I have always been optimistic about the ability of people to grow, evolve, and move past their struggles to be the best that they can be. Raising a child as a single mother was a rough pathway, the challenges of which were matched three-fold with joy. Despite an endless cycle of low-wage jobs where wage theft and harassment were the norm, I managed to stretch what few dollars I had to feed and nurture my growing child.
Along the way, I searched for and found friends that became my tribe, mentors that adopted me and became my family, patience and love to strengthen relationships in my birth family, and communities that became my village.
I have always been a passionate about justice. From marching against Maquiladora factories, to running a literacy program in juvenile hall, to representing unaccompanied minors in court and women in sexual harassment cases – I’ve fought the good fight.
My single greatest contribution to social justice activism is raising my child. I am proud to say that throughout my daughter’s childhood, I was at home with her every single night, finding ways to entertain, educate, and play with her. To this day, we still can work ourself into uncontrollable laughter when we are together.
Activism begins in the home in the everyday small acts that make up the details of our lives. From our engagement in consumerism to how we teach our children. The ways we engage in the social justice movement is as diverse as we are. Every intentional act that supports a movement is necessary. Every person who contributes is important.
In addition to those we acknowledge as our “heroes” – Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Angela Davis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg – are dozens of individuals whose everyday acts are all a necessary part of a greater whole. From the worker who shares their story of being sexually harassed at work to the firefighter that braves flames to rescue people to a person of color who serves as a community leader; we all play our part.
My favorite quote is claimed in both Asian and African culture:
If you want to move a mountain, move a stone a day.