A reflection on police brutality 

Social Justice

As I become increasingly involved in “The Movement”, (through writing, planning and carrying out events, and speaking engagements) I have become bogged down by emotions and it’s made it harder for me to write these days. And it’s hard because I see myself, my family, and friends in these victims. I even took it upon myself to watch the “The President and the People”, but it only made me increasingly angry and upset. Because we continue to ask for support for “Blue Lives Matter” and we want people to go above and beyond to prove that they are not anti police. `But whose proving to us that they aren’t anti black? I see the anti black rhetoric ALL the time. Who is choosing to stand up to their peers and family members at our expense? I’ve heard people say I’m afraid to send my children out because the Black Lives Matter protestors are out creating a ruckus, or they’re afraid of what will happen to their family members who are police officers.
This is my entire life, except I’m not afraid of protestors because I’m out there with them. I’m afraid of police officers, I’m afraid of what will happen to my husband or child, even my sister or mother. I just recently spoke at candle light vigil for the victims of police brutality(organized by UTEP’s Black Student Union which I’m a member of), where we also gave respect to the police officers in Dallas. I wasn’t a big of some of the things we did but when are we ever all on the accord? Nonetheless I spoke about being fearless in the face of adversity, and by that I meant stop encouraging our children to be victims because this is “A MOVEMENT”. I can’t send my sons out into the world ill prepared: this isn’t the 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s I’m not going to tell my sons that they need to hold their heads down and avert their gaze while speaking to a white person or police officer, Or get caught up in respectability politics and compliance. My son shouldn’t have to do more to avoid being shot by police or vigilantes. We have to stop ruining the childhoods of children of color by telling them not to be too black or brown, and not to have pride in who they are. So many people have to have hard conversations with their children at such a young age. My son cant play with toy guns like most little boys because I’m afraid he’ll be shot within seconds of a police encounter, and the community wont protect him they’ll talk about how he looked so much older and menacing(did you know that’s a problem for children in schools too?) than he actually is and how he shouldn’t have had said toy gun in the first place.
Personally I’m done with the apologist rhetoric, my family is done walking out into life afraid. I can’t constantly be plagued with fear because I see my loved ones in these victims, because at this point we are only accepting accountability for these actions. It has become recklessness with no regard for human life. What’s even worse are the people trying to justify the behavior and the deaths, people that I’ve considered friends.
A disturbing statistic that I’ve come across this week after viewing a video of a North Miami behavioral therapist being shot in front of his patient (whom the police later said they were aiming for), Up to half of victims of police brutality are disabled individuals. For me that’s exceedingly terrifying considering my little sister falls into this category, and like many disabled individuals she has an occasional melt down. If my parents were to call the police for help that would put them all in danger! How disturbing is that? Not only that but my best friend works in a group home with disabled individuals and I fear for her as well, because with a heart similar to my own she would do what she could to protect them if she needed to. I shouldn’t have to worry about her life or the life of my parents for simply doing their jobs, much like this Blue Lives Matter theme we have going on. But your employment and job are temporary, my friends and family will be black forever.
Phillando Castille was simply out with his family when he was killed because he had a registered fire arm which he expressed in the video. That could easily be my father or husband, and society would justify that too. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t be bothered by this? I don’t understand how you can call yourself a friend then justify murder of my people? Because you aren’t truly a friend, you still separate my family and I into the “Other” group, a group you cant really identify with. You just keep us around for entertainment.
Everyday we draw a little closer to an age of disconnect with the black community, and people hate it. They don’t understand why we would separate ourselves when we fought so hard for integration and equal opportunity. We still don’t have it, and honestly black people thrived during segregation because we had to be self-sufficient. As we speak black dollars are being withdrawn from major banks and deposited into black owned banks, children are being withdrawn from school and parents are teaching them at home with amazing black home school communities, black people are quitting their 9-5’s and starting their own businesses. This is the turning point a real revolution, as much as you want to overlook it and turn your head it wont stop. The train has already left the station.

5 Year Goals

attachment parenting, Women's Health

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my five year goals lately. Mainly because I’ve been feeling so inspired by women that “have it all”, and I mean women that have created their own definition of success and live/love it. We are no longer living in a society where you have to follow a strict mold to achieve success and feel successful. Stay At home moms are feeling liberated and creating opportunities to work from home, women are creating and running their own (successful and thriving) corporations, among many other things! 

This personal inspiration for me started during finals week, which just so happen to be the same week Lemonade was released. Yes, the two correlate 😉 I was feeling really torn about my major(pre-nursing) and really stressing about my successes as a college student. Then I heard lemonade, during a real time of emotional turmoil. This was Bey, having it all but admitting that it all came with sacrifice and required you to live your own truth whatever that may be. 

Then I changed my major to health promotion, and my whole business plan fell into place. I ultimately created an opportunity to do MORE than I was limiting myself to with nursing, in addition to creating a business I could conduct from home. This would give me time to really devote to the home front! Something I really stressed about, I constantly felt torn between a successful career and having a large family where I could be a true presence.

So I’ve compiled a timeline of my five year goals, just to put it out into the galaxy with all the good vibes you guys give. As well as to create accountability for myself, now other people know. There are expectations out there now. My goals include both career goals and family goals, because both are important to me.

So here they are, we’ll start with year 1:

Within a year

1. Expand my DogVacay clientele, by at least 10. (I want clear and easily tracked goals)

2. Build my resume through individual projects. Put together and lead at least two major projects or events.

3. Have baby Robinson number 2!

Within 1.5 years

1. Earn bachelors degree in health promotion concentration in education.

2. Obtain doula and lactation consultant certification.

3. Obtain personal training certification.

Within 2 years

1. Launch birthing business

2. Improve credit score (720)

3. Move to either New Orleans or Atlanta suburbs.

4. Obtain job as either studio/gym/practice manager

Within 3 years

1. Buy first house

2. Have baby Robinson #3

Within 4 years

1. Begin process of adopting baby Robinson #4(which could be very lengthy)

2. Have consistent clientele with birthing business, at least 4 clients per month, and leading regular group exercise classes.

Within 5 years

1. Birthing business successful enough to work full time.

2. Homeschooling all children at home

3. Start small online boutique related to birthing business. 

I realize this is all very ambitious, but I’m trying to break each goal down into smaller easy to accomplish steps. This increases my chances of success. And they all lead into another step further down the line. My big goal is to run my own birthing business from home, and being a presence at home so I can homeschool my children. This may be a small scale dream for some of you guys but for me these are things that are most important to me and ways I will feel most fulfilled.

Struggling with feelings of inadequacy…

Women's Health

Struggling with feelings of inadequacy
I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy for a very long time, at least as far back as my memory goes. It’s a large part of my relationship with my father but its also a driving factor of my amazing work ethic. Because it’s been such a big a part of my life for so long, it easily pours over into my marriage. Since getting married in September it has been a reoccurring problem for me, often times self inflicted, occasionally its onset by an outside force. With Strawberry full moon last night I was really hoping I would gain some clarity and relief from this looming black cloud (it was a Sagittarius full moon in Gemini, my opposing house), I didn’t gain any though and today I feel as consumed as ever by feelings of inadequacy. So at this point what can I do to actually to heal instead of just slapping a band aid on it?
People often think that reciting to yourself that things you do are good enough, or showering yourself with compliments is enough. That’s merely a temporary fix, if it actually does anything at all. I frequently find myself second guessing my skills as a daughter, mother, and wife. My dad and husband are both fans of backhanded compliments so it’s hard to see past the sting of the insult to see the compliment that they attempted to give. Any shot taken at my maternal instincts or wife duties immediately sends me over the edge. So my triggers are OBVIOUS, but how do you make the voices stop and see the true value of the things that you do? As I type I’m currently racking my brain about the quality of my duties as a wife and parent? Did I make the appropriate choices for my family today?
I find my self worth in my job, the services I do, and the amount of money I can make. Simply because it’s something I have direct control over, but when I decided to come here in particular circumstances I put myself in a vulnerable position. I came to El Paso without a job, I was willing to try to step outside my comfort zone for the sake of my marriage and learning to become one with my husband. Never have I made a greater mistake, my confidence plummeted tremendously. Even after I started looking for work it took months before I found something, and my DogVacay business hadn’t developed the clientele that I have now. It was just all a hot mess and a struggle, because I find value in contributing to my home. Even with my business flourishing and finding a job, my confidence has taken a huge hit.
I don’t ever want to give off the feeling that I’m leading a perfect life or attempting to be perfect, I’m not. I’m struggling and this is hard, constantly wondering if you have done all that you can for everyone. Especially when what you do isn’t appreciated and YOU don’t even appreciate your efforts. So for now…. I’m investing my time in service. Which is why I took in a foster dog, I want to use my business to give back to the community. It’s simply something to heal my heart and soul. Writing is definitely therapeutic for me, talking even when you’re not sure anyone is listening. I also have to rebalance myself and find a church family, being in balance spiritually is really important. I guess these all go along with the self care that I talked about in my previous post. When you’re a parent and a wife its easy to let your needs fall to the way side, this is something I need to start paying more attention to. I’m definitely going to write a follow up post maybe a month from now to see if any of these things have helped, and hopefully they can work for some of you guys too because I know I’m not alone in this struggle with inadequacy.

HSP During Pregnancy 

Women's Health

Being a hyper sensitive individual while pregnant
 
For a hyper sensitive person, the world can seem overwhelming a majority of the time, and many situations quickly become exhausting. For me it’s difficult to even sit through an emotional movie because I quickly become exhausted and my emotions are raw, an exceedingly gory movie cranks my anxiety to such a high that I cant tolerate it. My husband and I watched the purge and I was plagued with anxiety for days. I am easily exhausted by the outward emotions of others, especially abrasive personalities. By no means do I hide from confrontation but I would just rather not be bothered with it. Being hyper sensitive in today’s world, where violence is a normal part of the evening news and knowing you are a person that carries the weight of the world on your shoulders is AWFUL, it literally feels awful. It’s like walking around covered in Velcro and every time you meet someone, watch the news, or check social media you pick up something. Imagine all that you have picked over the course of just a day. I have learned different techniques to cope with it and I manage to mask most of my feelings until I can make it home for the day to decompress.
But this task of masking my ocean of emotions and managing to shake off the emotions of others has become increasingly difficult. Why? Well because I’m pregnant and hormonal. This isn’t my first pregnancy but this time around I’m have a more difficult time than with my first son. Maybe it’s because of school or being in a different place… who knows really. Nonetheless this has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life, most of my typical techniques aren’t working for me and I’ve been reduced to staying at home unless it simply cannot be avoided such as work or taking my husband as a way to deflect other people away from me. My Velcro is working double time and I end my day with twice as much stuck to me than usual. The week of Memorial Day we had a death in our family, a little before that I was planning to visit my family because my dad was getting remarried (something that I’m not unhappy about, I’m just still coming to terms with it because my parents have been married 20 years and are recently divorced), I needed to find somewhere for our dogs to go because my husband had drill that weekend, then I needed to adjust my plans to go to a funeral, trying to get on a plane to go home to mourn with my family became so overwhelming that I couldn’t even catch the flight. I had all these things stuck to me and I just couldn’t shake them off to function. I was exhausted by the thought of doing anything and my anxiety was at an all time high. Add this to the influx of emotions and hormones I was already dealing with and it makes for a pretty miserable time.
            Work also over stimulates me, especially when I work long shifts. Typically I’m an animal loving person but when I’ve had my emotions rubbed raw all day, been constantly touched by other peoples pets and try to come home to my own toddler and dogs, I just want SPACE! We’re just at a place where everyone is really clingy right now, I find myself at the center of a dog pile every night. But I have learned a few techniques this time around that have helped a little… I just have to stay on routine.
So when it comes to going out and running errands…. I have to go out at the earliest time possible when I know I wont run into very many people. This has been hard and a lot of times I have to send my husband to do things like going to the grocery store because it has become simply overwhelming to go in the afternoon or evening. I also try to spend a few minutes after work to decompress… take a hot shower (my only alone time), take my time eating, read or write a little. I just need to make sure I have scheduled time to slow down my mind. In the morning I make sure I take time to have my coffee and do some writing to set the tone for the day, then Micah and I will take some time to go for a walk before we settle into our home school routine. I’ve also taken time to talk to my family about my need for personal space right now, I’m not really as interested in snuggles and cuddles as I usually am. Sometimes this one is particularly difficult, I frequently find myself shooing the dogs back to their own bed or peeling a toddler off of me. Sometimes I just need a nap to recharge, otherwise I’m incapable of doing anything. I also have to limit my social media time and how often I watch the news. Especially before bed or early in the morning, it directly effects what kind of day I’ll have. I just have to make a genuine effort to take care of myself, otherwise I would burn myself out.. If you have any tips that you use to manage your HSP while pregnant or not, feel free to share!

Father’s Day

attachment parenting

Father’s Day is especially special for us this year for several reasons: this is our first married Father’s Day and we’re expecting baby Robinson number two! 

Since we’ve moved here we’ve had a pretty rough time all around, it sucked but we don’t love each other any less. When we talked about having children we have always pictured a large family for ourselves. We want to have 3-4 then adopt our youngest. And in this day and age 4-5 children sounds crazy, but having children is a physical representation of the love between the two of you. 

For us it’s important to share this abundance of love that we have for one another. Because we literally love each other so much it’s overwhelming and its spilling out, so why not pour it into our children as well as a child in need. 

So today I’ve been pretty emotional over just the presence of my husband. Because he shares these sentiments with me and understands Gods plans for us and the expansion of our family. He has been nothing short of amazing in this calling of parenthood. So today I wanted to make every effort to cater to him (even though I should every day) because being a father isn’t easy, being a husband isn’t easy, and leading a family is not easy. I want him to know that he is appreciated and loved, by his family here and now and the family that is to come.

We’ve talked a lot about adoption and the route we want to take as well as how long we want to wait to start working on number three. I know we should have baby Robinson number two then talk about it, but a family like that deserves some planning 😉 and a significant amount of commitment. 

My Labor and Delivery Preparation 

attachment parenting, Women's Health

I have personally seen an increase in mom shaming, especially those who shame expecting new mothers for maintaining an exercise routine. They are accused of being vain and neglecting the well being of their child. This is a far reach from the realities of exercising during pregnancy. Maintaining a regular exercise routine (if approved by your doctor) is very beneficial to you and baby, even more so if you intend on having a natural birth. I am a firm believer in the female bodies naturally ability to give birth without any significant exercise routine, but if you have been sedentary and unhealthy throughout your pregnancy you may have a particular difficult time compared to those who are active and eat better. After speaking to women who have delivered multiple children, it has become pretty clear that there is big difference between going into your birth physically and mentally fit and just winging it.
One of the things that made the greatest impact on my pregnancy was maintaining my activity level through the beginning of my pregnancy and adjusting my activity level as needed through the rest of it. Luckily I was able to maintain my running schedule up until I was 30 weeks, even after that I was still able to squats and other exercises using only my weight for resistance. I also participated in pregnancy PT because I was in the Army, I understand every program isn’t the same but the one at Ft.Huachuca was AMAZING! We did zumba, yoga, pool aerobics, weight lifting, and running. They also included a classroom portion every Tuesday. This time around running hasn’t been on my side because I’ve been having some crazy round ligament pain but I have been able to do some strength training. I haven’t put any focus on increasing strength but more so on toning and endurance. I think of exercising during pregnancy as training for a major athletic event, which my first pregnancy actually was. I felt this urge to be mobile during labor, there was nothing natural about laying on my back during labor. It also improved how I dealt with pain by significantly increasing my pain threshold and changing how I viewed the pain of childbirth itself. Engaging my abdominal muscles with strength training as well as my pelvic floor during workouts also mad my pushing process much more productive. I only pushed twice while on all fours, and that was enough to get my little guy out.
Another way I prepped for labor… research, research, and more research. Knowing what to expect from my body put my mind at ease before labor and made it easier to relax during labor. Not only did I read (I’ll actually provide a list of books that I found insanely beneficial) but I took classes, watched movies, and watched youtube videos. I obviously wasn’t a birthing pro and there were things that didn’t go as planned but it made a huge difference in my birthing experience.
I genuinely hope that this inspires you to get a sweat in a few times a week in order to prepare for birth experience(remember only if your doctor says it’s ok!), it will make a big difference. If you’ve already been exercising I commend you! Don’t let anyone shame or discourage you from doing so. I don’t know where we developed this mind set that caring for your body and baby is somehow vain.

In light of Father’s Day

Animal Advocacy

So as a precursor to a special family announcement tomorrow (to celebrate Father’s Day) I want to share Micah’s birth story.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted a natural birth… By natural I mean vaginal with no drugs. I did a lot of prep work by exercising, reading/researching, and taking a class on base. All proved to be beneficial in the long run but I didn’t learn the pain relief techniques that I really needed to go through with this successfully.

Anyways… Let’s start with Late night December 11th. I went to bed with intermittent contractions, they were sporadic and not painful at all. So I assumed they were Braxton hicks something I had experience many times before. So I did all the things I learned in my birthing class to determine if they were real. So I went to the bathroom, took a warm shower, ate a small snack, and had a drink. I was still having them pretty sporadically. Because they weren’t consistent I just went to bed. 

I woke up the next morning around 5am with a dull lower back pain, so I had my mom help me into the bathtub to soak. The pain continued even with the jet stream hitting my back. So I stayed in until the water got cold and my mom helped me back out. She agreed to take me to the hospital but first she wanted to stop and get me breakfast then stopped at her school to drop off lesson plans for the substitute teacher. We made it to the hospital by 9am and went straight to labor and delivery. This is where the pain finally subsided. Nonetheless They checked my cervix to see if I was dialated at all, only about 1.75cm. So the doctor offered to do a membrane sweep, which was extremely uncomfortable but I would do it again because I think it was helpful. I was scheduled for an appointment an hour later but they cancelled it and scheduled an induction for December 17th(my birthday) just in case I didn’t go into actual labor the next few days. So I was sent home.

The next day My actual due date, my mom took me to breakfast at ihop then to the mall to walk around. We walked into the food court and I lost my mucus plug. It was disgusting and I cleaned myself up as best as I could. I told my mom and she said she wanted to make a return and we would go home so I could rest. So after walking around in the next store while my mom made her return my water broke… Even more gross and uncomfortable. So my mom took me straight to the hospital instead, where I still wasn’t having contractions but they admitted me anyways.

From the beginning they fought me about my request. I didn’t want to be attached to an iv but they said it was hospital policy. After getting to my room they started encouraging pitocin because I wasn’t having steady contractions and they didn’t want me there for days. So I agreed, even though that wasn’t really my problem. Then the nurse asked About my birth plan and breastfeeding plan, which she wrote down on a white board so everyone entering the room would know about my wishes. Then I was attached to a fetal monitor, which made me more miserable. I called my best friend and my dad who came to the hospital immediately. As soon as they got there the contractions kicked in, they were sharp and long… I felt the need to be mobile but anytime I wanted to move they had to unhook EVERYTHING! The midwife got tired of me disrupting the fetal monitor so they put in an external fetal monitor. Which made me even more miserable 😒 I was climbing the walls, I was wailing, crying, going back and forth to the bathroom. Not to mention starving because it had now been almost 8 hours since I had breakfast. This went on to almost 8pm by this time the pitocin was making crazy and I was demanding the nurses stop giving it to me. The midwife asked if I wanted an iv pain reliever so I could rest, I obliged and immediately went into a foggy sleep. I woke up an hour later to never ending contractions, I tried to get up to go to the bathroom but the midwife wanted to check me first. She discovered I was 9cm dialated! She called for the nurse and started prepping for me to push while telling me to wait it out. Which I couldn’t do because I was already feeling the urge to push. My instincts told me to get on all fours and I pushed once, his head and shoulders emerged. I pushed again and he emerged completely. He was placed on my stomach for skin to skin contact, they said his umbilical chord was too short so they cut it before it stopped pulsing cleaned him up and swaddled him and handed him back to me. 

I looked at him and immediately thought he looked nothing like me! I was so overwhelmed with emotion that o cried about it. But he was beautiful, 21 inches long and 7lbs. I no longer felt short changed by what didn’t go according to my plan. 

Stay in your place…

Uncategorized, Women's Health

In the wake of the storm that is Ayesha Curry, I find myself disturbed by several things… The amount of men that thought they needed an Ayesha Curry only days ago, the fact that these same men now believe she needs to shut her mouth and stay in her lane, the fact that she has frequently been compared to Lebrons wife, and the fact that single men feel as though they should have any say in what a woman’s place actually is(and the nerve they had to say it on tv). 

Not long after I spoke on the blatant sexism of all of this, one of my Facebook friends felt it necessary to explain what Ayesha Curry’s tweet was unnecessary as well as my opinion. Both should have kept to ourselves. Ah… Yes another man feeling the need to silence a woman. 

It’s not the difference of opinion that bothers me, but the fact that men still believe they have the right to tell women where and when their opinion is needed or wanted. And the fact that everyone aspired to “have” an Ayesha Curry until she proved herself a tad too outspoken. See men (black men in particular) are all about the revolution until their woman is a little too outspoken for them.

Society also feels threatened by her disassociation with this American Sweetheart image she has been branded with. Light skin women are typically expected to be passive, quiet, and permissive. Things she has proven herself not to be on several occasions. She has proven time and time again that she is a proud black woman and refuses to shrink herself down into some mediocre Box in order to be conducive to her husbands image. She actually took one for the team in terms of his image, if she hadn’t tweeted so “recklessly” Steph Curry would have been eaten alive the next day. His poor sportsmanship would have placed him at Cam Newton status after the super bowl. He snapped on a referee and spit out his mouth guard. But that hasn’t been the topic of conversation ironically. 

The problem doesn’t lie with her opinion itself, because reality is we all think pro sports are rigged. We all think sports are about politics, she’s not the first to say it by any means. But the fact that a black woman spoke out against the establishment is the true problem. It’s the fact that she couldn’t sit back quietly and be pretty without drawing attention to herself. She spoke her mind, and that’s a dangerous thing in white misogynistic America.

Empowerment: Playing Your Part

Social Justice

Empowering and Impacting the Black Community:
         During the release of Beyonce’s unapologetically black visual album Lemonade, I noticed a truly detrimental epidemic. An onslaught of black people who couldn’t give credit in places it was obviously due because they couldn’t get over the “But what have you done for us” complex. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not blinded my beyhive goggles, I’m very obviously a fan but Beyonce’ has made some community contributions she just hasn’t bragged about them. People are so used to every act of charity broadcasted across social media that if it hasn’t been posted on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter then it hasn’t happened. This is not the case, in reality you should be wary of those that do things and make a show of it. You should always question the motives of those people. I could attach a list of charities The Carters contribute to regularly, but you could also do the research. Research is something our generation has also turned a blind eye to. Why are you being subdued by the media into believing she is exploiting black people and feminism? Well for one she has contributed an entire essay to feminism, more specifically gender equality. Then she put together a world tour of only female artist (from production to musicians). But once she narrows her scope to black women and their struggles you have a hard time believing the hype? That’s fine; I digress because my point is… WHO ARE YOU TO ASK WHAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS CONTRIBUTED TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY? What have you yourself contributed? I’m sure you have openly contributed to its exploitation: reposting gorilla memes comparing him to dead black youth, sharing fight videos, endorsing these shows that make us look like animals, asking your local black business owners for discounts? So I ask again, what have you contributed that places you above the acts of others?
         Before you try to deflect by asking me what I have personally done, I’ll start with this message I’m sharing with you. By blogging I’m making you increasingly aware of the injustices you ignore, and more aware of your own problematic behavior. By no means am I perfect, but I am contributing nonetheless. I have also joined the Black Student Union at my current institution; we are making ourselves a larger presence in the community and actively going out to make a difference. As an intern I am seeking out students of color who have fallen through the cracks and catching them, as well as creating opportunities for them to further their education. So again what are you actively doing that places you above others and their contributions?
         There are so many ways that you can contribute to the empowerment of our community, so many organizations you can join, and so many ways you can utilize your personal talents. So lets talk about some of the things you can do, I’ll start small.
1. Social Media- Use your voice! It seems trivial but every time you repost an injustice or draw awareness to a cause you are opening a few more minds. Create an online presence!
2. Join some organizations- find an organization that has values similar to your own, or simply start your own organization. Anyway to get involved.
3. Attend black institutions such as black churches and black colleges.
4. Seek out leadership positions in the community. May it be at work, school, or even within the government. We need representation and adequate leadership everywhere. Be a hand up instead of watching other people pass you up.
5. Go out and vote, encourage other people to vote! Not just in the presidential election but start small and start local. Those are the people that truly affect you and the amount of power our president has.
6. Do community service, this includes neighborhood beautification! It’s not about getting out the hood anymore but making it better. Gentrification is a real thing; it’s also a result of letting our neighborhoods fall apart. So get out there in the community and do your part! Take care of our people; even if you believe you have nothing, you still have enough to give.
7. Educate yourself outside the classroom. Read books, newspapers, and scientific journals! Knowledge is everywhere and it’s harder for you to be taken advantage of when you have the power of knowledge. Stop taking in that trashy television show and all that gossip. What you put in will soon produce fruit.
8. Do business with black owned businesses and stop asking for discounts. While you’re at it stop doing business with people that don’t appreciate your business. If you’re being exploited for them to make a dollar, its safe to say you should keep your money. On that note if these people wont hire you and you are obviously qualified, start your own business. Create a legacy for your children.
9. Stop sending your children where they are not wanted, joining groups where they are the only black children, sending them to schools with no diversity. You think you are helping them but you are further aiding in their brainwashing and making them numb to oppression. I’m not saying send them to bad schools or to pull them out of schools. But as the child of a teacher I know that there are options, and lots of them.
10. Finally, stop bashing other black people for the way in which they choose to empower other black people. You have your method and they have theirs. It’s as simple as that. Your criticism is further separating us during a time when we need to demonstrate unity. Criticism is one thing and accountability is another.
This isn’t me trying to tell you how to live your lives, but holding you accountable. You know how to get involved now, so take part in the revolution. There will always be those who actively take part and those who stand on the sidelines and critique. Even if you just stand idly by you are benefitting from the acts of others.

Reinforced Fence

Animal Advocacy

So I said I would share my method for reinforcing my side gate, which is a wrought iron gate typical in El Paso neighborhoods. It was relatively easy for desert heat, pregnant carpenter 😉, and my toddler handyman. Not to mention we didn’t have the correct tools! We went into this equipped with a hand me down roll of poultry wire (Which we’re more than grateful for!), some wire, and wire cutters. I simply measured up the poultry wire to the fence and cut it down the side. My handyman and I then used the roll of wire (I pre cut a few pieces before we got started)to secure the poultry wire to the gate.  I secured both sides and the bottom.  It wasn’t as secure as I would like but it’s  secure enough to keep my small dogs in the yard. With this done we can obtain our first foster!