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Policing the Police: Who Do You Call When Cops Murder?

As I watch the news and read the first eye witness accounts and see the images on the internet, I am horrified and I am afraid of the direction this country is headed. This is all too familiar and very reminiscent to the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s. I can sit here and discuss the countless ways our constitutional rights are being violated. I can argue about the lack of accountability in holding these police departments legally responsible for many of these senseless deaths, but the reality is that none of those things matter, at least not when it comes to the targeting and shooting of people of color. If it did there would not be such a brazen abuse of power amongst police officers not only in large cities like New York and Los Angeles, but all over the country. The fact is these officers hide behind their badge and use their shield as an excuse to be above the law. Continue reading Policing the Police: Who Do You Call When Cops Murder?

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The Mamí Chronicles: A Letter to My Daughter on Her 4th Birthday

You are growing up so differently than your father and me. Your experiences are going to be different and I can only pray and wish that you always know just how beautiful and strong you are. Always know that you come from good stock. You have a family who loves you, protects you, and will always defend you…no matter what. Know that when it feels like the entire world is against you home is where you can always return to feel loved and be safe. Always trust your instincts. Treat others with the same kindness and respect that you expect for yourself and those you love. Never be afraid to stand up for yourself or for injustices. Mommy and daddy will always, ALWAYS have your back. You can bank on that. Continue reading The Mamí Chronicles: A Letter to My Daughter on Her 4th Birthday

PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 01:  U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference at the OECD Conference Centre before leaving the Conference On Climate Change COP21 on December 1, 2015 in Paris, France.  Obama spoke about the economic impact of global warming and security risks before flying back to Washington. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

List of Resources for Calling or Writing to Your Federal, State, & Local Leaders #StayWoke

If you’re hurting like I am right now, thinking about the recent police violence that is happening across the country, but you have not yet contacted your elected representatives to make your voice heard, it’s time. Below I have compiled a list of resources to assist you in calling and writing to your federal, state, and local officials. The below only includes English language resources. My hope is to have an equivalent list in Spanish in the days to come. Now more than ever it is imperative that we make our voices heard. We can no longer afford to stay silent.

Continue reading List of Resources for Calling or Writing to Your Federal, State, & Local Leaders #StayWoke

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My Take on the Dallas Shootings, the Media, & Why Black Lives Matter Too

While we mourn and acknowledge the Dallas shootings please let us not forget about #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile and the many others who have been gunned down by law enforcement who have abused their power. What happened in Dallas speaks volumes about the state of this country. Civilians are getting killed. Cops are getting killed and the solution is not more killing. Killing doesn’t change a thing. All it does is leave an aftermath of grief, sorrow, frustration and anger. Stop killing. Start listening. We must all be a part of the solution. Continue reading My Take on the Dallas Shootings, the Media, & Why Black Lives Matter Too

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In Cold Blood: Why The Killing of Alton Sterling Requires Us To Stay Woke and Take Action

I am not here criticizing the officers who get it right, the ones who do their job, the ones who serve their communities they way they’re supposed to; with respect and value for human life, for all lives. This is not about them. This is about the blatant disregard of our lives and the lack of accountability of those who get it wrong, the ones who abuse their power, and the ones who have documented patterns of abuse, yet are still allowed to patrol our streets. This is about the Scott Aldridges (Cleveland PD) the Daniel Willises, (Bastrop County PD, Texas), the Phil Atkinses (NYPD), the Daniel Pantaleos (NYPD), the Darren Wilsons (Ferguson PD) and the many others who get it wrong. Continue reading In Cold Blood: Why The Killing of Alton Sterling Requires Us To Stay Woke and Take Action

The body of 2-year-old Lane Graves was recovered by a dive team after he was dragged away by an alligator at Walt Disney World. Photo Courtesy of ABC7.com

A Boy Is Dead, Who Is To Blame?

Considering that wildlife experts estimate that there are 1.3 million alligators in Florida, and that they can be found in all 67 counties it is a reasonable expectation that the place which promotes itself as the “Happiest Place on Earth” exercise all precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of its guests. I’ve never stayed at a Disney resort, but I would expect that any place that caters specifically to children would be safe. I believe that is a reasonable expectation.

Thus far every article I’ve read about this and every news broadcast I’ve seen has failed to ask any of these questions. Why isn’t Disney being held responsible? Why didn’t they take measures to make sure an incident like this didn’t occur? I bet now they will. But it’s too little too late. A boy lost his life and a family lost their son. Continue reading A Boy Is Dead, Who Is To Blame?

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On Losing a Child: Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Being a parent is simultaneously rewarding and scary. I never thought it was possible to feel so much love, joy, happiness, and fear at the same time. When I heard the news of the Sandy Hook massacre and that a gunman had killed 20 children my heart could not grasp the enormity of the hole left in the hearts and lives of the parents of those murdered children. It is something I struggle with every time I hear of a murdered child. It was what I felt when I first heard the news of the Orlando mass shooting at Pulse nightclub and the same feeling I had when I heard of the young boy snatched by the alligator at the Disney Resort. Continue reading On Losing a Child: Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

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Latinas of the New School: How Millenial Latinas Connect

What do you get when you combine some of today’s dopest millennial Latinas, a chic industrial loft-style space overlooking the Brooklyn waterfront, and sponsorships from some of the best brands in the business? You get the Latinas of the New School Dinner hosted by the founders of The Latina Connect. Verky Arcos Baldonado (Editor-At-Large for Latina Magazine), Ericka Tapia (founder of Brooklyn Jewelgasm), and Qiana … Continue reading Latinas of the New School: How Millenial Latinas Connect

With Angie Martinez at the 2014 Orgullosa event in New York City.

Angie Martinez: How the Voice of New York Found Her Voice

The book begins with a foreward by rapper J. Cole and while some criticized Angie’s decision to have a relatively new artist open up the book I can understand why she chose to go with J. Cole rather than with someone more seasoned. Through his perspective, Cole looks to Martinez as the hip-hop icon she is. He recognizes her contribution to the culture describing her as being “cut from the original cloth”, a cloth that was “more honest, more curious, more genuine.” He refers to a time when hip-hop was brave and fearless and not at all consumed by first week album sales. A stark contrast to the big business money machine it has become. It is a description of an era that made Angie, myself, and many other inner city kids fall in love with hip-hop. Continue reading Angie Martinez: How the Voice of New York Found Her Voice

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The Mamí Chronicles: Family, Career, & Personal Fulfillment- How to juggle it all

Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. Most of us want it all, but many women struggle with the idea of having it all and often find themselves having to choose between having a happy fulfilled family life and having an equally thriving career. As a woman who has both, I don’t subscribe to the notion that … Continue reading The Mamí Chronicles: Family, Career, & Personal Fulfillment- How to juggle it all