On Calling Energy Back to Ourselves

On Calling Energy Back to Ourselves

Today, I am thinking about balance -  a balance between energy I put out or hope to/receive from external sources and energy that I channel or gather from inside myself. Most of my life, I’ve banked on most of my energy coming from outside of myself, whether it’s approval from my family, a cool new event or project, or romantic affection. Lately, I’m noticing how this imbalance leaves me feeling ragged, wanting more, like not enough. 

I’ve found there is a connection between practicing this balance and feeling belonging. And so, I am working to be more mindful. 

How an apocalypse in the Bronx made way for Hip Hop

How an apocalypse in the Bronx made way for Hip Hop

I was born in the Bronx in 1989. My mother, An undocumented Dominican immigrant, came to the US and settled in the Bronx before moving to Boston which I consider my hometown. My family still lives in the same building I was born in off University Avenue, and although I don't visit as often as I would like, my heart is tethered to the Bronx and its story of overcoming, one so similar to mine.

The first time I read about the Bronx burning and the birth of Hip Hop was through Jeff Chang’s "Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation.” This book changed my entire life. It got me to thinking critically about the conditions of my neighborhood, how they were influenced by systemic violence and the beauty that emerges when people let their imaginations run wild as a response to oppression. Hip Hop was a product of the collective imagination.

I Will Not Conform, I Will Transform.

I Will Not Conform, I Will Transform.

When asked what our priorities should be after the recent U.S. Presidential election, activist and scholar Angela Davis said, “I think we need to build community, we need to come together. We cannot allow Donald Trump to govern the way that he wants to. It’s probably going to mean doing a lot of civil disobedience, being disruptive, but we also have to build something constructive. We can’t just engage on the anti-side of the political struggle.”

At this critical moment, how will we choose to live, learn and love while remaining true to our communities and ourselves? In what ways can we develop substantive connections across social movements? How do we resist fascism? What does collective resistance and coalition building look like moving forward? How are we decolonizing our movements and strategies? What does liberation mean to our movements? How do our coalitions evolve to address these new challenges? How do we collectively strengthen our support of movements against social injustices across the United States of America?

The Audacity to Govern

The Audacity to Govern

Damali Vidot-Rosa is the kind of person you fall in love with the minute that you meet her. She exudes the sort of authenticity that is defined by love. She is President of the Chelsea City Council and part of the Evolutionary Leadership Cohort of 2017.

When people like Damali step into positions of power everything begins to change. When I asked her what she is up to she told me that Chelsea’s City Charter is what’s on the table right now.

The City Charter. That’s a local constitution. What do you think becomes possible when someone who describes herself as a “Hip Hop lovin’, afro-caribeña, frizzy-hair wearing, sneaker wearing, big hoop earring spoken word artist and activist” decides it’s time to challenge the very ways in which we govern ourselves?

The Audacity to Imagine

The Audacity to Imagine

Kendra posits that the women of the collective dared to articulate the bold clarity of their thought, their vision for liberation, precisely because they did not know how long they would live. She speaks of the twelve young Black girls who were murdered within the span three months in Roxbury in 1979, and of the impact that this reality had on the women of the collective.

Kendra is working with Luana Morales to visit each of the sites of the twelve murders, to build altars and practice rituals honoring each of their deaths. This work of the heart will also become an installation of socially engaged art.