Friday, August 26, 2011

Strong, Sassy, & Studious = #LatinaSmart

There are moments when life is so luscious that even when you think you are full, new space opens up and you grow. I love these moments, obviously, and I had one of those moments on Wednesday night.

I should preface it by saying that I just came off the best summer of my life in many many years, and I also started a great school year with amazing students.  Things are lining up socially, personally, creatively.  I'm in a good place.  So LatinaSmart came to me at just the right time.

People do wonder if I am Latina, and frankly, I don't blame them. I am sure I look the part. I speak Spanish, and I'm completely immersed in Mexican culture.  Certainly Mexico has become a part of me, but I'm not Latina by blood.  Yet still, I'm LatinaSmart.

What happened?  Well, first I saw my crafty idol, the Crafty Chica, blogging about this new project called LatinaSmart which is sponsored by KMart.  The idea is to empower, connect, and promote Latinas through the online community.  In addition, LatinaSmart will be giving a way $25K in scholarships!!  Now that I can get behind!  Much of my career was and still is dedicated to bridging access to college, particularly for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy.

But what happened Wednesday night? I joined a Twitter party which was fabulous, frenetic, and fun.  Everyone was tweeting with the hashtag #LatinaSmart.  The moderators were throwing out ideas like-

"How do you want to inspire young Latinas?" 
"What is your favorite 'dicho' in Spanish?" 
"What three things make you, or any mujer, Latina Smart?" 
"If I were music, I would sound like"
"If I were art, I would be".  

The responses were increĆ­ble! There was so much positive energy and fun. I felt privileged to be amongst these women.
Some of my favorite tweets were

If I were I food, I would be
Ripe mango, 
doused in fresh lime juice, 
sprinkled with sweet/salty chile sprinkles.  

If I were music 
I would sound like 
a Mexican Country Song!

Using the fact that 
I'm bilingual, 
and driven 
to my advantage 
makes me #LatinaSmart 

Seek inspiration 
and empowerment 
in unexpected 
places & people. 

I can bring home the bacon 
and fry it up with chorizo! 

we are bilingual, 
we are bicultural 

if I was a piece of art 
I'll be a beautiful morena 
made by Pablo Picasso. 

if I were art 
I'd display the duality 
exemplified by Frida Kahllo. 
fierce yet feminine. 

I am an artist 
and my life 
is my medium.

"its a lifestyle, 
not a skin color!"  

We are defined by 
our resilience 
and NEVER 
by our failures. 

Can you see why I am so fired up about this project? Want more? Connect with Latina Smart on facebook or twitter