Thursday, April 25, 2013

Goodbye letter to my readers! Last Finding Your Force Post!!!


My beloved readers... in just a few moments I will be hitting PUBLISH on my last blog post in Finding Your Force. The end of an incredibly important moment in my life. This blog was the reason I wrote and published my first book: Finding Your Force: A Journey to Love and has been the source of so much of my inspiration and life building! I have become so much of who I am in this space.
It’s 6:00 pm, Thursday, April 25, 2013, and I am sitting in Penn Station thinking about you—my readers. Those of you who have cried with me, celebrated with me, agreed and disagreed with me.
I am writing to thank you for the most amazing seven years of my life.
For more than seven years I have been exposing parts of myself through my writing. Sharing private moments and life celebrations as well as life frustrations. Thank you for following my blog. Thank you for meeting me on this journey. Thank you for being such a big part of my growth.
My life has taken a turn.
A turn for the amazing!
Change is good!
Change is necessary!
And so today I say goodbye to FINDING YOUR FORCE and I welcome you to a new space where I will be sharing simply named:
It has been an honor to be of service to you.
It has been my pleasure to share my process with you and with the world.
THANK YOU from the depths of me.
As this chapter closes!
A new story begins!
Aché!
I am wishing you all many blessings, peace, light and LOVE~
Alicia

Please subscribe to my new blog:  ALICIA ANABEL SANTOS
Contact me at: findingyourforce@gmail.com

Afrolatinos COLLEGE CHALLENGE! Un Llamado to Colleges Worldwide! @afrolatinostv #ALTV60K #UNLLAMADO


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What’s up family! It’s Alicia Anabel Santos from Afrolatinos: The Untaught Story!

I have visited many of you and we have spoken at length about what you can do to help and I am here to put you to the challenge “If  you choose to accept it!”

The COLLEGE CHALLENGE is simple:

The top five schools with the most signatures on the Afrolatinos: UN LLAMADO petition will win a video conference/presentation.

In the Indiegogo campaign the prizes are listed. There is an opportunity for members to travel with Afrolatinos in the field, research their DNA and visit the communities we are celebrating!

The schools that raise the most money will be able to send a representative to travel with us and visit an Afrolatino community!

Let’s make this go viral.

#AFLTV60K #UNLLAMADO




Thank you for your continued support!

In solidarity! Pa’lante!

Twitter Conversation with @Afrolatinostv on Identidad/Identity #unllamado






Join us for a series of Afrolatinostv twitter conversations the first on Identity/Identidad!

See you Monday, April 29th @ 9:00PM~

ACHE!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Un llamado. Petition to get Afrolatinos on TV.

April 12, 2013
Dear Media Executives, Political and Religious Leaders, Celebrities, family and friends; 
We are writing to express our disappointment that several networks we have reached out to, both nationally and internationally have not picked up our program. We are requesting your signature in support of Afrolatinos: The Untaught Story. There are an estimated 150 million afro-descendants in Latin America, many of which do not have political or economic power. This documentary television series aims to educate and initiate social change for this community of people.
Click the Change.org link above to continue reading and please sign our petition.
Peace, light and love,
Alicia

Patriarchy and Racism

Watch "The Harassment That Wasn't..." on YouTube

"Patriarchy and Racism two sides of the same coin." Sofia Quintero

Sofia talks about why its important to have more men of color become feminist.

Addresses issues with music lyrics like that of Rick Ross who talks about slipping a Molly in a girls drink or Lil Wayne, "beat that pussy up like Emmet Till."

How society (patriarchy) deems it  acceptable to treat womyn.

Let's have this conversation.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Place your hands behind your back!


The space that I am in is a 10’ x 6’ jail cell. The walls are tan but you can barely see the cream color of the original paint with pasted on dirt that engulfs the room. Soiled toilet paper balls thrown onto the walls becoming home made art. Every inch of it covered in filth. Garbage all over the floors, steel silver toilet completely filled with unflushable shit, putrid, a black sea overflowing. The entire space smelling of a combination of urine, vomit and feces.
I sat on a bench where people carved their names that they were here. I was careful not to move in this space I didn’t want any of this experience on me. I sat in the corner closest to the prison bars not allowing my head to lean too closely to the walls or touch anything, even though I was exhausted… even though what I wanted more than anything was to lay down and sleep… wishing that this moment was a dream that I would wake up and be in my bed… wanting to believe that this moment was not really happing to me… Alicia Anabel Santos…
“PLACE YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK!”
These would be the words tattooed on my eyelids, stitched in heart, marking my soul!
This is a reflection… a contemplation of the moments that would lead up to a moment that would serve as yet another moment of trauma in my life.
1900 hours
It’s Thursday, April 4th, 2013. My one-woman show I WAS BORN debuted and kicked off its college tour at the University of New Haven. It was a packed house. Jenny Perez delivered the testimonies of 8 of the most heart wrenching stories ever passed down through me. She is an honor to watch.
2130 hours
After the show we had a talk back. The students asked some amazing questions and addressed some powerful issues and subjects. They talked about the characters that impacted them;
Milagros, the 16-year-old prostitute from the Dominican Republic, appreciating the realness of her voice and the issue of sexual tourism.
Clara, the 5-year-old from Chile who was molested by her father (for three years), yet the government awarded him visitation with the young girl.
Isabella of Peru, a young girl being exploited by her parents, who uses her talents out of the dire necessity to eat.
Priscilla, the hip-hop artist from Cuba who is seeking freedom for herself though her voice.
Mara, a successful writer from Puerto Rico who self-mutilates because all she ever wanted was to make her father proud.
Veronica, a lesbian who maries a man for a visa in order to save her family, “it all about the family!”
Caya, an indigenous woman from Colombia who is being pushed from her lands by the guerilla.
And finally Lia, the narrator of this incredibly important story. Lia, a CNN correspondent from the United States. Who after traveling all over Latin America realizes that she must bring these stories home and address the atrocities that are happening to womyn all over Latin America.
One of the things we talked about after the play was how this story wasn’t just one about womyn in Latin America, but it is a universal story effecting womyn all over the world. These womyn live everywhere and come from so many different cultures and countries. Violence against womyn is the number 1 human rights violation impacting the world!
Lia, who was chosen to tell their stories… stories of survival, abuse, inequality, discrimination, injustice, exploitation, hyper-sexualization and objectification of women, femicide and invisibility. Her message is one that fights for equality and social justice!
Lia—who is really ALICIA!
A womyn who lives to tell stories that depict the strength of spirit that lives in each womyn but especially mujeres Latinas.
We toasted with a glass of wine before leaving… here’s to Jenny Perez, the amazing womyn of I WAS BORN and to me. It was a perfect ending to a perfect evening!
After such an amazing time with the students at the University of New Haven, we got in the car and headed back to New York City to celebrate.
2300 hours
We decided to continue our celebration at Camaradas.
We stop at a light
I send a text
Notice the light is green
Turn left on 3rd Avenue from 116th Street
I notice a siren… cop lights…
I am being pulled over.
I chill…
I am cool…
I am not worried…
I pull the car over…
Bring the window down…

Officer 1: (female, Caucasian, 5’6”, wearing a blue NYPD uniform, badge number xxxx)
“Ma’am, please shut off your vehicle! License and registration!”
“Here’s my license. I don’t have a registration, this is a rental, and I have a contract.”
“Have you been drinking tonight?”
“Yes! I had one glass of wine.”
“Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“No! I don’t!”
“You were stopped at that green light… a little too long!”
“I was sending a text. I don’t text and drive. I took the left when I was done.”
“Ma’am you can be honest… are you drunk?”
“Absolutely not! I only had one glass!”
“OK! I will be right back.”

Officer 2: (male, Caucasian, 5’ 8”, average build, good cop to her bad cop, wearing a blue NYPD uniform, badge number xxx)
“Ma’am—where are you coming back from?”
“The University of New Haven. I am a writer and we are just returning from showcasing my play.”
“Where are you headed?”
“Camaradas for dinner.”
“Do you have a local address?”
“Here is my New York ID it has my local address on it.”
“Excellent that will speed this process along.”
What’s going on in my mind is. Perfect… we should be out of here soon. I could use my brother-in-laws name to get out of this but I don’t need to. I’m good! I’m fine! I know I’m not drunk… I haven’t done anything wrong… my license is from Florida and I don’t owe anything. No fines no nothing… this should be quick!

Officer 2 approaches.
“Ma’am please step out of the vehicle!”
“Esperate! Wait a minute! I need you to contact my brother-in-law he’s a detective with the NYPD. Please call him!”
“Ma’am step to the back of the car, put your hands behind your back!”
All I felt was this chill. Was I really being cuffed right now? Was I really being arrested?
“What are you doing?” I asked in total disbelief.
“Ma’am spread your legs.”
He frisks me.
“Do you have any weapons or drugs on you?”
“No! I do not!”
“Ma’am do you know why we are arresting you?”
“No! I do not!”
“You are being arrested because you have a suspended license in New York.”
“I don’t have a NY License… what are you talking about?”
“Ma’am turn around and walk this way!”
“Please let me speak to my friends. I need to tell them what to do.”
“I will tell them what they should do.”

And then I was thrown in the back of an NYPD van. There were three cop cars behind my car.
THREE cop cars!
Because I was at a green light too long!
I sat in the back of this NYPD van and all I could think about was my friends who were abandoned in the middle of the street, after midnight, in East Harlem right next to the projects.
During the drive to the first precinct all I could feel was the history of arrests and people who were transported in this vehicle… drug addicts, drug dealers, thieves, pedophiles, murderers, teens who make poor choices, prostitutes, alcoholics and now ALICIA… an activist, speaker, feminist, writer, mother of a daughter on the deans list, servant of my community and my people… Alicia arrested for being at a green light too long… oh yeah and if they can’t get me for that… the fall back is this suspended license thing!
Arriving to precinct 1: I am ordered to stand on a yellow line in front of the desk sergeant. The arresting officer (the female cop—yet she really wasn’t the person who cuffed me) asked me to remove my belt, takes my red scarf, empties my black suit blazer, and she begins to remove my elekes (religious beads).
“Please don’t touch my beads--please. Use a cloth or gloves to take them off—you can’t touch them!”
“Can I use your scarf?”
“Yes! Thank you!”
I felt myself being stripped of my protection, my strength, my powers, my worth, my value, my work, my spirit… I felt a part of me dying in that moment!
“Place your hands being your back! Walk this way.”
She opened the cell. Removed my handcuffs and closed the cell door behind me.
CLINK CLINK
I was in a space where there were two men passed out in another cell close by.
The space smelled of cigarettes and murdered dreams, futures assassinated and human potential demolished…
I sat there having an outer body experience, feeling like… don’t they know who I am? Don’t they know all the great work I do? Don’t they know that I AM LOVE?
I was in that jail cell for several hours, trembling, frightened, uncertain, confused, just wondering what the hell was going on. Then it hit me… hold on a minute I get a fucking phone call.
“Excuse me officer—can I please call my daughter?”
“Yes in a little while.”
Female cop enters the space, unlocks my cell… “hands behind your back!”
Cuffs me again. Dials my daughters number…
0130 hours
“Hey baby!”
“Hi mom!”
“Honey—mommy was arrested tonight. I’m in jail… it’s a long story…”
“What happened?”
“They say my licensee is suspended its going to be ok. (Everything in me was trying to hold it together and not fall apart on the phone with her). I need you to make three phone calls… let them know that I am in precinct 25—they’ll know what to do.”
“Ok mommy! It’s ok mommy… everything is going to be fine… don’t worry.”
“Still meet me in Albany… nothing has changed. I will see you there. I will be fine. Thanks baby… I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Oh…. But I wasn’t fine… I wasn’t ok. I began hyperventilating and crying hysterically… she threw me back in that cell again.
CLINK CLINK
Then an hour later came back to take me to the room where they would be conducting a breathalyzer test.
NY State Trooper 1: (male, Caucasian, 5’ 11”, average build)
“Ma’am this officer suspects that you’re intoxicated. Do you agree to take this test?”
“Yes!”
In my head I’m like… let’s fucking do this! I know I’m not drunk!
NY State Trooper 2: (male, Asian, 5’10”, average build)
“You are being recorded… state your name… state your address… OK you will blow on this tube until I tell you to stop. I will demonstrate.”
I breathe onto the plastic… over and over and over and over and over again… then a number appears… I am asked to stop…  the result is: .012
“What does that number mean?” I ask confidently and beginning to feel my attitude rising in me!!!
“I’ll explain in a minute! Take a seat.” The Caucasian trooper orders.
“Ma’am please get up! How old are you?”
“I am 41 years old.”
“The test result means that for your age your blood alcohol levels are well below the limit. You have passed. For your age you can have a glass of wine and drive… if you were 21… (In my head I was like…. Are you serious… I don’t give a shit about your chart…) However the arresting offer still would like you take other tests, walking the yellow line, lifting your leg, finger on nose, but it’s optional you can accept or refuse.”
“I REFUSE!”
I wanted to say are you fucking kidding me? Of course you want me to take more tests you could use the fact that I’m incredibly nervous in this situation and one stumble and you are justified in your accusation that I was driving under the influence… HELL NO—absolutely not!!! I will not be taking any more tests.
“No! I will not take your test. In fact, when can I go home? I am expected at the University of Albany today for a conference that I am speaking at.”
The female cop responds…
“There is still the matter of your suspended license! Place your hands behind your back!”
She escorts me to a cell so I can finally go to the bathroom. It’s disgusting… I go quickly… not touching anything… trying hard not to look at my surroundings.
Place your hands behind your back!
She brings me back to my cell and tells me that we would be waiting for transport so that I could be booked.
I began to cry again… I cried the entire evening… throughout the entire experience. All I could think about is all of the work that I do and will continue to do… all I could think about was that when I am called to fill out certain forms if asked “have I ever been arrested?” that I would now have to write yes… this could ruin me… my career…my life!
BOOKED!
0400 hours
I’m sitting in a new cell in precinct #2. This new space covered in filth sitting next to the cell bars praying my way out of this. I was so cold.. trembling… the fear of this moment was eating away at my bones… I was being broken down…
I was praying that my brother-in-law would jump in and save the day and get me out of this mess. All I kept thinking about was that this same day I was expected at the National Latino Collegiate Conference at the University of Albany to speak on Afrolatinos, Gender Inequality & Sexuality.
I was being broken down…
How would I be able to explain to these students who are expecting me that “I’m a little tied up right now!!!” and unable to make it.
My brother-in-law did come through… he made a phone call to get me out of that prison in the early mornings of Friday, April 5th… but not before they took my finger prints, palm prints, and hand prints (left and right). Not before the infamous mug shots were taken… look straight at the camera then turn to face your right side… not before breaking me down completely!
Place your hands behind your back!
Back in the cell… at this point I didn’t believe anything the female cop said to me.
“You need to call someone with a valid license to come pick you up and drive you home.”
My friend arrived…
The female cop released me from the cell.
Gave me a white sheet of paper with a court date…
Brought me back to the yellow line and the desk sergeant released me.
The female cop brings me to the waiting area where my friend is waiting… the officer gives me my personal belongings in a brown folder. Where I carefully put on my elekes, belt, red scarf and black blazer. I hug my friend crying and we leave.
We leave…
And what I am left with is…
This sense of intrusion…
This sense of violation…
This sense of frustration…
This sense of isolation…
This sense of humiliation…
This sense of my freedom raped from me…
Replaying in my head was something that female cop kept saying… about how she did me a favor… how I could still be in jail… that she didn’t have to release me until 2:00pm the next day… until after my arraignment... until after I saw a judge… how I could still be in there… that she didn’t have to do that… but because I was so respectful…..
YOU DID ME A FAVOR?
You arrested me for being at a green light.
Let’s call it what it was…
A wrongful arrest
Racial profiling
Held without probable cause
Unlawful detention
Humiliation
Mental trauma
Civil rights violated
Discrimination
Abuse of power

You did me a favor!
You hoped that I was drunk so that your arrest could be warranted and justified.
You hoped that my levels were over .08
The pressure you must be under to arrest people guilty and innocent just because you are ordered to and have to fulfill some sort of monthly quota…
This is where our criminal justice system fails…
This is where she fails as a woman and human…
To protect and serve!!!!
You are an imprint on my soul!!!
Place your hands behind your back!
Today as I write this story down… recalling how I  was broken down what I understand is that most of the experiences of my life show up to do precisely that BREAK ME DOWN so that I can rebuild and be able to tell these stories…
And to that female officer—I will see you in court!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I WAS BORN! College Tour TONIGHT!!! #UNH




What time is it? SHOW TIME!!! 

Tonight is the night!

My energy right now is over the top! I am on top of the moon! Flying! Soaring!

I am so thrilled to announce that tonight we kick off the

I WAS BORN 2013 College Tour!

What an amazingly beautiful journey.

In 2010, I wrote a play in honor of the many womyn I had the privilege of meeting throughout Latin America. These were stories shared with me of survival, strength, pride, perseverance, family, love, music, religion, culture, faith, justice, equality hope and humanity.

Hope—because these womyn that I met on my journey needed me. They needed me to do something for them. They needed me to tell the world about them. They needed me to be their voice and write their story and they HOPED that I would answer their prayers. This story became I WAS BORN!






I am so grateful to the University of New Haven for hosting this incredible event.

I would like to thank Ashley Vargas and all of the students at the University of New Haven for inviting me to share this important story.

A special thank you to Jenny Perez—for bringing the voices of these womyn to life!

Event Details:

The German Club
New Haven, CT

Event is FREE

With so much love and gratitude!

Aché~

Alicia

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Inside a Gay Latina's Debate With Traditional Dad over the Sanctity of Marriage

I am so excited to share that I was published on Latina.com.


“I agree! They should have rights as far as protecting their assets. They should have the same benefits and be on their partners insurance if they are in a relationship. I just don’t believe that they should be married in a church. They should have a legal contract but not a legal marriage. They should not have the same rights to marry as a man and woman.” This said to me first thing in the morning by my father all before my morning cup of Bustelo.
“Papi, are you serious right now? Are you really talking to me about church and the bible? You don’t even believe in it. You are being such a hypocrite.”
For full article - read on (and share with everyone)!!!

Inside a Gay Latina's Debate With Traditional Dad Over the Sanctity of Marriage


Peace, light and LOVE!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Finding The Third Root: Afro-Latinos — 

Finding The Third Root: Afro-Latinos — 

Unlock ME! Les singles night!!! TONIGHT! @thedalloway


I am so honored to hosting this wonderful event benefiting The Ali Forney Center. I hope you will join be for a night filled with laughs, possibilities and love. This is an incredible cause raising money for LGBTQ homeless youth.

See you there!!!

Peace, light and love,
Alicia


PRESS RELEASE

AD MILDRED CELEBRATES THE LAUNCH OF HER NEW BLOG   "http://WWW.MADMILDRED.COM" WWW.MADMILDRED.COM
WITH ‘UNLOCK ME’ SINGLES MIXER AT LESBIAN OWNED THE DALLOWAY

MAD MILDRED PARTNERS PRESENTS “UNLOCK ME” SINGLES MIXER, WHILE BRINGING AWARENESS TO THE ALI FORNEY CENTER AND HOMELESS LGBTQ YOUTH

March 22, 2013, New York, NY – MadMildred celebrates the launch of their new blog, www.MadMildred.com with the ‘Unlock Me’ singles mixer at The Dalloway on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 starting at 7pm benefiting The Ali Forney Center (AFC), a nonprofit shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City.

MadMildred is a blog where one can speak their mind freely. “I want to give women a platform to vent and share stories,” says Mildred, about offering women a safe place to escape in her new blog. MadMildred believes in empowering women through self-expression and instilling confidence through future workshops and upcoming support groups- specifically in the LGBTQ community.

The ‘Unlock Me’ event will highlight The Ali Forney Center to bring awareness to the homeless LGBTQ youth. “My older sister as a teenager was kicked out of our house after announcing she was gay,” says Mildred on why the AFC is a good fit. “A place like the Ali Forney Center would have been a great place for her to turn to.” The AFC provides shelter as well as comprehensive healthcare services to homeless LGBTQ youth throughout the New York City area.  MadMildred will have a box set up for collecting donations as well as brochures with more information at the event.

The ‘Unlock Me’ mixer will be using the lock & key theme in which half the guests will get a lock and the other half get a key.  Patrons get to ‘unlock’ each other as they mingle.  “It’ll serve as a great ice breaker!” adds Mildred. There will be interactive activities with a few giveaways.  The event is taking place at The Dalloway located on 525 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013. Starting at 7pm, the ‘Unlock Me’ singles mixer event is FREE.


###


The Ali Forney Center is the nation's largest and most comprehensive organization dedicated to homeless LGBTQ youth. By rescuing kids from the dangers of the streets and placing them into safe, homelike environments, AFC provides homeless LGBTQ youths, aged 16-24, with the support and services they need to escape the streets and begin to live healthy and independent lives.  HYPERLINK "http://www.aliforneycenter.org" www.aliforneycenter.org

The Dalloway was born out of a desire to create a venue with a strong female team that is open to everyone, but especially providing the LGBT community with a place that feels like home. Whether looking to meet new people or sit and enjoy cocktails, the Dalloway provides a contrast that meets all expectations and creates an open platform for everyone who enjoys good food and well-stocked bars.  HYPERLINK "http://www.thedallowaynyc.com" www.thedallowaynyc.com

MadMildred believes in empowering women by instilling confidence through future workshops and support groups- specifically in the LGBT community. One creative outlet is the MadMildred venting blog-encouraging women to express themselves by voicing their opinions while building a healthy self-esteem.   http://www.madmildred.com

PRESS CONTACT: Jakira Torres / 646.942.4944 / Jakira.Torres@gmail.com

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In honor of womyn all over the world! I WAS BORN #WHM #WOC #LGBTQ









I would be honored if you would Join us on

Sunday, March 24th

For a special performance of I WAS BORN, written by Alicia Anabel Santos and performed by the amazingly beautiful and talented Jenny Perez.

Photo by: Sandra Guzman

This performance is being offered as a gift in honor of WOMYN'S HERSTORY MONTH...

In honor of every womyn in our lives... the many womyn we love... the womyn who have raised and influenced us and those womyn who continue to watch over us!

This will be a special reading/performance as we kick off the I WAS BORN 2013 College Tour.

I WAS BORN~ Is a multimedia one-woman show about seven remarkable women that Lia a reporter from the United States meets during her travels throughout Latin America. These women have impacted, inspired and changed the way she sees women from Latin America.

These seven women represent the strength of the Latina… these womyn were BORN to tell THEIR STORY. They each share their experiences through personal testimonials.

Lia’s aim is to bring these stories to the surface and give recognition to Latina’s for what they symbolize and ALL that they contribute to the human story. Her mission is to walk with each of them as their worlds collapse and their stories collide. This is the story of the women who are hidden behind the darkness.

I WAS BORN~ is a story that takes you on a journey through the labyrinth of Latin America where seven brave women bring you into their world.


VENUE: Corcho Wine Room
227 Dyckman
NY NY

Doors open at 5:00pm
Showtime: 5:30pm

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

COST - FREE

Sending you all so much LOVE!!!

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Ending FEMICIDE one word and one womyn at a time I WAS BORN!

Video clip: Excerpts from - I WAS BORN the play. Womyn Without VOICES/Mujeres Sin VOCES event on December 14, 2010 at the LGBT Center NYC. 
Performed by: Meriam Rodriguez, Jennifer "Skye" Cabrera, Jenny Perez, and Alicia Anabel Santos

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Language of Light~ Gina Breedlove a Love Story!







Language of Light… that is exactly what I experienced the first time I heard Gina Breedlove perform live. 

Dreams

Celebrating womyn LOVE

Luz

Paz

Tranquility

A meditation

It is really wonderful to be in the presence of womyn who are filled with peace, filled with faith, filled with inspiration, filled with music, filled with blessings, filled with gratitude, filled with love and filled with LIGHT!


This is what I experienced during a performance that Hermana Breedlove shared with us in NYC last fall… she gave us all of her and today I am asking for us to give some of that back.

Let’s support this amazing artist in achieving her dreams!!!



With so much love and gratitude.
Alicia

Friday, March 1, 2013

Womyn's HERSTORY Month~ Writing Workshop

I am incredibly excited to begin yet another journey with you as you write the stories you were born to tell... What a wonderful way to celebrate Womyn's HERSTORY Month <3 nbsp="" p="">
Writing from the Womb

My beloved womyn,

Welcome to the Writing from the Womb workshop. In this workshop we will be writing from our core… from our most sacred place. Exploring areas and moments that we might find difficult to reach alone in a supportive and nurturing space. This is a writing intensive so we will be pushing ourselves to the next level with our writing and our stories while at the same time being incredibly kind and loving with ourselves and our individual process. I am so grateful to be walking with you on this journey…. LET’S SHOW UP FOR OURSELVES!!!!

Agenda

Week One: Writing as Practice
Week Two: Writing as Meditation
Week Three: Writing with Intention
Week Four: Writing as Craft
Week Five: Workshop pieces
Week Six: Workshop pieces





Workshop begins this Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 10:00am.

To register and for details please email: findingyourforce@gmail.com

<3>

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Capicu Poetry & Cultural Showcase

I am so proud to share that my dear friend and sister MARIA RODRIGUEZ will be featuring tomorrow night in BROOKLYN!!! Please join us for an evening of love and amazing poetry!!!




Afrolatinos Celebrating our rich culture @afrolatinostv #BHM



For more information please visit: WWW.AFROLATINOS.TV

Peace!

Good Hair vs. Bad Hair ~ NDSC~ #BHM #WOC @afrolatinostv


Tonight @ Towson University

Join me tonight for an intimate conversation about Afrolatinos.

I have been thinking over the past few days about "Breeding out Blackness".

Marrying up
Aclarar la raza
Mejorar la raza

There was (is/exists) a Scientific method of racism designed to purify the race and breed out the black. This would be a contributing factor of the self-hatred and racism that exists throughout Latin America. Identity or how one should identify has become a major debate. People are trying to find their place in the world. Who gets to define what beauty is? Who is considered an Afrolatino?

We will discuss the Mestizaje that occurred once the white "European" race was bred in, mixed with that of the enslaved Africans who arrived and the Natives residing in these countries throughout Latin America.

Tonight I will address the mixing/inter-breeding that took place all across the world during the enslavement of Africans and Indigenous people's--specifically throughout Latin America and how it is manifested today. In addition to celebrating the beautiful history, traditions and culture that remains in Latin America.

Towson University

Location: Chesapeake Rooms

Time: 5:00pm

Address:

8000 York Rd.
Towson, MD 21252
(410) 704-2000

Website: http://www.towson.edu/

I am looking forward to this wonderful presentation of Afrolatinos: The

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

One Billion Rising V-Day Event #ONEBILLIONRISING


ONE BILLION RISING STRIKE | DANCE | RISE
Join V-Day and One Billion Rising today and SAY NO to violence against women and girls.

The Women Worldwide Initiative is hosting a series of events under:
#onebillionrising
Just 2 more days until our One Billion Rising event at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe! Join us in spreading love and ending violence against women and girls.
Official flyer!


JOIN US~
In solidarity!
ACHE!

Writing prompt: After the door shuts... @nyclwg #writing #writingprompts #amwriting



After the door shuts and the footsteps die… I am left alone. Left to pick up the pieces of my story. So many questions left unanswered. Who are you? Who were you? Did you always know that I would pick up where you left off? Did you know that I would be the one to write your story and keep your legacy alive? Was I predestined? How did you ever manage to love me after I was the product of such a heinous and brutal crime? Did you not want me near you because you saw him in my eyes? Was I too much of a reminder of his vicious attacks. I want to believe that you only wanted to protect me, yet part of me feels like it was easy for you to get rid of me. Now I too will know what it feels like to never have known my mother. You thought you were protecting me but you cheated me of that. Now that I can no longer hear your footsteps I am left to walk alone, make my way in this world, make some sense of this world. I am left to sift through your past and my own to truly learn who I am. Yet you knew that I would… you were confidant that I would take my rightful place in the DOTR and while I am devastated at your loss. I am strong. I will avenge your murder. I will carry out your orders. I will continue our mission. I will not stop until your murderer is found.
After the door shuts and the footsteps die… all that I am left with is memories… all that I am left with is the sound of your heels coming down the stairs, a military strut, power in your movement, confidence in your gaze…
Time is up!
This my loves felt RIGHT!!! It has been too long since my characters have spoken to me… this feels GOOD. Aché

Where are We Going? The State of Dominican-Americans in New York City

CUNY DSI invites you to the Conference "Where are We Going? The State of Dominican-Americans in New York City"


CUNY Dominican Studies Institute in collaboration with The City College of New York Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership & Service, The City College of New York Public Service Management Graduate Program, The Office of Councilman Robert Jackson and TD Bank invite you to the conference:

Where Are We Going? The State of Dominican Americans in New York City on Saturday, February 23rd starting at 10:00 AM at The City College of New York.  

The conference is open to the public and free of charge.  

Register online at http://the-state-of-dominican-americans-in-nyc.eventbrite.com/ or RSVP to Juan Rosa at (212) 928-1322.  For more details about the conference please see the flyer attached and below. 

We hope you can join us!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Writing Prompt: Memories~ @nyclwg #writing #writingprompts #amwriting



Cooking time was also cocotazo time.
I first learned how to cook as a young girl in Queens. Mami had me help her in the kitchen… the place where good girls belonged…
Step by step…
Así es que se limpia el arroz, quítale todo las paja negras.
And then we waited patiently… or in my case impatiently… I wanted this domestic lesson on how to be good wife over with so I could go play… this cooking thing was more like a chore. There were six of us to feed or seven or ten depending on which family members were in town visiting.
Cuatro tazas de arroz… the same exact measurement of water to rice ratio…. Oil. Salt poured perfectly in the spoon. Wait for it to boil. Then add rice… stir… continue stirring careful to not allow it to stick. When the small holes were visible y el agua se esta secando… it was time to cover. Cook on low for 20 minutes.
One mistake and I would feel that silver spoon… you know the one… that one that leaves that red mark… “WHACK” right on your arm… skin stinging… I am very familiar with the art of Dominican culinary… but if there were one moment I did enjoy it would be the process of making pasteles en oja or quipes… mom is an artist in the kitchen… although daddy loves to tell the story about how she didn’t know how to cook when they first met. How everything she made was horrible. Yet all of this changed. There is nothing she can’t cook. It always amazes me how quickly she could pull any meal together. Cooking our meals with so much love.
My mind just drifted…
I got lost in thought thinking about how many women have been beaten by men who have come home either angry because the food isn’t done or because she might have burned something… or made it too salty… too tasteless… too whatever his reason for raising his hand. How interesting … my mind shifted from such a loving memory of cooking to the ugly truth that memoires of culinary haven’t always been pleasant. Masked by so many hateful words expressed to women.
Time is up (oooooohhhhh I was going somewhere else… I don’t know if I’m ready for that…)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Writing Prompt: When I woke up this morning… @nyclwg #writingprompts #writing #amwriting




When I woke up this morning such a sense of peace filled me. I was on a cloud. Floating. I was outside of my body. No worries. No stress. No fears. No lists. Cares. No calls. No cleaning. Complete calm. Overwhelmed with love. Overwhelmed with peace. Today I am not thinking about what I have to do. Not concerned with what I am here to do. I am honoring my stillness, quiet and tranquility. Softness… tenderness. I am being gentle with me. No desire to be outside. I am with my insides. No desire to be around loud noises especially those of my thoughts. Stillness… mindfulness… calm… that’s the theme of this day!
As I sit here writing words there is no forcing it… force… I love that word… that feeling… honoring my force… being one with force… being still with force… there is nothing outside of me that can give me what YOU give me.
It’s not often that I get to reside in this place… this space… and so for today I am staying IN-SIDE… quietly… let’s have some tea~
And so it is~

Writing Prompt: The Haiku @nyclwg #writingprompts #amwriting




1.
Life is to be lived
The journey is about life
Stop frontin’ and go

2.
I WAS BORN to love
Loving you is why I came
Never let me go

3.
I may not know you
Yet I know how it all ends
We must fly or die

4.
Today is the day
The story must be written
Por eso naci

5.
ode to thy woman
you were born as perfection
release all your fears

And so it is~

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Writing Prompt: History of your hair... @nyclwg #writingprompt #writing #bhm




FREEWRITE…
My little brown girl…
You were born black
A black girl
The history of your hair is that each strand has a story
You traveled the Atlantic for two-month voyages…
Traveling many days and nights by treacherous sea
Taught to deny your beauty
Convinced that you were ugly
Little black girl
You were born a queen
Born in Kings County
In a brand new country
Little black girl your history is seen through the languages you speak
The conquerors tongue
An Indians kiss
Yet communing with the drum
The beat in your veins transporting you to another place
Your sacred space
Little black girl
Don’t straighten your hair
With each iron you burn a part of me
You erase your history
Little black girl there is strength in your locks
Little black girl remember who you are
Little black girl you are beautiful
Little black girl rise
Little black girl know
Little black girl remember
Little black girl search
Little black girl question
Little black girl fight
Little black girl stand
My little black girl…
I used to hurt my hair…
I’ve died it…
cut it…
bleached it…
killed it…
destroyed it…
The deconstruction of my hair…
The deconstruction of me
The deconstruction of my story
In this attempt to be accepted into society
A place that never wanted me
But claims to own me
Little black girl
Little black girl
I will never let them destroy me
My hair is my legacy
And so it is~
TIME IS UP…

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Writing Prompt: Dear Skin~ @nyclwg #writingprompts #writing #amwriting



Dear Pielquerida, as I pass my fingers along your neck I can feel your heart beating, pulsating, racing… breathing heavier as I take… what is mine. Each beat wanting me to feel my way into you… that spot where strength meets your breasts, your arms held down, skin soft… that scent… hard to describe… my lips leaving my mark on your shoulder, down your arms, licking your elbow… your hip bone… your knees, your ankles… Michelangelo’s best work… but that scent… I leave you and it stays with me for hour’s…  tu olor de caramelo.
My tongue explores you
trust me
I won’t hurt you…
let me…
take you…
quiero que me sientes…
tan dentro de ti…
déjame cojerte…
sentirte…
probarte…
your legs…
wrapped around me
shivering…
quivering…
you tremble with each touch…
I open you…
receive me…
slowly…
entering…
your mind…
feels me…
feeling you…
I can taste you on my tongue and we haven’t even gone there yet
tamarindo and chinola my favorite fruits
bella
diosa
deep breathes
restraints
blindfolds
Dear Skin,
this letter is to let you know that you are on my mind but your scent won’t let me concentrate.
You take my finger and place it where you want me.
Dear Skin,
how you feel on me
opening you
wider
wanting me entirely
The rain is pouring relentlessly 
I take you slowly
Then faster
You beg me
I keep going
Under your breath
You want me to stay here forever
I take you
Somos una
I feel you
I taste you in the ink of the page
Salivating
Craving
Desiring
I continue
Don’t stop
Go deeper
Right there
……………………………………
……………………………………
……………………………………
……………………………………
……………………………………
……………………………………


TIME IS UP!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Writing prompt: If I were a song... @nyclwg #amwriting #writingprompts #writing



“Can’t complain ‘bout yesterday
cuz today’s a brand new day
I woke up this morning opened up my eyes and prayed lord
Cuz it’s a beautiful day…”
As I wake today the first thing I read was what would my song be… and there was nothing playing background… I started singing…
“no matter what nobody say…
it’s a beautiful day…
everything is good because I’m living and I’m healthy”
there are so many days… too many… when I believed I would not make it… where I believed I would not be ok… that it would not be ok. Looking at bank balances believing that it somehow was a reflection of me… the definition of me…
“I woke up this morning opened up my eyes and prayed…
lord cuz it’s a beautiful day…
I’m not too concerned ‘bout being poor or being wealthy…”
Those days are gone. I woke up today remembering that…
“even though it’s cloudy I can see the sun rays…”
if I were a musical instrument, a beat, a genre… how would I sound?
I am a rap song… from the 80’s… 90’s… maybe 2012… Meek Mill/Mary J…
strong piano chords…
“somebody who your around wants to clip your wings and shoot you down…
make sure you know who you’re around…”
I’m a smooth lyric
Soft beats
Powerful piano
Endless chords
A song of hope
A song of strength
A song of reflection
A song of self-love
A song of remembrance
Un tambor
Una guira
Merengue
Típico
Salves
Cantos
A song of peace
A song of war
A song of freedom
A song reminding you that I am not weak
A song reminding you where I’m from
I’m an arrow a blaze from my bow
My life song has Mary J singing backgrounds…
Whispering to me…
Reminding me…
I’m a song with no end
Yet a beautiful beginning…
Cuz it’s a beautiful day… no matter what nobody say…
And so it is…
TIME IS UP!

Writing prompt: Her voice was... @nyclwg #writing #writingprompts #amwriting



Sunday, February 3, 2013
Writing prompt: her voice was as intimate as the rustle of sheets…
Her voice was…
A symphony of church bells and choirs…
Chiming
Her timing
Amazing
Her voice was like a butterfly landing on my scarf… stillness…
A kiss
Telling me this was right and I was missed
Her voice was like this
Perfect
Kissing me with every part of her body…
Her voice was like
Wet
Sweat
Dripping
Between…
Us
Her voice was like birds chirping
On my windowsill on the most beautiful day.
Her voice was like a piano playing my favorite song…
“I can’t give you anything but love…”
Her voice was like stability
Security
Intensity
The very essence and every part of me
Her voice was like my heart beat and last breath all at the same time.
Her voice was like words saying hello then goodbye… drifting away from me
Her voice was like words saying hello—then goodbye… drifting from me
Her voice was like… I will always love you….
Her voice was like the first time
Her voice was like our last time
Her voice was like green grass and cool breezes
Her voice was like softness and gentleness as she explores me, touches me, tasting me…
Her voice was like… a dark hole drowning inside of me… lost in this abyss of her voice
Of pensamientos
Y momentos
Her voice was like finally she arrived
Her voice was like armor
Weapons she uses to defend herself
Her voice was like war and battles won
Her voice was like complete love
The mix of newborn babies scent, blue skies, cotton, suspiro, respiro, calor, sudor, amor puro…
Her voice was like water
Clear
Lasting
Abundant
Constantly flowing
Her voice is todo lo que soy
Her voice lives in me
And so it is ~ Time is UP!