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.

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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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

The Stories That Bind Us: How do we tell our stories without telling the stories of others?

  We all have secrets, things we may not be proud of, things we keep to ourselves because we don’t want to risk hurting someone we love. In Latino culture we are taught from a very early age not to air our dirty laundry. Los trapos sucios se lavan en casa.  We are never to discuss in public that which happens behind closed doors even … Continue reading The Stories That Bind Us: How do we tell our stories without telling the stories of others?

ABOVE THE HIGH: COPING WITH ADDICTION AND DEATH

*The following was originally published on The Manifest Station. NOVEMBER 17, 2015 By Nancy Arroyo Ruffin The first time I remember experiencing death I was three years old. My uncle Louie lay in a casket at the Ortiz Funeral Home wearing a light colored suit; it could’ve been white, beige maybe. His afro was neatly picked and in my three year old mind he appeared … Continue reading ABOVE THE HIGH: COPING WITH ADDICTION AND DEATH