I’ve lived most of my young adulthood with a sense of purpose guiding me through my work. During my high school acting years, I was drawn to storytelling due to my need and hunger to fill the void I noticed in Latino representation in the media. I rarely saw anyone like me, HECK, I didn't even know who I was. So I claimed Aladdin, skinny Hercules from Act 1 of Disney's animated classic, and of course the Red Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (A Tejano/Mexican-American). The more I look, the more clear I am on the images and stories I've craved and am meant to share: this is my mission...
to explore and challenge the messages and stories that we have accepted as normal and humanize those who have been left out, pushed out, & killed.
This might be difficult for some, but many of us are hungry for a dialogue that can begin to heal the wounds of our nation; not in the past but in the present. I simply recognize that I need to grief the lives lost, the children buried and erased in unmarked graves; or I risk killing a part of me that has been numbed for generations.
The simple fact of life is that we’re all connected. For too long, we’ve turned the other way and yet I see now, how I as a Mestizo (mixed Native and European blood) who was raised Catholic, I am the desired outcome of these violent projects that separated families and robbed many peoples of their culture and spirit; a project that continues today. As a college-educated, Mexican-American Chicanx, I see clearly the position I’m in – I take my privilege in one hand and the xenophobia I’ve received in the other hand – and I breathe.
IN LAK'ECH : tu eres mi otro yo : you are my other me.
May we come to accept what is and what is not and walk a path to our own liberation in hopes that it leads to the liberation of others. For those unfamiliar with Pedagogy of the Oppressed; we recognize the binary of oppressed and oppressor – not so we can hate the other but so we can learn to free ourselves from the need to associate with either one. So that we can learn to see how dehumanization is killing all of us; and we have to start by humanizing ourselves and our pain. The planet’s clock is ticking and I don’t want to wait for permission.
It is time to build a relationship with the land and I hope that others see how crucial our relationship with indigenous communities and their knowledge will be for us to rebuild a better world. I don’t pretend to have the answers or the perfect conversation guide but I’m ready to create bridges between my Latinx community and the Indigenous ways we have been kept from. Everyone is welcome on this journey, we all have our own journey H🌀ME.
I am not here to hate Catholics or hate myself for having been raised so, I'm simply here to acknowledge the historical barriers and hold the church accountable so we can flow beyond.