Summer of Feminista: Practicing activism in our own lives

My name is Becky and I am an expert in breaking down socially constructed barriers of race, class, gender, and sexuality because of my hands on activist work, encouraging and educating people on how to love and know and advocate for themselves.

Should there be a stand out Latina public intellectual? Or do we need a group of Latina public intellectuals? Or none at all?

This summer, I attended Feminist Summer Camp with Soapbox Inc. The essence of this program was meeting fellow feminists and hearing their grassroots stories-- from the spark of an idea, to obstacles and challenges met, to networking and being resourceful. I learned that everyone starts from a place, and that there is never ending, unforeseen growth in the work that we set out to do. Although I have heard this message before, it is important for me to be reminded and to hear it from a community of people to whom I can relate.

This message is an important lesson in every aspect of life, as it does not just pertain to being a public activist. We have to learn to practice activism in our own lives, which I believe is a particularly deeply rooted shortfall within the Latin community as far as valuing and encouraging personal activism. Strong culturally constructed barriers leave Latinas to consider ourselves last, from our health to our personal intellect. From this extends the shortfall of self-proclaimed leaders to offer mentorship, encouragement, and set examples for our community. This leadership goes for anything, from helping to fill out medicaid papers to taking the forefront in leading edge biochemical engineering research, which is why YES, there most definitely needs to be a diverse group of Latina public intellectuals who are proud to define their personal area of expertise.

Becky is a rising junior studying Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies & Pre-Medicine

Summer of Feminista 2011 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts on Latinas as Public Intellectuals. Liberal. Conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more or how you can join the Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.