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Xicana sign language – this means love September 13, 2009

Filed under: Poetry — texicana @ 4:24 am
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IMG000150El amor de mi pecho flota en el mar de mi sangre.

Yo nado en el abismo de la obscuridad.

Alguna vez una luz brillaba dentro de estas aguas.

El tiempo es una guerra contra el sol y la luna

y yo soy soldadera sirena del precuspolo cielo.

Soy estrella guerrillera en la penumbra del horizonte.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The love in my chest floats in the sea of my blood.

I swim in the darkness of the abyss.

There was once a light shining inside these waters.

Time is war between sun and moon

and I am a mermaid soldier in a twilight sky.

I’m a warrior star in the penumbra of a morning horizon.

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Palabras desde el Corazon de mi Nahui Ollin September 12, 2009

Filed under: Poetry — texicana @ 2:23 am
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PALABRAS DESDE EL CORAZON DE MI NAHUI OLLIN

EARTH: The TIERRA that birthed me

Dedicated to Abuelita Minerva.  May your spirit remain en la milpa.

De maiz naci.  De maiz muri.

Deje mi maiz para ti

Porque soy echa de tierra

Y tu eres de mi

De maiz sone.  De maiz soy yo.

A la tierra me fui, para que me encontraras.

De maiz naciste tu.  De la tierra.

Cuando tu te vayas, estaremos juntas

Y regalemos estas palabras para sembrar una nueva milpa

Echas de nuestra sangre 

WATER:  Mima’s AGUA

Dedicated to Abuelita Mima

 

AIR:  El AIRE de la Frontera

Dedicated to mi Querido Pueblo: Eagle Pass, TX

El olor de la frontera

is dirt mixed with blood

that the Rio Bravo cannot wash away.

El olor de la frontera

is  warm air at sunset

and cedar among maquiladora madness.

Contradictions are alive en la frontera

 Cactus flowers bloom

But starving mouths are pricked by the thorns.

El olor de la frontera carries mystery and power

Some cannot explain how a people can survive here

On the edge of four worlds – el Xicano, el Mexicano, el Africano y el Indio

Traveling pa ya y pa ca

It’s an acquired smell

The tortillas, the migas, the border jam traffic, la migra, the tobacco in the air.

The smell of family trees generations deep

Uprooted by construction of a hate wall

The smell of resistance and the smell of fear

is almost a sound in the air that yells fire

from ancient burial grounds of Abuelitos and Abuelitas

whose voice is carried by the wind into our hearts

telling us it’s time to wake up and smell the injustice

And if this wall of hate is still constructed,

Then let us not let them build a wall of hate in ourselves

Because the air is what can free us

Because the water is what can cure us

Because the fire is what can liberate us

Because the tierra is what can unite us

FIRE:  Journey of FUEGO

To all of the women who have been made to think that they were not love(d)

Para Ella – You know who you are….

For these hard times

Look within and find your freed mind

Don’t hesitate to rewind

Each time the battle scar opens wide

And then find your spine

Because the world of pain is full of twisted vines

But when you dry your eyes and see the lies

You will feel like you can fly all the way up to the sky

And then you will wonder why you never tried

Because love’s always been in you, but you let it die.

Or it was taken from you, beaten, cheated, discarded, and used

For something that you never accused, or maybe nobody ever cared to fuse

That fire that burned in you, because you didn’t let it show

How somebody can stoop so low, kill your spirit, then go or worse, stay.

Cuando las memorias carcelan, la costumbre mata.

When memories are imprisoned, convenience kills.

Let your thoughts run free, let the memories speak

Don’t worry about sounding weak

Everything you are searching for is within your reach, all you have to do is seek

So for these hard times

Look within and find your freed mind

Don’t hesitate to rewind

Each time the battle scar opens wide

And then find your heart

Use the unfused fire

To start

The journey forward 

Looking forward

Looking backwards

Looking forward

Looking backwards

But always con el Corazon al frente

When you free your mente

And when you cross that Puente

That divided your spirit,

Everyone will be able to feel it

Tu Corazon puro

Tu Corazon indigena

Tu Corazon Xicana

Tu Corazon mi Hermana

That’s the most beautiful part of you

Let the light shine through

Let’s cross that Puente together,

Because I am with you

A tu lado

Yo no me rajo

Tu no te rajes

Sale, let’s take this viaje

 

Relocate Pure Casting Facility from East Austin! Build Affordable Housing September 10, 2009

Filed under: PODER — texicana @ 5:03 pm
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Protect our Children’s Health!
Relocate Pure Casting!
Build Affordable Housing!

Pure_Casting_Protest_6_10_09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pure Casting facility (2110 E. 4th Street) is a polluter of heavy metals and uses hazardous chemicals in our East Austin neighborhood. Pure Casting is located right next to Zavala Elementary School and surrounded by homes.

East Austin needs your support in protecting the health of our children and the residents that live in the area. It is crucial that we let the City Council and Pure Casting know that we will not allow children to be exposed to hazardous chemicals!

The Pure Casting facility is an ideal location to build affordable housing. It is 30,152 sq. ft. of land. The City Council should use the Affordable Housing Bond money ($55 million) to purchase the site. This site abuts to the property owned by the City of Austin (the Brown Building on Chicon & E. 4th Street). Call the Mayor and Council members at 974-2250.

Let’s keep our children safe from harmful chemicals!

 -Download letter to email Council Members at PODER website www.poder-texas.org

-Here is the link to the City website where you can email Mayor and City Council Members:

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/council/default.htm

 

Hip Hop Theater Explosion in October! September 9, 2009

Filed under: Events — texicana @ 12:37 am

hip hop theater explosion

 

Youth Encuentros at PODER in September September 8, 2009

Filed under: Events — texicana @ 5:24 pm

12thflyer

 

Invincible’s Workshop on Hip Hop Media and Community Displacement September 4, 2009

Invincible_Austin

Invincible blessed us with her workshop:  Hip Hop Media and Community Displacement.  The workshop was held at the PODER office (www.poder-texas.org) and was given for PODER’s Young Scholars for Justice program, Austin Voices for Educationa and Youth, The Cipher, S.O.U.L. Sessions, Out Youth, and hip hop group The Public Offenders.  It was an amazing workshop where we all gathered to share our stories of where we are each from and learn about the parralles of community displacement of people of color in Detroit and in Austin.  Mad love to Invincible and all who turned out!  We have lots of natuarally talented youth in Austin whose voice speaks with truth, wisdom, and resistance!

P1010521

 

Alma de Mujer Center for Social Change Video Series on Texas Women Activists

I wrote the following article and created the two videos below as the start of a series of videos documenting Women of Color Activists in Texas.  Stayed tuned for more!

Texas Women Stand up for Social Change

By Erika Gonzalez

Texas is home to a rich history of resistance in the belly of the beast.  As a “Red State” self proclaimed by many republican officials who continuously try to push their conservative agendas, it is no wonder why we hardly ever hear about the positive community work being done on the ground to shift Texas politics.  At the forefront of the grassroots social justice movement in Texas, are many women of color whose sacrifices have led them to be well known community activists, often unnoticed in the larger public eye.

 

During the weekend of July 31 – August 02, 2009, Alma de Mujer: Center for Social Change held the first Women’s Activist Gathering in Austin, TX.  The gathering drew over 50 Texas-based Native women/Indigenous women and women of color activists whose work focuses on Native sovereignty, immigration and/or environmental justice.

 


I caught up with several of the women at the gathering and asked them to share stories about their personal journeys as women of color activists as well as to discuss why Alma de Mujer is an important gathering space for women in Texas.

 

The first video includes a conversation (in Spanish) with Petra Mata, Executive Director of Fuerza Unida based in San Antonio, TX.  Fuerza Unida formed 19 years ago when a Levi’s Factory in San Antonio closed down leaving more than 1,150 workers, mostly women, unemployed and with unjust severance pay.  Fuerza Unida first started as a support group for women, and later turned to a woman’s leadership development center for women in San Antonio using education, social work, and activism in the community.

 

The second video includes the first part of a series of conversations with Cemelli de Aztlan, Executive Director for the Indigenous Cultures Institute in San Marcos, Tx.  Cemelli is a Xicana born in El Paso, TX and has recently graduated from Harvard University.  In this video, Cemelli talks about the Prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor as it relates to the Peace and Dignity Journeys and touched on the importance of Texas being the caretakers of the sacred medicine, peyote.  In videos to come, Cemelli will discuss the issue of women of Juarez murders along the El Paso – Juarez border, the issue of globalization and her views on Sotomayor, as well as her views on Alma de Mujer:  Center for Social Change.

 

For more information about Alma de Mujer, visit www.almademujer.tx@blogspot.com

VIDEOS

cemelli de aztlan on peace and dignity journey and prophecy of eagle and condor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2ccJMI9D8Q
 
petra mata fuerza unida
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj95pPSnjg0