, by well-known media establishments such as Latina Magazine.

In an article published by Latina Magazine on Monday, February 27, 2012, titled, Happy Black History Month: The 50 Most Beautiful Afro-Latinos in Hollywood! By Lee Hernandez they create a list of who they consider the 50 most beautiful Afro-Latinos… but are they all AFROLATINOS?

Dear Editors at Latina Magazine,

I bring this to your attention in hopes that you will retract your use of the term Afrolatinos. It is being used incorrectly.

Example one: Nicole Richie being adopted by Lionel Richie does not make her an Afrolatina.

Here’s why… If you happen to be of parents who (Parent 1) is African American and (Parent 2) is Peruvian… this alone does not automatically make you Afrolatino. The Peruvian parent would have to be descendant of Africans, ie. Afro-Peruvian. If you are Black and Latino you are not Afrolatino.

If her biological parents (either one) are descendants of the enslaved African then she IS an Afrolatina.

Example two: Gloria being half Mexican and half African American – unless her parent is an AFRO-Mexican she is half Black and half Latina.

Just throwing the term Afrolatino around irresponsibly diminishes the work that is being done. It discredits the work of those who have been championing this cause for many years… fighting for representation… people who have devoted their entire lives to studying and ensuring that the stories of Afrolatinos be told.

AfroLatinos is not a TREND – we must know OUR history. It is not simply the rich and famous of Hollywood.

Afrolatinos: 101 (what it is and what it is not)

What it is…

By definition… Afrolatinos are the descendants of the enslaved Africans who arrived to Latin America. These descendants are AFROLATINOS.

TERMS (for purposes of my letter… we are not debating the social constructs or race issue… this is not a color thing… this is an education thing)

Latino / Hispanic: Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in Hispanic countries.

*Side note… in Latin America we do not use the term Latino… Colombians are Colombiano, Dominicans are Dominicano, and Puerto Ricans are Puerto Riqueno… and so on… they identify by the country they are from—so Latino doesn’t even apply here. And most people say… how are we Latino “speak Latin!”

African American: is an American (of the United States) who is of African Descent… going hand in hand with what it means to be considered *Black in this nation.

*Note: Black does not define a color… here we are talking about a community of people, in the United States who are of African Descent who identify as being Black.

African Diaspora: comes from the Atlantic Slave Trade’s movement of enslaved Africans who were taken and dispersed all over the world.

Here we are talking about everyone being included at the table – ALL CONTINENTS are part of the African Diaspora! Wherever slaves were taken, there remains descendants of those Africans! And THEY are Afrodescendants!

In a conference on Race in Durban, South Africa… it was decided that the politically correct term should be Afrodescendants (NO African American.. NO such Afrolatino) simply Afrodescendants.

I think we can get there. But we cannot ignore that there are groups and that we are different. We cannot ignore that segregation continues to exist… and it isn’t as simple as grouping everyone together… we are moving to this place.

So for now… for purposes of this incredibly important project and movement under the term AFROLATINOS, our aim is to bring to the forefront the stories that were not taught to us.

We believe that much work needs to happen NOW and we will continue to inform and educate. We know that it will be instrumental to unite with African Americans and Africans to bring this subject to the table and initiate change.

Why is this important?

Because we can no longer accept being excluded. We can no longer stand by and allow for our people to remain invisible. We are talking about 150 Million / 150,000,000 MILLION Afrodescendants who currently exist in Latin America, and we will not allow this community to continue to be misrepresented or used as some sort of token.

Afrolatinos exist.. they have always existed. They are not just Latina Magazine’s top 50 Beautiful People.

They are the top 150 million people in Latin America who are the most marginalized, most discriminated against… they are the descendants of enslaved Africans in Latin America… they are the legacy of a people who were brought to our countries and who have contributed a tremendous amount to who we are as Latinos today.

The Afrolatino movement is more than just a trend!

This is a call to ACTION!

This is a demand that the Afrolatinos story be told!

Latina Magazine, it is our hope that you will begin to serve the community that you aim to reach and in doing so, use terms and tell stories that are the truth of who we are as a community and as a people.

In solidarity~

Alicia Anabel Santos, Writer/Co-Producer, Renzo Devia, Director / Executive Producer and The Afrolatinos Team

Afrolatinos: The Untaught Story

To read the Latina Magazine Article ~ 50 Most Beautiful Afrolatinos~



Saturday, February 25, 2012

Instuctions for FREE DOWNLOAD~

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for you emails. Here are the steps to downloading Finding Your Force A Journey to Love


2) Select FILE - pull down menu


4) Message will appear in the center of the screen: "This file exceeds the maximum size that we scan~ Download anyway."



I hope this helps! ENJOY!

Peace, light and LOVE~

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In the meantime... sometimes it's just time...

“The path to self-discovery, self-love, and healing is always long and never easy. In this compelling memoir Alicia Anabel Santos gives us a front row seat into her life. She stands before us naked, vulnerable, and honest revealing to the reader her innermost secrets that include being abused at the hand of her father, being raped, and almost losing everything even her home. This is a no holds barred account of what it is to endure the most painful events anyone can experience and still come out on top. Once I started reading I could not put it down although at times it was difficult to digest some of the things that I read. No one person should ever have to endure all the pain and hurt that this woman has experienced.

In this 383-page letter to her daughter, Alicia confesses all of her secrets and releases all of her demons. She takes responsibility for her choices and eventually learns to forgive all those who have hurt her. By doing so she is also forgiving herself. This is a story of love on every level but most of all it is a story about learning to love yourself. Alicia shows us that once you learn to forgive, to let go, and love there is nothing in this world that can ever hold you back from Finding YOUR Force. This book is full of life lessons, prayers, and affirmations. It is a MUST have for anyone who truly appreciates the written word.”

Nancy Arroyo-Ruffin
Author of Welcome to Heartbreak

“Finding Your Force is Alicia Anabel Santos' brutally honest love letter to her daughter. She depicts the lowest points of her life without making apologies for her mistakes and finds love for herself, her scars and her journey to finding inner strength. Santos frames her memoir with affirmations, prayers, letters, song lyrics and poetry, all relevant to the pain and healing she experienced. Fearlessly, she admits who she was and is today to her daughter and to the world. From physical abuse, rape, alcoholism, and loss surges a woman full of determination, light, will and rebirth. The emotional charge set in this memoir takes the reader from darkness to light and celebrates all of Santos' strides to being a true force. To conclude her book she writes to her daughter," My FORCE is bigger than my problems and there is nothing my God can't handle. These words, my writing...this is my gift to you." She has given all of her readers a gift. Thank you for this brave gift.”

Peggy Robles- Alvarado
Author of Conversations With My Skin

I am taking a break from blogging… I will post inspiration every now and again… but there is much work I must do and I must take care of me. I am finishing up my work on the documentary: Afrolatinos: The Untaught Story as well as traveling on the college circuit giving workshops on the subject... in addition to booking readings throughout the United States. I can't do it alone! I can't do it all at the same time. Sometimes it's just time... to PLAN, to FOCUS, to ARRIVE, to DISCONNECT, to RECHARGE... but I am not leaving you... I am leaving YOU with a little bit of me...

I’ve decided to leave you with a gift. For a limited time only I am offering the ebook version of Finding Your Force A Journey to Love for FREE. Please share it with as many people as possible...

Share it with everyone you love

Share it with your family and friends

Share it with your fathers

Share it with your mothers

Share it with your daughters

Share it with your sons

Share it with your sisters

Share it with your brothers

Share it with your partners

Share it with anyone who needs support

Share it with anyone who is looking for hope

Share it with anyone who questions faith

Share it with anyone who needs love

Share it with anyone who is dealing with addiction

Share it with anyone who is ready to FLY

Share it with anyone who wants to read a beautiful story about REAL PEOPLE!!!

My hope is that you start a group discussing some of the themes I bring up in this book.

My hope is that my idea for a 20 City Tour – transforms into something greater. I have decided that I will continue to plan my tour but in order to do this I need you to share it with everyone you know to really help promote it. Because I am funding my tour I must ensure that I make the cost of travel and be able to sell books. So I am having my version of a book party. In each city, I will hold private book readings, signings and discussions for 20+ guests. Please email me for details:

Although I am offering my book for FREE, if you would like to contribute to my 20-City Tour please visit:



TO PURCHASE A COPY: Finding Your Force: A Journey to Love

I hope you enjoy Finding Your Force. Please email me your thoughts:

I will see you all soon.

Peace, light and LOVE~

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Let it GO!

Let go of things that keep you incarcerated~

Let go of old wounds~

Let go of the past~

Let go of people who've hurt you~

Let go of things that don't serve you~

Let go of thoughts that you control this~

Let go of ideas that you are alone~

Let go of the belief that you are the only one going through this and that no one understands~

Let go of pain~

Let go of fear~

Let go of doubt~

Let go of blame~

Let go of blaming your parents~

Let go of blaming the world~

Let go of self-sabotage~

Let go of the belief that you aren't worthy~

Let go of the belief that you aren't good enough~

Let go of the belief that you aren't smart enough~

Let go of the belief that you did something wrong~

Let go of the belief that you don't deserve to be happy~

Let go of THE OLD STORY!!!

Let go of ..... whatever it is you need to let go~

Every new moon as a spiritual practice and on special holidays I perform RELEASING rituals. It's a personal thing... I light candles... I fill vases with water... I perform a clearing ceremony... a spirit cleansing... I meditate... do yoga... prepare a delicious bath for myself (and my daughter) with scented oils, honey, milk and roses... I release all that has not served me and I call forth all that fills me.

I release that which holds me back... and I call forth ALL THAT I COMMAND MY LIFE TO BE...

I let go of... all the hurt... feelings of betrayal... the trauma and disappointments... the broken promises... RELEASE IT... I let it go...

I CALL FORTH... forgiveness.. forgiveness of self... forgiveness of others... I call forth all the beautiful things I wish to be filled with.

This is my meditation today.


"The New Moon is Tuesday, February 21 at 3:35 PM Mountain Standard Time. This new moon is a time to recharge. You will feel like resting, getting more sleep, taking all the movement down to a standstill. If you have been struggling with something that has you constricted and confused, this would be the time to let go, unweight your position and give it over to spirit so you can turn towards another, new and better direction. Whatever it is, let it go. Whatever has you sleepless, let it go. Whatever you are trying to problem solve with your mind, let it go. Whatever you are worried about, let it go. Whatever you experience as being difficult, restrictive, full of suffering, pain and unresolved, let it go. Ritualize this by letting go of something you have been holding onto from the past that has old energy, like a piece of furniture, a photograph, an old sweater, old letters, old jewelry, an old relationship with strings attached etc."

To continue reading... Source:

Thank you my beautiful Jakira for reminding me that today is the NEW MOON~ I love you~


Monday, February 20, 2012

“Don’t you remember who you are?” LOVE has spoken!

Did you know that when I made you~ you were PURE LOVE~
Did you know that when I made you~ you were WHOLE~
Did you know that you were born of pure DIVINITY~
A true mystery to unfold~

Little Alicia, Brooklyn, 1976

Little Courtniana, Age 3, 1995

Did you know that when I made you~ you were PURE LOVE~
Did you know that when I made you~ you were WHOLE~
Did you know that you were born of pure DIVINITY~
A true mystery to unfold~

My Courtniana, Harlem, 2011

Have you ever felt that a certain song was written for YOU? That's how I felt yesterday when I heard a song being sung by two amazing brotha's Greg Stamper and I don't know the name of the second singer... I mean theyyyyy and "The LIGHT Choir" SANGGGGGG that song... during the service at Expansion Church yesterday.


As soon as I heard those words.. I froze! I was standing at attention. I understood that spirit was communicating something to me that I needed to pay attention to.

Khari Lemuel "Love Has Spoken" Music Video from Endless Eye on Vimeo.

I had a conversation with God yesterday and she told me, “Let me introduce you to YOU!!!”

She asked me if I knew who I was? She demanded that I stop being scared! She asked me to stop wasting precious time complaining about my circumstance!

That ain’t me!

She wanted to know why I wasn’t doing what I am here to do? She reminded me:

Did you know that when I made you~ you were PURE LOVE~
Did you know that when I made you~ you were WHOLE~
Did you know that you were born of pure DIVINITY~
A true mystery to unfold~

She told me that the moment I STOPPED… the moment that I do~ I’d introduce myself to ME!

Did you know that when I made you~ you were PURE LOVE~
Did you know that when I made you~ you were WHOLE~
Did you know that you were born of pure DIVINITY~
A true mystery to unfold

After a spiritually draining day, Cuba, 2010

She told me to continue my journey… to continue to LOVE deeply... to not hesitate… to share my world… to continue to give… to not be afraid to let my light shine through… and she guarantees the moment that I do… I’d introduce myself to ME!!!!

Today I affirm: Alicia, allow me to introduce you to you... you were born of pure love... when I made you~ you were whole... you are more than what you think you are. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE! And Whose you are!


Thank you Khari Lemuel, for such a beautiful song... thank Greg Stamper for sharing it with ME!

And so it is~

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Song dedicated to recession, depression, and unemployment


"Where are my blue skies where is the love and the joy that your promised... I almost gave up but a power that I can't explain... fell from heaven like a shower... I smile... even though I hurt see I smile..."

I smile....


"Today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine.
Nothing but clouds, and it’s dark in my heart
and it feels like a cold night.
Today’s a new day, but where are my blue skies.
Where is the love and the joy that you promised me
tell me it’s alright."

Kirk Franklin- I Smile Lyrics

I dedicate this song to recession,
depression and unemployment.
This song’s for you.

Today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine.
Nothing but clouds, and it’s dark in my heart
and it feels like a cold night.
Today’s a new day, but where are my blue skies.
Where is the love and the joy that you promised me
tell me it’s alright.

(I’ll be honest with you)

I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain,
fell from heaven like a shower now.

(When I think how much better I’m gonna be when this is over)

[ Lyrics from ]

"I smile, even though I hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while
I smile, smile..
It’s so hard to look up when you’ve been down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now.
You look so much better when you smile, so smile.

Today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine.
Nothing but clouds, and it’s dark in my heart
and it feels like a cold night.
Today’s a new day, but tell me where are my blue skies,
where is the love and the joy that you promised me
tell me it’s – alright.

(the truth is)
I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain
fell from heaven like a shower now.

I smile, even though I’m hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while
I smile, smile.
It’s so hard to look up when you’ve been down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now
You look so much better when you smile.

Smile.. for me
Can you just smile… for me.
Smile.. for me
Can you just smile… for me.

ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
(and while your waiting)
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
(and while your praying)
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
(look in the mirror)
ohohoh, you look so much better when you smile

I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain
fell from heaven like a shower now – right now.

I smile, even though I’m hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while
I smile, smile..
it’s so hard to look up when you’ve been down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now.
You look so much better when you smile.
so smile.

ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you
ohohoh, you look so much better when you

I just want you to be happy..
I want you to have joy ’cause can’t nobody
take that away from you.
I see you.. SMILE!!"

[Kirk Franklin- I Smile Lyrics]


Just smile... today is a NEW DAY!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Make another choice~ Save your own life~ Download Finding Your Force Ebook FREE~


I had a conversation with someone who emailed me out of the blue about my new book and my journey as a writer. She told me that I was an inspiration and that my story was important. In her email she shared with me her incredibly painful story. At the end of the email she asked if I would call her and her mother (who is also writing a book).

The email moved me so much that I felt compelled to call her – IN THAT MOMENT!

While we were on the phone I shared with her that I had no desire to be famous or simply sell 1,000,000 copies of my book. What I wanted more than that was to have 1 million people read it – even if that means for free.

I have decided that an important way for me to get this story to you is by giving it to you as a GIFT. Because I understand that my writing has GIFT given to me. I know that I must share it.

This book was written with so much love for my daughter, for my past, my family, people I have met on this journey… a journey that hasn’t always been easy. In fact, at certain points it has been horrific. But this story is YOUR STORY!

As I said to the woman who emailed me… if this book can encourage one person to take a stand, to make another choice, to release the past, to forgive, to look at themselves in the mirror, to heal from pain… to save their own lives… then I have done what I was born to do.

I have already lived through these experiences and I understand on a spiritual level that God chose me for these lessons – because God understood that I could take it… I could live through it… and I was chosen to tell this story.

And so, please accept this GIFT. Share it with everyone you know. Let’s reach ONE MILLION people. I am grateful for each and every one of you.

Peace, light and love



I have decided to put the tour on hold. Over the past few months I have received quite a few rejections from bookstores requesting that they host my book signing. Unfortunately, they require that I already have a large following in the cities I plan on visiting. I am not deterred. I am still planning my book tour. What I have decided is to REVAMP the tour. Make it more personal. So if you are interested in hosting a reading in your home and can guarantee at least 20 people then I will come to your home, church or organization and share my story.

To book a party, reading or for more information email:

If you would like to donate to my campaign ~ Any offering towards my tour is greatly appreciated. LINK:

Purchase book on AMAZON:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Through Their Eyes~

Through Their Eyes
Leo Daily Horoscope

"A desire to shape people's minds or guide others toward the type of success you yourself have earned can come over you today. You may feel commanding and driven to take on a leadership role. If no relevant opportunities present themselves, consider asking a boss or superior whether there are any young recruits who might benefit from your expertise. You may also discover that there is much pleasure to be had in leading a project or serving as an unofficial mentor and role model. As you observe how the individuals in your care make use of your guidance today, you'll likely see that their individual viewpoints have positively influenced you in myriad ways. The leadership role you undertake can awaken a passion within you for teaching and mentorship that changes your life.

One of the most profound joys of leadership is watching those in your charge evolve and realizing that you too have changed. In guiding others, we also take on the role of apprentice, for our own understanding of a subject or discipline is refined as we offer that knowledge to the individuals we have been called upon to teach. Since the manner in which people assimilate information is unique, you will learn to see the world from the individual vantage points of each of your protégés. Your knowledge of how the mind and soul work together to attain comprehension will grow and subtly yet positively influence the techniques you use when conveying information to others. You'll grow as an individual today as you enthusiastically guide those in your charge toward their destinies."


I take very seriously all the roles I play in life. I understand that I have a tremendous responsibility to share what I have learned and take people by the hand when they WANT to held. But our journeys are individual... our own. And at some point we must learn to LEAD OURSELVES!!!

Peace, light and love,

Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition & El Centro de Orientación ~ Grant Opportunity


Dear Colleagues,

The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition and El Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral, is pleased to announce funding for Community Grants that address HIV and AIDS among men who have sex with men (MSM)/LGBT, transgender people, sex workers (SW), and Marginalized Youth (MY) in the Caribbean. Grassroots organizations led by or working with MSM/LGBT, SW or MY communities in Trinidad, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are encouraged to submit proposals.

Attached you will find the following documents in both English and Spanish versions:

- CVC/COIN Call for Community Grant Proposals with MSM/LGBT, SW and MY

- Instructions for preparing Community Grants

- Community Grants Application Form

- Community Grants Budget Form

Organizations may apply for grants of up to $20,000US. The deadline for applications is 22nd February 2012.

Please circulate this widely among your networks.



Estimados colegas,

La Coalición Caribeña de Comunidades Vulnerables y El Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral, se complace en anunciar la financiación de subsidios comunitarios que aborden el VIH y el SIDA entre hombres que tienen sexo con hombres (HSH)/GLBT, personas transgénero, trabajadores sexuales (TRSX), y los jóvenes marginados (JM) en el Caribe. Organizaciones de base comunitario que trabajan con HSH / GLBT, TRSX y JM en Trinidad, Jamaica y República Dominicana son invitados a presentar propuestas.

Adjunto encontrará los siguientes documentos, tanto en versiones en Inglés y español:
- CVC / COIN Llamada de propuestas de subvención con MSM / GLBT, TRSX y JM
- Las instrucciones para la preparación de las subvenciones
- Formulario de Solicitud de Becas
- Formulario de Presupuesto

Las organizaciones pueden solicitar subvenciones de hasta 20.000 dólares US. La fecha límite para solicitudes es el 22 de febrero 2012.

Por favor, distribuya esta ampliamente entre sus redes.

Louise Tillotson
Technical and Policy Coordinator
CVC/COIN Caribbean Vulnerabilized Groups Project
Skype ID: louiset47

CVC/COIN Community Grants for MSM/LGBT, Sex Worker and Marginalized Youth Projects: Phase I Round

Available Funding

CVC/COIN, The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition and El Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral, is pleased to announce funding for innovative projects that address HIV and AIDS among men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, sex workers (SW), and Marginalized Youth (MY) in the Caribbean. Grassroots organizations led by or working with MSM/LGBT, SW or MY communities in Trinidad, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are encouraged to submit proposals. Funds for these mini-grants are made available under The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Round 9 Caribbean Regional Project.

Approximately $160,000USD is available for this round of mini-grants in Phase I of this project, which initially focuses on only the three aforementioned countries. CVC/COIN anticipates funding between two to three projects in each of the countries for organizations programming with Sex Workers, a further two to three projects in each of the countries for organizations programming with MSM/LGBT, and a final one to two projects in each of the countries for organizations programming with Marginalized Youth. Organizations that submit strong proposals will receive technical support and mentoring from CVC/COIN and can expect to receive funds to begin implementing in March 2012.

Each organization may apply for an award of up to $20,000USD to support project-related costs for up to 9 months, between March 2012 and December 2012. Applications for supporting general administrative and operational costs cannot be considered.

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

· Community-based organizations located in Jamaica, Trinidad, and the Dominican Republic.

· Non-profit organizations (e.g., NGOs, CBOs, and other charitable organizations).

· Organizations led by and working alongside MSM/LGBT, Sex Workers and MY.

· Organizations with solid organizational structures and that take clear steps to ensure meaningful and active engagement and participation of MSM/LGBT, SW or MY in their structure.

· Organizations which seek to launch, expand or replicate an innovative program with a track-record of successful program or service implementation that make measurable impacts on the marginalized populations served.

· Newer organizations that present a revolutionary approach to solving community issues will be considered.

· Organizations with capacity to carry out the proposed activities and effectively manage award funds.

Who Is Not Eligible and SHOULD NOT APPLY?

· Individuals

· Government organizations

· For-profit organizations

· Organizations based in the wider Caribbean region (outside of Jamaica, Trinidad and the Dominican Republic) will have an opportunity to apply for grants in Phase II, but should not apply during this round.

· Organizations with annual operating budgets of more than $1 million USD.

· Organizations that do not meaningfully involve MSM/LGBT, Sex Worker or MY community members in the development and implementation of programs.


The CVC/COIN Vulnerabilized Groups Project is the only project funded in the Caribbean by The Global Fund which focuses on working with socially marginalized and highly stigmatized and discrimination populations who bear the burden of HIV and AIDS.[1] CVC/COIN works in partnership with civil society to challenge structural drivers of the epidemic such as gender-inequality, homophobia, transphobia, and whorephobia and to claim rights. The Vulnerabilized Groups Project recognizes that Caribbean National AIDS Programs lack the ‘know how’, and often willingness, to work with MSM/LGBT, Sex Worker and MY populations. Meanwhile, over the past two decades, Caribbean civil society, CBO’s and NGOs have developed innovative and avant-garde programming and interventions with these populations.

Through the Community Grant Awards, CVC/COIN will provide technical support to community partners to develop model programming. This is an opportunity for community partners to showcase and expand their successful programs and/or to develop innovative models which can be scaled-up in partnership with National AIDS Programs.

Funding Priorities and Areas of Interest

1. Community Grants for MSM

In August 2011 CVC/COIN held a regional consultation with partners in Jamaica to identify core elements of provision of services for MSM and to consider current, potential and unmet needs for MSM programming in the region. Through this consultation, community partners assisted CVC/COIN to identify a framework for action for programming with MSM. CVC/COIN will prioritize grant applications which fall under the following to general areas:

· Community Capacity Building and

· Campaigns to promote health and human rights.

Interventions that include outreach, psycho-social support, social marketing and other innovative strategies around:

Rights-based policy, advocacy, and projects
Community-led research; and/or
A combination of prevention, advocacy, and/or research.

Community capacity building interventions may include

· Provision of community space (including social media and networks and existing safe spaces, such house parties, cafes, clubs, or health services within LGBT-friendly centers as venues for health information and health services)

· Structured mentorship programs to identify and build capacity to increase access to health and other personal development opportunities for MSM

· Interventions which seek to build the community’s informed participation in development of health and rights-based policies and partnerships with policymakers

· Community training in the areas of human rights, security and rapid response mechanisms

· Training of networks of LGBT-friendly healthcare providers to sensitize others in the health sector including support to LGBT-friendly peer educators and professionals in health care settings to help people navigate appropriate health services and care

· Initiatives to support strengthening of national networks of MSM and transgender people, and programs working with MSM and transgender people, to share capacities and information, including about HIV treatment care, and prevention

· Pilot community research, community-based needs assessments

Campaigns to promote health and human rights may include

Development and implementation of communications strategy, including regular updates (via Facebook or other secure media) about national litigation and constitutional change work
Interventions which support greater involvement of communities of MSM and transgender people in any process of impact litigation or national human rights reporting on their behalf

· Community-led reviews of laws and human rights environments, including research to document how existing legal and human rights frameworks impede access to HIV interventions and how adoption of model laws, judicial practice, and law enforcement might improve this access

· Rights literacy campaigns, including audiovisual, written and verbal communications

· Mechanisms to collect/report/document, and respond to rights violations, including partnerships between MSM/trans organizations and national human rights institutions such as legal aid clinics and networks, hotlines, and human rights networks
· Educational campaigns focusing on any of the following alone or in combination - men’s health and transgender health that challenges stereotypes, transactional sex and mental health

CVC/COIN is happy to accept feedback on this call and these priority areas defined.

2. Community Grants for Sex Workers

CVC/COIN is committed to supporting projects that promote the health and rights of the diverse communities of sex workers across the Caribbean.

We encourage organizations led by, or working with, the following populations to apply:

Female sex workers
MSM sex workers
Transgender sex workers
Migrant sex workers
Trafficked sex workers
Imprisoned or formerly incarcerated sex workers
Sex workers who use drugs
HIV positive sex workers
Young men and women engaged in transactional sex

Further, we encourage proposals from groups that are reaching sex workers in all of the settings where they work including (but not limited to): brothels, massage parlors, the street, clubs, rural areas, escort services, the tourism industry, and prison.

Examples of sex worker interventions that CVC/COIN will consider for support:

a. Prevention: Community-based, peer-led prevention programs including distribution of and education about: male and female condoms, lubricant, contraceptives, and harm reduction for drug-users. These programs should be relevant to the specific needs of the populations listed above and preferably reach sex workers at their places of work or in safe community spaces (see below).

b. Health education: Community-based health education programs that address the multitude of health issues facing sex workers. These could include programs on HIV prevention, ARV treatment literacy, sexual health (including anal sex), reproductive health, and new prevention technologies such as treatment as prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (prEP), microbicides and vaccines. CVC/COIN will prioritize health education programs that utilize the expertise of both sex workers and resource people from national AIDS programs and public clinics (doctors, nurses, etc.), creating forums for sensitization and learning.

c. Access to care: Efforts to strengthen relationships between sex worker communities and public and private health systems to improve access to HIV testing and treatment and STI screening and treatment. These programs could include training healthcare workers about sex workers’ health needs, developing and strengthening referral, tracking and follow-up systems between sex worker organizations and clinics, Spanish language services for migrant sex workers, and mobile clinics. CVC/COIN will prioritize access to care programs that build the capacity of public health services to provide appropriate, non-stigmatizing services to sex workers as well as efforts to provide sustained care for mobile sex workers who move across the region.

d. Safe community spaces: Safe spaces that are welcoming and safe for sex workers and can be used for support group meetings (focusing on such issues as self-esteem building, psycho-social care, building community solidarity, etc.), one-on-one counseling, and dissemination of health and rights information. CVC/COIN is not able to support general administrative costs, including office rent. If the proposed safe space is within an office, applicants must clearly delineate the costs of community spaces and describe the programs they will house.

e. Structured mentorships: Peer-led mentorship programs in which sex workers learn from one another about effective HIV prevention, care, and treatment interventions, self-esteem building, self-organizing, monitoring and evaluation, and organizational capacity building. CVC/COIN will prioritize funding for long-term structured mentorship programs rather than one-time trainings.

f. Social and economic support: Strategies to link sex workers to the social and economic support they require such as substance abuse counseling, rehabilitation for the formerly incarcerated, school fees for sex worker’s children, and access to alternative employment for those who wish to transition out of sex work. CVC will not support sex worker-led organizations to run social support programs themselves, but rather to develop referral programs and/or collaborative relationships with appropriate social service and economic development organizations.

g. Advocacy to improve health services for sex workers: Monitoring and addressing discrimination and quality of care issues for sex workers in public and private health facilities and advocacy efforts to urge national AIDS programs and research institutions to build the body evidence about epidemiological trends among sex workers in order to improve and inform targeted evidence-based interventions. CVC/COIN encourages peer-learning among sex workers to build capacity to engage in policy and advocacy strategy development.

h. Human rights education: Basic human rights education on local, regional, and international human rights instruments, conventions and declarations that can be deployed to protect and promote the rights of sex workers and training on how to effectively use them in organizing and activism. CVC/COIN will prioritize human rights education and training programs run by sex workers and geared toward realizing the right to health.

i. Enabling environment: Legal and advocacy efforts to challenge national laws and policies that criminalize sex work, increase sex workers’ vulnerability to HIV (such as forced or coercive testing policies or immigration policies that exclude sex workers from services), and violate their rights. This could also include efforts to address violence against sex workers (including rape) through training police and security forces, coordinating reports of violence from individuals and organizations, and self-defense and empowerment programs in which sex workers learn to protect themselves. CVC/COIN will prioritize legal and advocacy activities that further PANCAP’s Regional Policy on HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination.

j. Communication campaigns: Marches and rallies, radio, television, print-media campaigns, and press conferences designed to bring sex worker health and rights issues into the public sphere, challenge stereotypes, and build tolerance. CVC/COIN will prioritize proposals for communication campaigns that build in security precautions and psychosocial support for sex workers who choose to be the public face of organizations and movements.

k. Emergency response: The development of rapid response mechanisms that provide emergency support, and in some cases, technical assistance, to respond to police crack downs, raid and rescue operations, anti-human rights legislation, and flare ups of violence. CVC/COIN encourages sex worker organizations in-country and across the region to collaborate on the development of emergency response planning in order to strengthen the regional response to human rights violations against sex workers.

CVC/COIN is happy to accept feedback on this call and these priority areas defined.

3. Community Grants for Marginalized Youth

Traditionally socially excluded, hard to reach, youth have not been targets of National AIDS Programs in the Caribbean region, despite the fact that young people account for the highest number of new HIV infections. Challenges common to marginalized youth across the region include stigma and discrimination, homelessness, family rejection, lack of or insufficient or sporadic income, high school drop-out rate, unemployment, food insecurity, lack of physical safety, poor or limited access to youth-friendly, confidential and comprehensive healthcare, and limited ability to negotiate condom use.

Projects submitted to CVC/COIN should be rights-based with a focus on promoting positive attitudes towards sexual reproductive health of young people, and should encourage youth-led responses and leadership in the response to HIV and AIDS. All project proposals should include HIV prevention as a core element of programming but as the needs of youth are multi-layered, proposals should respond to a combination of the below needs to create innovative programs for reducing HIV among socially excluded youth.

1. HIV prevention

§ Education

§ Testing

§ Condom services

§ Treatment as prevention

2. Care, treatment and support

· Treatment literacy

· Case management

· Facilitated referral

· Adherence

3. Empowerment, self-awareness and personal development

§ Literacy

§ Self-esteem development

§ Personal hygiene

§ Communication

§ Survival skills (how to complete a job application, how to apply for a passport, how to apply for a driver’s license)

§ Entrepreneurial skills/ income-generation skills (cooperatives)

§ Money management

§ Healthy Eating

4. Psycho-social support

· Counseling

· Family consuelan

· Stress management

· Stigma, self stigma

· Housing

· Conflict management

5. Safe Spaces

· Spaces that are non-discriminatory and non-judgmental for service delivery - clinical, education and for social interaction

6. Advocacy, Networking and Participation

· Inter-personal communication

· Networking

· Social media

· Advocacy campaigns
· Initiatives to enhance participation in decision-taking processes

CVC/COIN is happy to accept feedback on this call and these priority areas defined.

Sponsor Organizations

Grassroots groups that are not yet formally registered may consider partnering with a “sponsor” organization that is eligible to receive funding. The sponsor organization would receive and manage funds, provide general oversight for execution of the funded project, and potentially provide technical support to the applicant. In such cases, the non-registered organization should apply directly. However, the application should clearly identify the sponsor organization, describe in detail all technical support that the sponsor will provide (including monitoring and oversight of expenditures), and include a letter of agreement from the sponsor.

Review Process

All mini-grant proposals will be considered and reviewed by a Steering Committee of peer and community experts in the region, who have expertise working with and designing programming for MSM/LGBT, Sex Worker, and MY populations, including technical staff of the CVC/COIN project.

Following this review, successful community partners will be invited to trainings to refine and further elaborate their proposals, and particularly to detail the workplan, monitoring and evaluation plan, and budget.

Project proposals will be reviewed and scored against the Application Form and Budget Proposal and the following criteria:

· Impact: How effective is the project likely to be in improving conditions for the target group?

· Strength of plan and measurable outcomes: Does the proposal have a clearly defined plan of action with measurable outcomes for success?

· Leverage: Will this grant result in outside donations or government buy-in?

· Documentation: Does this proposal include a reasonable plan for communicating the project's successes and the lessons learned?

· Breadth of Community Involvement: Does the project involve the target group fully in all aspects of the project?

· Budget: Does the project use resources creatively and get the biggest “bang for the buck?” Does the budget presented seem to be an accurate projection of costs?

· Capacity Building: Will the project result in increased organizational and individual leadership skills and improved relationships?

· Partnerships/Collaborations: Does the project involve collaboration between multiple groups, especially those with different levels of capacity?

· Maintenance & Sustainability: Does the proposal identify how the project’s outcomes will be sustained in the future beyond the GF support?

Forms and Instructions

Copies of the Application Form and Budget Form are attached and may be submitted in either English or Spanish. Please read all of the Instructions carefully as they contain the information necessary for the proper preparation and submission of a successful proposal.

Applicants must also provide the names and contact information of at least two external references who are familiar with the organization and its work but who are not affiliated with the organization or the project for which funding is requested. Please do not include letters of support or other documents from your references. References may or may not be contacted as part of the proposal review.

Submission of Applications

Please submit all applications to

All applications must be received no later than:

22nd February 2012, 5pm (Dominican Republic time)

Confidentiality and Communications

Throughout the review and award process, CVC/COIN respects the privacy of the applicant and is committed to protecting from disclosure any confidential or proprietary information contained in a submitted proposal.

While we will make every effort to ensure confidentiality in these situations, CVC/COIN, cannot guarantee complete confidentiality and/or be held liable for the disclosure of information that causes harm to individuals or groups associated with funded projects. Groups should be aware that any information provided carries the risk of being shared publicly through open dialogue about funding priorities, peer review processes, and communications about the project, decisions, and reported outcomes. Submission of a funding application is deemed to indicate the applicant’s understanding and acceptance of these risks.

Requirements and Restrictions

CVC/COIN seeks to support quality and accountable programs. Therefore, all organizations funded through this grant-process will be required to provide monthly, mid-term and final reports, and will be required to utilize the community web-based M&E platform and database designed by CVC/COIN specifically for its partners.

Organizations should be able and ready to document appropriate financial and accounting controls, including measures to prevent duplicated use or misappropriation of funds. Any renewal of funding will be contingent upon careful adherence to these reporting requirements.

CVC/COIN will provide close technical support and financial oversight of all mini-grants awarded.

Louise Tillotson
Technical and Policy Coordinator
CVC/COIN Caribbean Vulnerabilized Groups Project

Skype ID: louiset47

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

City 1: Providence, RI ~ Gratitude~

GRATITUDE~ feeling grateful… I kicked off my Finding Your Force 20-city tour and the first stop was Providence, Rhode Island.

Moments up to the reading I was incredibly nervous. THESE PEOPLE KNOW ME. These people knew my history. A lot of these people no my intimate story because they were either, next door neighbors during my teenage years or colleagues when I worked for the Providence school Department. These were people who are my extended family… cousins, spiritual sisters and my ex husband…

It was such a beautiful evening. To look into the eyes of every person sitting there was something incredible for me. The Q & A portion was the part I enjoyed the most. That’s when everyone really went in… there was no holding back… so I gave the audience (my family) all of me. It’s the least I could do… for everything Rhode Island has given me I say THANK YOU!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dear Rhode Island,

We have had a love/hate relationship since I was 15 years old. There have been so many moments I despised you. Disliked everything about you. The clean streets, the eerie quiet of Warwick. The feeling that I was no longer a city girl because my parents forced us to move to the country… that’s what I really believed that I was living in some backwards town. Where I would never progress. Where I would never be anything.

And then much later I understood something…

Maybe Rhode Island wasn’t so bad. Perhaps the move to Warwick, RI was exactly what I needed to transform me into the woman I was born to become. And so as I grew up Rhode Island and me well… we’ve been through all kinds of amazing and not so amazing things together…

Like graduating Pilgrim High School
Like getting pregnant right after graduating

To Warwick, Cranston, Providence, Johnston, Narragansett and especially Newport I say thank you.

Thank you for being the journey that was being prepared for me. It was amazing to be in RI yesterday.

Thank you Carole and the staff at Books on the Square for hosting such a lovely reading. I will carry last night with me always.

Thank you to EVERYONE who attended…

Thank you for your constant love and support of my dream.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you.

Peace, light and LOVE,
Always Alicia

Monday, February 13, 2012

Arriving to WHOLENESS~ dedicated to Whitney Houston

Before I begin my work on the Afrolatinos script I wanted to do a freewrite to get some things out of my body. I thought it might be good idea to do it together.

The word I am meditating on today is BROKEN…

Define Broken.... PART 1: write for five minutes without stopping. No censors... no editing... just write... PART 2: for ten minutes write about WHOLENESS~ what keeps us from arriving to wholeness and what that would wholeness like? 10 minutes without stopping~ GO

Part 1: Define Broken – 5 minute freewrite

The easiest thing that comes to mind is a broken heart… but it’s much deeper than that. It isn’t so simple. Broken at its core is a complete dismantle, devastation and call for help. I am thinking about broken people. I have been one of these people. Broken to me starts with a past that completely broke me down. People that did not understand me. People that wanted to change me. PRESSURE…

I am thinking about Whitney Houston in this moment and the many people who are judging and speculating about how she lived her life and who she was. What they fail to see is that she is (was) a sister, someone’s mother, a daughter and friend. I don’t pretend to know what she was going through. Only she knew her story. But my heart makes me wonder was she BROKEN?

Broken implies that there is no way to put something together… a complete shattering… but broken can mean some other things… perhaps we are supposed to get down on our hands and knees and pick up the broken pieces and one by one try and put it together… stress, addiction, heartache, anxiety, depression, loneliness, loss, regret, self hate, anger, abuse, alcoholism TIMES UP!

Part 2: what keeps us from arriving to wholeness and what would WHOLENESS look like 10 minutes without stopping~

As I begin this second part of the freewrite my heart hurts… the alarm scared the heck out of me… it was as if something was rising inside of me that I felt like I was breaking from the inside… my chest is beating really fast. But that just means that this discomfort that I am feeling—is good. I need to use it and keep going. So lets go…

What keeps us from arriving to wholeness and what would wholeness look like?
I need to change that sentence because I cannot and will not speak for anyone but me. What has kept me from arriving to wholeness? It may seem cliché or something that I have told myself over and over again… but my past has kept me from arriving at my wholeness. I held on for so long… death grip holding on… to my past like it was the most comfortable blanket ever created.

My past is what BROKE me… experiences of my present devastated my… but all and all it was all the CRaP I CHOSE to hold onto. The past has kept me from arriving~ it IS that simple… it is that TRUTH. People from my past, my past story, words from my past, experiences from my past, mistakes from my past… a past I NO LONGER have to live in the present. We are writing a NEW STORY PEOPLE!

What would my wholeness look like? MY GOD! Just the thought of it excites me. The possibilities ARE endless. ALICIA IN ALL HER WHOLENESS…

I have examined all – most of all - the many broken pieces of me and my past…. I have held them close, slept with the pieces in my bed… one by one allowing them to cut me to feel the pain just a little longer, feeling it just a little deeper. But I’m done with that….

What my wholeness looks like… it is blinding… it is magical… it is complete… it is beautiful. It is everything that I AM.

My wholeness is health, faith, spirit, truth, compassion, love, kindness, generosity, understanding and patient!

What my wholeness looks like is GRATITUDE for every single thing I get to experience and every single thing that I have.

Today is a new day. As I sit here a little sad over the loss of Whitney Houston… I am grateful that I am alive and always have an opportunity to make another choice. To strive at wholeness every single day. I have a new commitment to me… a new commitment for my daughter. A new commitment to life. A new commitment towards everything I was born to do. And for this commitment I am so grateful. And so it is~ TIME IS UP

Breathe~ sit still…. Stay in this moment…
Deep inhale~ THANK YOU
Slow exhale~ thank you

Have a magnificent day!

And to Whitney Houston's daughter... I am sending you a special prayer... sending you so much love... as a mother I am sending you a MOTHERS LOVE... a mothers strength... a mothers wisdom... a mothers EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED... to help you move through this moment... to help you LIVE THROUGH THIS MOMENT... you are not alone and your mommy is right there next to you... FEEL HER!

Your mother was the first person to give me HOPE!

I will never forget HER!!!! THIS IS WHITNEY!!!


Luz para tu espiritu... gracias por tu LUZ!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ayudando Mujeres Afro-Latinas ~ beca

La misión de When and Where I Enter, Inc. (“WWIE”) es consolidar instituciones y organizaciones que apoyan nuestra meta de ayudar a las Afro-Latinas ejercer control sobre sus vidas y participar en sus comunidades de modo significativo y efectivo. WWIE aceptara las propuestas de la concesión en temas de Desarrollo Económico y Educación; Salud y Conciencia Sexual; Desarrollo de Liderazgo; y Enriquecimiento Cultural. Por favor complete el formulario adjunto de inscripción y devuélvalo por correo o por correo electrónico ( antes del 16 de marzo de 2012. Las concesiones pueden ser de $500 a $5,000.

Desarrollo Económico y Educación: WWIE apoya organizaciones que ayudan a las Afro-Latinas desarrollar las habilidades para adquirir y mantener un empleo confiable para ayudar a levantarse y a sus familias de la pobreza. También apoyamos programas que permiten a Afro-Latinas crear y preservar prosperidad en la forma de ahorros, hogares y empresas empresariales.

Salud y Conciencia Sexual: WWIE apoya organizaciones que promuevan un ambiente seguro e informado en el cual las mujeres y niñas pueden participar en su propia salud reproductiva. Esto incluye, pero no se limita a, proporcionando educación sobre estrategias de prevención, mejorando el acceso a servicios de salud y proporcionando apoyo a sobrevivientes de violencia domestica y por género.

Desarrollo de Liderazgo: WWIE apoya organizaciones que reconocen el valor de las mujeres y niñas afro-latinas como recursos a sus familias y comunidades y que promueven las habilidades de liderazgo para dar poder a mujeres y niñas para convertirse en agentes activos del cambio social y participar más completamente en sus comunidades.

Enriquecimiento Cultural: WWIE apoya organizaciones que animan la expresión creativa de mujeres y niñas afro-latinas como una forma de diseminar tradiciones culturales y atraer las comunidades donde viven.

Para mas información, favor de visitar

Lori S. Robinson

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

“If you don’t know who you are, how will you know where you're headed?”

Thank you Sigma Lambda Upsilon, Black Women’s Forum, National Council Negro Women @ George Washington University for hosting the Afrolatinos presentation during your Bleeding Black celebration during Black History Month~

“If you don’t know who you are, how will you know where you're headed?” My father raised me to KNOW THIS!

The message that I am left with after our event last night is the importance of claiming WHO YOU ARE!

It’s not about making a choice of “If I choose one I must let go of the other… because I can’t be both!”

Who says?

We can embrace ALL of it! We can stand in the truth of who we are. Whatever that means for US... as decided by us. We no longer need to accept the labels and definitions as decided by others.

Black Latina/o
African American

There are so many debates on labels being social constructs being placed on us. Some labels we like some we dislike. Yet I am all for those labels that UNITE rather than divide us. Choose whatever feels like HOME for you... Me personally, I identify as Latina, Hispana, Dominicana, AfroDominicana... I am ALL of that!

Its moments like these that make me feel so blessed to do the work that I do. I could not have asked for a better experience. Thank you for allowing me to share this story.

Thank you to all of the schools who came out: Georgetown, American University, George Mason, Catholic University, Marymount and the many people in attendance that I have met on this journey. THANK YOU!

Special thank you to Raissa, Dara, Nichell, Sadjada, Maurissa and the countless people who helped put this event together. Please join the movement by helping to spread the word ~

Let’s celebrate BLACK HISTORY and AFROLATINOS every month!

Sending you all mucho ACHE~

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

20 City Book Tour kicks off in Providence, RI

Several months ago I was invited to be apart of a poetry night in Providence where I was invited to read from my new book Finding Your Force and it wasn’t until I got on the bus that I started to feel the SIGNIFICANCE of reading in Rhode Island. I had no idea that my body would respond the way that it did. I was incredibly nervous (beyond my speaking in front of people nervousness) this was something else. This was about returning to where I grew up. This was about going back to the state where many transformations happened for me both good and bad. Rhode Island is where I became a mother and then the place where I would become a woman. And so it was heavy. That moment was amazing for me. That’s when I realized that Providence was probably THE MOST important reading of my life and with so much LOVE and GRATITUDE I return to the scene of the crime and where my greatest blessing was born. I am excited to share my story where so much of it is formed.


Sometimes we are called to return and face things in order for forgiveness and healing to happen~

Event Date: Friday, February 10, 2012
Event time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Venue: Books on the Square
Address: 471 Angell Street
Providence, RI

Additional Information: Reception to follow

Web site:

Rhode Island writer returns for a book reading:

This is a very special stop on the authors 20 City Tour. Alicia attended Warwick Vets, graduated from Pilgrim High School, attended Rhode Island College and went on to work for the Providence School Department for many years before leaving to pursue her dream of writing in NYC. Join us for a special reading.

FINDING YOUR FORCE is a memoir written in the form of a love letter to a daughter. In this intimate conversation we journey into the darkest parts of Alicia's soul. We walk with her as she digs deep underneath the ruins where all her secrets are kept.

Santos is being called on an excavation to stop running and face those moments that have transformed her from surviving rape, healing through loss and coming out as a lesbian. This is a journey about life, death and rebirth. Alicia tells her daughter a story that is raw and heart wrenching. It is not a love story but definitely a story of love. Santos is a Writer, Producer and Playwright who is passionate about writing works that empower and inspire women to find their voices.

For more information visit: to book author readings email:

How I'm feeling about this particular reading this week:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Living the FOUR Agreements~

First Agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Words.


I have decided to re-read the FOUR Agreements. It has been years since I have explored the principles Don Ruiz shares. Sometimes we need guidance. Reminders... support... new ways of loving ourselves.

There is learning to be found in ALL things and from all those we come in contact with. We can not continue to resist the truth staying closed to things being revealed to us. We must remain OPEN and remember to BREATHE! Change is for our greatest good.

I AFFIRM: This week I am making changes for ME~

The Four Agreements:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Words. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid gossiping about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.

3. Don't Make Assumptions. Communicate as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Simply do your best and you will avoid self judgement, self abuse and regret.

~ Don Miguel Ruiz ~


Let's read as a community and share our discoveries!

Have a beautiful week~

Peace, light and LOVE,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

You are WORTHY!

“And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it!” ~ The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Today I am meditating on the emotions… ENVY and JEALOUSY and how incredibly important it is to release those self-defeating, self-sabotaging and toxic emotions & behaviors in order to achieve our own personal legend!

You’ve heard the comments that people say:

“So and so can’t act!”
“So and so can’t sing!”
“So and so should give more to the community”
“So and so isn’t that smart”
“So and so isn’t really that talented”
“So and so slept their way to the top!”
“Why is so and so such a success they don’t deserve it”

And people say these with the utmost conviction… like they KNOW for a fact that this is true!

Many of us spend a lot of time gossiping and filling our thoughts with negative ideas about people who are out there doing it! REALLY DOING IT!

This week I have spent the majority of my time CALLING FORTH that which I want for MY self and MY life!

And just in a matter of days I have experienced a tremendous amount of change… life shifts… things lifted… transformations… confirmations that my path, my journey is the right one for me.

I attended a workshop this week offered by DeAlmas Founder and Author of “You Are MORE Than Good Enough, Gloria Rodriguez

One of the things that Gloria (facilitator, author, spiritual sister and MENTOR) said to me when I mentioned that MY VISION for 2012 is to be a SUCCESS in all areas of my life… was that the place I needed to work from was SURRENDER (a reminder for me because I know this) I needed to release all attachment to what MY ideas of success are and be open to success coming to me in unexpected forms and releasing ideas on how long it would take… being open to it taking however long it needed to take.

Then she said something that has become an affirmation for me a question that she asked me to say to myself everyday - - What is required of me to grow into my success today? How can I be more successful today?

Then Gloria said something to me that I thought was so beautiful… in order for me to have the success I desire “I MUST BE HAPPY FOR PEOPLE WITH SUCCESS!”

THIS is how I call success forth… its not about being envious or jealous of anyone. You are worthy of success… and so am I! For this knowing I am so grateful. And so it is.

I AFFIRM: You are worthy of success! I am worthy of success!


(I posted this blog in 2009 but I wanted to re-share to remind myself where I am, where I am headed and all that I need to be and have in order to get there!)

I started to think about the people I have met on my journey. Those who are in my inner circle and just associations I have made along the way. I look at the people who surround me (us) and how very comfortable people become with how we live our lives. People are comfortable with the person we USED TO BE.

THIS journey ALTERS you forever... you are rarely EVER the same...

I'm thinking about this idea of evolution, growth and stagnation. Where we stay in this place where people have always known us… we stay right where we are in order to make others comfortable. When we start on that journey of finding our personal legend, truly going in search of OUR OWN INDIVIDUAL journey and allowing that journey to take us where it may what we find is that there are those who will be supportive and happy for us and many who will not happy for us.

There are people who will LIVE to try and knock us off our path.


Don't be afraid of these people... they are afraid to walk THEIR OWN WALK. Many people will have opinions about us… and will have much to say about the WHO WE ARE becoming. Yet we don't need to worry about their opinions...

There will be some who will want the gifts we receive for themselves… disguised as envy and jealousy - - the naysayer’s – the people who will find negativity in the joy and blessings we receive.

There are people who will try to convince us that it is impossible to realize our personal legend - - who will fill us with self doubt, poison, negativity, gossip, rumors… projecting THEIR OWN fears of achieving, receiving or reaching their own potential… and in the face of THOSE who doubt US… we MUST continue to prepare our spirit and nurture our WILL to carry on – to continue the journey - - we must honor what we have been called to do… we must KEEP GETTING READY~

I AFFIRM: I am not jealous or envious of your blessings because the universe always provides me with what is meant for me! Maferefun Ochun~

Peace, light and LOVE~

Thursday, February 2, 2012

FEBRUARY 2012 Author Readings & Event Calendar

Tuesday, February 7th @ 7pm
George Washington University
Bleeding Black (Black History Month Event)
Marvin Center, Room 402
Washington, DC
Afrolatinos Presentation:

Friday, February 10th @ 7:00PM
Books on the Square
471 Angell Street
Providence, RI
(401) 331-9097

Tuesday, February 14th @ 12:30pm
Hunter College - Room: Hunter West 215
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Black History Month Event
Afrolatinos Presentation:

For more information on scheduling author signings, speaking engagements, workshops and how to host a book reading in your home email author at:

Bleeding Black!

Who gets to identify with being black?

Is there only one way of being black?

How do we define blackness?

Why is there a black/brown divide?

Is black HOT?

How has society played a role in the destruction of blackness?

These are some of the questions and themes we will be discussing next week as I travel to Washington, DC to present AFROLATINOS: The Untaught Story!

Join Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority Inc., Black Women's Forum, and the National Council of Negro Women as we proudly present:

2012 Black History Celebration: Bleeding Black

“AfroLatinos: The Untaught Story”
with Alicia Anabel Santos

There are an estimated 200 million Afro-descendants throughout Latin America, yet the majority have no political or economic power. This is the story of a shared history not found in textbooks.

Bleeding Black

The theme for Black Heritage Celebration 2012 is Bleeding Black and will focus on three broad categories: Tortured Souls, Healing Wounds, and Pride and Prejudice. Within these categories we invite participants to consider the following: (Tortured Souls) Violence throughout the African Diaspora, the US prison industrial complex, violence against Black women in the U.S. and abroad; (Healing Wounds) Health care, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, healthy eating, sexual/reproductive health, spirituality, healthy living; and finally, (Pride and Prejudice) Black power movement, Black arts and cultural movements throughout the Diaspora, critiques of these movements, celebrations of black heritage amidst a history of discrimination. The collection of signature BHC 2012 events promises to challenge our audience to have these, and many more conversations through thoughtful dialogue, debate, performances, art work, panel discussions, educational displays, and engaging speakers. FOR CALENDAR OF EVENTS VISIT:


Tuesday, February 7th

Marvin Center, Room 402


Refreshments will be provided!

Join Alicia Anabel Santos - an activist, producer, and spoken word artist - as she takes us on a journey to meet Afro-Latinos throughout Spanish and Portuguese-speaking nations of Central and South America, in addition to the Caribbean. “AfroLatinos: The Untaught Story” explores the history, language, identity, gender and social issues of Afro Latinidad!

Alicia Anabel is a proud New York-born Afro-Dominicana who is passionate about writing works that empower and inspire women to find their voices, speak up and demand that they be respected. After reading one too many stories about women she could not wholly relate to, Alicia decided to write her own tales that would honor women of Afro-Latin descent and represent American-born Latinas.

For more information about “AfroLatinos: The Untaught Story” and Alicia Santos please visit:



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Living without LIMITATIONS~ Living with PASSION~ A writers journey...

Last night I attended my first class for Introduction to Screenwriting and it was an incredible experience. Although I am not ready to begin writing my film this class has already served to point me in the right direction. I left there feeling so incredibly inspired and excited. My passion for writing was beginning to dwindle. The internal creative candle was flickering.

Yet after spending 2 ½ hours listening to the instructor speak on the craft of writing and the significance of telling strong stories that candle began burning me on the inside. I couldn’t wait to go home and revisit the work that I have put to the side. Without sounding cliché, in so many ways I feel like the writing session gave birth to a NEW writer in me.

I could tell that the instructor John Ramaine LOVES what he does. He loves movies. He loves writing. He loves story telling. And his love for the craft is precisely what PASSION is!

Passion is the daily practice… waking up daily and loving what we do. It’s a combination of passion and desire for that thing that we LOVE! As a writer… it’s about a constant passion for writing… it’s a deep love for telling stories… and today I am feeling so in love.

The class served as a reminder that I am in the right place doing what I was born to do. Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we doubt our path, we doubt our journey, and we question whether or not we should continue.

My response is HELL YES! We must persist! We must never give up!

To the writers who read my words… this class isn’t just about writing for the big screen. The tools and principles being shared serve as a guide for all forms of writing.

Last night, John was talking about movies but I am switching the word MOVIES with WRITING… when he said,

“Writing is a portal to a world with unlimited possibilities!”

Let’s stop putting LIMITATIONS on our art and in our lives!

Next class: This Thursday, Feb. 2 @ 6:30pm

Screenwriting and Filmmaking classes offered by FELT Lab for more information (these classes are for all levels - there is always something to learn and is open to both women and men)

Screenwriting classes begin PROMPTLY @ 6:30pm @ 107 Suffolk Street, Room 311

DATES: Feb 2, 9, 16 and 21

There is still time to join...

Contact FELT:

To sign up to FELT:

For more information:

My testimony: JUST TAKE ONE STEP!

Peace, light and LOVE,