LIT LIT: DEC
+ countries. BOOK ($12) Stay LIT! by Flerine Atienza @flerinecrystal image credit : Sanaa K. flerine atienza
LIT LIT: AUGUST
connect and learn from one another. Read & follow: Remezcla Bauce Hella Pinay Muslim Girl Stay LIT! by Flerine Atienza @flerinecrystal flerine atienza
LIT LIT: NOV
I don’t know about y’all, but this week I’ve been struggling with finding methods to cope and process – and really just straight up manage – my emotions. There’s a difference between feeling lost and feeling loss. In the wake of #Election2016 results, I have been ebbing and flowing in between waves of both. Picture this. Feeling lost is describing an experience of uncertainty -- about getting thrown off course on a path and taking even longer to reach your desired destination. Feeling lost leaves us with questions about how to navigate our very environment. How did this happen? How did we even get here? Where do we go from here? What can we do to mobilize, organize, and find our way get our bearings straight and march on again? On the flip side, the feeling of loss is an experience that something has left us – something that was once there is no longer present. Perhaps we feel that suddenly there’s this void in our hearts and souls that was once filled with the idea of hope and glory and resolve. And maybe President Obama embodied those ideals for us, as our first Black president. And throughout this election season, we’ve been championing for a candidate who could possibly be our first woman president. And that maybe, just maybe, this idea of hope and glory and resolve would carry on to the next generation. and suddenly that hope felt ripped away. And I think the reason I, and others, are feeling caught in between lost and loss this week is because we are resiliently refusing to accept that we’ve lost our way in our path collectively fighting for freedom, justice, and equality. We refuse to accept that this is a loss for all that we’ve been fighting for. And this passionate and unapologetic refusal to accept both is what’s keeping us suspended in the emotional in-between. But you know what? I’m here to tell you that it was just a disruption. This is a brief disruption. We have not lost anything. We have to fight harder and love stronger and more push further than ever. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. We can dust it off and try again, try again. And when we rise up from the dust, we’ve got to remember that knowledge is essential to our power. As women of color, our knowledge feeds our minds with energy, and our lived experience arms our energy with intellectual ammunition. Combined, this power shields us and builds our resistance on the front lines of this battleground we call oppression. We’re introducing a series in theGirlMob called LIT LIT where we share with all of you, our fierce-fly-focused digital sisterhood, some literature (aha! now ya'll get it) exploring boss-as-fuck themes of empowerment. In true TGM fashion, LIT LIT is meant to supply you with words + theory + connections to add to your toolbox of badassery. Our first theme is rage. Here are five lit AF pieces of literature to get you through January 20, 2017 (aka inauguration day in DC). Sharpen those tools, sistah! I, Too, Am America By Langston Hughes POEM: click   This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color By Gloria Anzaldua & Cherie Moraga “This book is written for all the women in it and all whose lives our lives will touch. We are a family who first only knew each other in our dreams, who have come together on these pages to make faith a reality and to bring all of our selves to bear down hard on that reality. It is about physical and psychic struggle. It is about intimacy, a desire for life between all of us, not settling for less than freedom even in the most private aspects of our lives. A total vision. For the women in this book, I will lay my body down for that vision.” ANTHOLOGY: click   An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History) By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz “The systems of colonization were modern and rational, but its ideological basis was madness.” BOOK: click   We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes of Race and Resegregation By Jeff Chang “Culture, like food, is necessary to sustain us. It molds us and shapes our relations to each other. An inequitable culture is one in which people do not have the same power to create, access, or circulate their practices, works, ideas and stories. It is one in which people cannot represent themselves equally. To say that American culture in inequitable is to say that it moves us away from seeing each other in our full humanity. It is to say that the culture does not paint a more just society.” BOOK: click   All About Love: New Visions By Bell Hooks “Honesty and openness is always the foundation of insightful dialogue.” BOOK: click Stay LIT! by Flerine Atienza @flerinecrystal flerine atienza
LIT LIT: MARCH
I get really emotional when I see women in groups walking, dancing, talking, crying, and laughing together. But what really pulls at my heartstrings is when I see different women from all walks of life making, creating, and building together – lifting one another up and having each other’s backs. I’ve been thinking lately a lot about the word diversity. Honestly, the older I get, and the more spaces I touch, and various industries I’m exposed to – I have started to really…resent…that word. I feel like the terms “diversity” and “diverse” as nouns and descriptors have become these superficial tools that predominantly white environments and their CEO thought-powers use to position themselves and their groups/organizations as more progressive, or “cooler”, or more relevant than one another. As if diversity is a marker of criteria that sets that company/organization apart from others. As if diversity is a tool to advance the white powers to become more powerful. But it feels really false. Seeing that “diversity” checkmark feels contrived, like that organization has finally caught up to society, rather than do *clap emoji* ing *clap emoji* the *clap emoji* work to improve the system. It’s one thing to be a majority white institution that says “oh yeah, we have diverse employees!” – and it’s another thing entirely to actually have leaders of color who are the decision makers and coaches/mentors. From now on, I want to think of diversity as representation. Am I, are we, represented in the workplace? In meetings? In magazines? In movies? In TV shows? Diversity amongst a group of people should not be about a count of bodies showcasing a gradient scale of melanin from lightness to darkness. Rather, I want to start approaching and unpacking diversity as how culture and identity are represented in these public and private spaces. At work a while ago, I created a really organized timeline and pitch grid for a client and our teams to serve as a guideline for our PR plan. On a conference call, a colleague (let’s call her Becky*) says to everyone on the call, “Flerine did a really great job on this pitch grid. The format is clear and easy to follow for us all to understand what each other is working on.” I responded with, “thank you, I just want to make sure everyone’s on the same page, especially when I’m out of office, so I thought this format would be the most efficient way to ensure things keep moving forward.” And Becky jokingly responded with, “It’s because she’s Asian.” Pause. Becky laughed and found herself to be funny and lighthearted. It’s just business after all. But it’s in poor taste, IMO. It’s tired and archaic and whack material. And I was the only person of color on the call. And no one had my back, even when I tried to stick up for myself. By the way – Becky also finds herself making Asian jokes during client dinners and client lunches as well, whenever someone makes a comment about how stylized and interesting my Instagram photos are…she says things like “It’s the Asian in you.” Or “you’re so Asian, that’s why.” And you know what, I get it. When everything’s all business – it’s relieving to get some laughter in the conversation to keep things light and enjoyable. But racial jokes are LAZY. Whenever I unpack this situation with my fellow friends of color, we’re usually on the same page. Yes, it’s a micro aggression – but it speaks volumes about race + workplace dynamics. We all agree: we understand it was a joke, meant to be harmless and there was no mal-intent, but like, would this colleague say that same joke if I seemed to be of a different culture as a POC? Would this colleague say jokes like “it’s because she’s Black” or “it’s because she’s Mexican” to a Black or Mexican employee? Why are remarks like that only considered racist to white people’s eyes when it’s about black, muslim, or latinx folks? Why is it OK and “acceptable” to make racial Asian jokes in the workplace? It’s still racist. Don’t be a Becky. Be a kasama. Be an amiga. Be a sister. Let’s stick up for one another. Let’s be there for each other. We're wrapping up women’s herstory month, and we have to understand that we’re in this together - not just for a month, but forever... lets leave the commitment issues at the door. We can’t be tearing each other down when we’ve got so much yet to build. This month’s Lit Lit reads explores the dynamics of how we, as various women of color and backgrounds, relate to one another. And how these relations can be used as tools to build. I hope that through these materials, we can continue learning and working to understand one another more and be there for one another as best we can. (*Becky is representative of two differently gendered colleagues both participating in this conversation, but I want to respect their anonymity.) LIT LIT (BUT ACTUALLY FOR ANY MONTH) (image credit: unity in color) Coalition Politics – Turning the Century Free: http://web.colby.edu/ed332/files/2010/08/Coalition-Politics.pdf “People should not confuse home and coalition” – “home” is where your family, people, and culture nurture and shape you, and “coaltion” is where different families, peoples, and cultures come together to struggle through conflict to achieve common goals. Letters for Black Lives FREE multilingual translations of the letter: https://lettersforblacklives.com/ “Christina Xu, an ethnographer and writer, and other Asian-American activists created a crowdsourced letter to their families — particularly addressing their elders who immigrated to the United States — to explain why black lives matter.” Since then, Letters for Black Lives was born. It is a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources aimed at creating a space for open and honest conversations about racial justice, police violence, and anti-Blackness in our families and communities. Letters for Black Lives began as a group of Asian Americans and Canadians writing an intergenerational letter to voice our concerns and support for the Black community. It has since grown to include other immigrant groups and communities of color. Our goal is to listen, support, and amplify the message of Black Lives Matter within our communities. We encourage people from all communities to adapt and build off of these resources. Read the original English version of the letter, and its backstory, here: https://mic.com/articles/148224/asian-americans-wrote-this-powerful-letter-to-say-why-black-lives-matter-to-their-families What Are You?: Voices of Mixed-Race Young People by Pearl Fuyo Gaskins Link: http://a.co/6KsJQEa In the past three decades, the number of interracial marriages in the United States has increased by more than 800 percent. Now over four million children and teenagers do not identify themselves as being just one race or another. Here is a book that allows these young people to speak in their own voices about their own lives. What Are You? is based on the interviews the author has made over the past two years with mixed-race young people around the country. These fresh voices explore issues and topics such as dating, families, and the double prejudice and double insight that come from being mixed, but not mixed-up. Representing Afro-Latinidad in the Time of #BlackLivesMatter: An Interview With the Founders of the Afro-Latino Festival By Camille Padilla Dalmau Article: http://remezcla.com/features/culture/interview-founders-afro-latino-festival-nyc/ “The festival’s mission feels especially vital in a year when conversations about race – and blackness in particular – are gaining increasing traction in the media and national consciousness. Through the focused work of activists and organizers, the Black Lives Matter movement, a response to a legacy of racial inequity in U.S. policing tactics, has now grown into something that transcends borders and cultures. And within the Latino community, events like Rodner Figueroa’s comments on Univision about Michelle Obama in March, and the recent immigration crisis in the Dominican Republic, have been fostering more dialogue about the unique challenges and work that lies ahead in fighting anti-blackness in our communities.” Filipino Americans: Blending Cultures, Redefining Race FREE:http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/05/24/478560399/filipino-americans-blending-cultures-redefining-race Excerpt: http://www.npr.org/books/titles/478560455/the-latinos-of-asia-how-filipino-americans-break-the-rules-of-race#excerpt “There are over 3 million people of Filipino heritage living in the U.S., and many say they relate better to Latino Americans than other Asian American groups. In part, that can be traced to the history of the Philippines, which was ruled by Spain for more than 300 years. That colonial relationship created a cultural bond that persists to this day.” Check out our TGM’s previous Lit Lit reads on the theme of sisterhood here: http://thegirlmob.com/culture/2016/12/9/lit-lit-dec Stay LIT! by Flerine Atienza @flerinecrystal post image credit: renee carey flerine atienza
LIT LIT: JAN
Part of our mission in theGirlMob is to provide a fun platform and purposeful haven for young women by empowering her potential – with stories and experiences for women who look like her. Because when we see ourselves in others we can quite literally envision real ideas happening to and with real people. Let’s be real: this week, President Obama’s farewell speech caught us all in the feels. And a simple but holy-shit reality that comes with the close of his term is the fact that we will no longer have a black president in office. Beyond his leadership and accomplishments, he is the embodiment of potential for future young black men. His very existence in the white house was something that sons could see before their very eyes as something possible – I could be president someday. I’m loving this month’s theme: purpose. Because as a young woman of color, my purpose is ever evolving as my passions grow and as opportunities expand for women like me. What was foreign to me at 7 years old, seemed impossible when I was 17, and now seems more than possible at 27. Like many of y’all, I was scrolling through tweets before, during, and after Mr. President’s farewell speech and came across this gem: And all I could think was: I know right?! #RealTalk So let’s go, ladies. The flame’s ignited and it’s time to set those passions ablaze. Light up your minds with these reads meant to connect to your heart, discover your purpose, and own your pursuits. “Take your broken heart -- make it into art” – Carrie Fisher. Claiming an Education by Adrienne Rich SPEECH “The first thing I want to say to you who are students, is that you cannot afford to think of being here to receive an education: you will do much better to think of being here to claim one. One of the dictionary definitions of the verb "to claim" is: to take as the rightful owner; to assert in the face of possible contradiction. "To receive" is to come into possession of: to act as receptacle or container for; to accept as authoritative or true. The difference is that between acting and being acted-upon, and for women it can literally mean the difference between life and death.”   I Almost Forgot About You: A Novel by Terry McMillan FICTION The #1 New York Times bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting to Exhale is back with the inspiring story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaning In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young's wonderful life--great friends, family, and successful career--aren't enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, including quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Georgia’s bravery reminds us that it’s never too late to become the person you want to be, and that taking chances, with your life and your heart, are always worthwhile. Taking Back My Yesterdays: Lessons in Forgiving and Moving Forward With Your Life by Linda H. Hollies BOOK A must-read book! Linda Hollies has successfully combined personal honesty and solid biblical storytelling to teach us how to forgive and let go of yesterday. . . The prayers will inspire you. The principles will encourage you. The psalms will direct your path.--Iyanla Vanzant, author of Acts of Faith. Women Who Don't Wait in Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way by Reshma Saujani BOOK There’s never been a better time to be woman. We live in an era when girls are told they can do anything. So why aren’t we seeing more women rising to the top ranks of corporations and the government? Why don’t our girls have more women in leadership roles to look up to? Women Who Don't Wait in Line is Women Who Don't Wait in Line an urgent wake-up call from politico and activist Reshma Saujani. The former New York City Deputy Public Advocate and founder of the national nonprofit Girls Who Code argues that aversion to risk and failure is the final hurdle holding women back in the workplace. Saujani advocates a new model of female leadership based on sponsorship—where women encourage each other to compete, take risks, embrace failure, and lift each other up personally and professionally. What Matters Most: Ten Lessons in Living Passionately from the Song of Solomon by Renita J. Weems BOOK Using the work of Scripture as inspiration, Weems offers 10 lessons that teach women how to discover what their passions are, and how to create direction and meaning in their lives. Helps readers to understand that passion is not something awakened by other people, but an inner source of energy that flows out of every aspect of one's being. In doing so, Weems empowers women to fight against stereotypes and ignore the conventional way of doing things in order to find their own happiness and joy. Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs ANTHOLOGY Smart women have always been able to achieve amazing things, even when the odds were stacked against them. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs tells the stories of the brilliant, brainy, and totally rad women in history who broke barriers as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors. Plus, interviews with real-life women in STEM careers, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to women-centric science and technology organizations—all to show the many ways the geeky girls of today can help to build the future. Stay LIT! by Flerine Atienza @flerinecrystal image credit: Architectural Digest flerine atienza
LIT LIT: APRIL
Do you write in a journal? Or keep a diary? I remember when I was four years old, I had a Pocahontas journal that was given to me on my birthday – blank pages and everything, but the cover had stylized leaves like the ones in the “Colors of the Wind” scene of the movie. I didn’t even know how to write letters yet, so I would just scribble shapes and squiggles in the lines with a pen. Last time I visited my ma (Fall 2016), I found a storage bin filled with all of my old journals from 1996-2000. (She’s also doing some spring cleaning around the home, by the way, getting things together for a balikbayan box to send to our family in the Philippines.) Flipping through my journals, I noticed there was nothing fancy about them – they were all just standard notebooks, mostly spiral bound – that could be disguised within my stack of school books and assignments on the day to day. I had just covered the stock logos with some paper so I could customize/doodle on the front. I noticed I wrote everything down – lists of favorite colors, new music I’d heard, feelings about my parents’ divorce to crushes at school. There were doodles and wishes and even some attempts at poems. my journals! I wondered why after 2000, there weren’t any more stacks of journals to comb through – and I realized that’s around the time middle school started for me and I moved from California to North Carolina. It was around this time that one of my coping mechanisms in feeling like the misfit during this time in my life was to bury my head in school and studying. I think I stopped writing in journals because I started keeping planners and agendas organized instead. Plus I would spend more time on AIM and MSN messenger than actually handwriting things in a journal. I was all up in that Xanga and LiveJournal scene until Myspace became mainstream and Facebook became an expected part of socializing. Even calendars and planners went digital for me – just inputting everything into my cell phone. The vessels and mediums evolved with the times, but I continued to write. Middle school turned into high school and high school turned into college and college turned into career-building. Reflecting on these years, I feel like I had zero time to really write creatively – or at least I didn’t manage my time well enough to do any kind of writing beyond what I needed to for school and assignments. After recently visiting my ma and going through those old journals, I became inspired to get back to physically writing again – not just on my website or for theGIRLMOB, but actually writing raw thoughts on paper: being more intentional about writing things down. Nowadays I keep a journal in my purse, in a basket next to my couch, in a drawer by my bed, and a physical calendar/planner on me at all times. The accessibility of everything within arm’s reach ensures I can truly maximize a writing moment whenever the feeling strikes. Since then, I’ve noticed my time management skills have started to improve, my anxiety levels starting to calm down, and discovering pieces of my mental health starting to nourish themselves – like watering my roots. For Lit Lit articles, I usually like sharing with y’all a roundup of different books amplifying TGM’s monthly theme. I will always be a supporter of reading and getting your mind sharpened with intellectual tools. However, it’s also important to do some spring cleaning for the mind, too! Writing things down – to do lists, dates and appointments, goals, quotes, plans and ideas – frees up the space in my brain for more. More room to create. More room to meditate. More room to radiate. Now I feel like I have more of a grasp on how to enjoy and maximize hours and days in my adult life. On top of a full time job, I’ve discovered room and space to become more involved and engaged as an activist, participate in community service, and produce multimedia projects. I’m learning to feel more whole + healthy and allocating my time and energy to the people and experiences that truly matter to my overall well-being for myself and for others. I even started an exciting new job at a woman-owned company yesterday! (I left the last place I worked for right when March Lit Lit was published. Yup.) I hope everyone can discover vessels and mediums that cleanse the mind. This month, I’m excited to share a different spin on the books and readables for Lit Lit. Here are some blank pages and tips for you to declutter your brain + nourish your mental health. Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration Created by Meera Lee Patel BUY: http://a.co/5nVHn5C Start Where You Are is an interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams. Passion Planner Created by Angela Trinidad BUY: http://a.co/5nVHn5C “At the beginning of 2013, while suffering from the feeling of ‘directionless floating’ caused by post-college uncertainty, I realized that I was clearly not the only person facing this dilemma. I felt like I had done everything right, graduated from one of the best universities on the planet, made ‘proper career choices’, and followed my passions, but still something was wrong. I was stuck, I was scared, and I had no idea which way I wanted to go next.” [Learn more here.]   How to Use a Bullet Journal for Better Mental Health Recommended by Rachel Wilkerson Miller and Anna Borges READ: here A way to keep it all together when things are falling apart.   9 App Tips to Keeping a Digital Journal Curated by Joelle Alcaidinho. READ: here If you’re someone who likes to keep your pockets and bags lightweight, here are some mobile friendly digital journaling methods. Don't got the $$ for these? My tip for those ballin’ on a budget: print out these FREE PDFs by Day Designer, and DIY them into a binder or staple them together. Stay LIT! by Flerine Atienza @flerinecrystal flerine atienza
LIT LIT: JULY
5 Lessons Learned from MOC We want to wrap up this month's theme with a LIT LIT that highlights and applies five life-affirming lessons from men of color; by connecting them to articles, books, and movements that dive deeper into shared themes. LESSON 1: Be as honest with yourself as possible, and try to make friends with people who like you for you - not an iteration of who you are, or who you think you should be - but really like you for YOU. And when you're creating whatever you want to do in your life, just try to create and put out the truest version of yourself into the world. -- Hasan Minhaj What to read to get inspired by the very things that connect YOU with the things YOU do: LESSON 2 If there is no struggle, there is no progress. -- Frederick Douglas What to read when you feel like you can't make a difference (when you really can): READ: First-Generation College Students Must Have A Voice In Education Conversations By: Jeremy Knight Link: http://creators.blavity.com/first-generation-college-students-must-have-a-voice-in-education-conversations LESSON 4 Motherfuckers will read a book that’s one third Elvish, but put two sentences in Spanish and they [white people] think we’re taking over. -- Junot Díaz What to read when you feel tired of being powerless/voiceless as the only person of color in the room: READ: Covering, the hidden assaults on our civil rights Link: http://kthughes.net/101w/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Yoshino-1.pdf By: Kenji Yoshino Everyone covers. To cover is to downplay a disfavored trait so as to blend into the mainstream. Because all of us possess stigmatized attributes, we all encounter pressure to cover in our daily lives. Given its pervasiveness, we may experience this pressure to be a simple fact of social life. Against conventional understanding, Kenji Yoshino argues that the demand to cover can pose a hidden threat to our civil rights. With passion and rigor, he shows that the work of civil rights will not be complete until it attends to the harms of coerced conformity. Stay LIT! by Flerine Atienza @flerinecrystal   READ: Something to food about: Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs By: Questlove Link: http://a.co/0ALCpeE Questlove is a drummer, producer, musical director, culinary entrepreneur, and New York Times best-selling author. What unites all of his work is a profound interest in creativity. In somethingtofoodabout, Questlove applies his boundless curiosity to the world of food. In conversations with ten innovative chefs in America, he explores what makes their creativity tick, how they see the world through their cooking and how their cooking teaches them to see the world. The conversations begin with food but they end wherever food takes them. Food is fuel. Food is culture. Food is history. And food is food for thought.   LESSON 3 If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn. -- Charlie Parker What to read when you feel invisible or uncredited: READ: World's Great Men of Color, Volume I: Asia and Africa, and Historical Figures Before Christ, Including Aesop, Hannibal, Cleopatra, Zenobia, Askia the Great, and Many Others By: J. A. Rogers et al. Link: http://a.co/4rPqV9S World’s Great Men of Color is the comprehensive guide to the most noteworthy Black personalities in world history and their significance. J.A. Rogers spent the majority of his lifetime pioneering the field of Black studies with his exhaustive research on the major names in Black history whose contributions or even very existence have been glossed over. Well-written and informative, World’s Great Men of Color is an enlightening and important historical work. LESSON 5 I don't really care so much what people say about me because it usually is a reflection of who they are. -- Prince What to read when you are over all the bullshit expectations in which society keeps trying to box you in: READ: Other Boys NYC By: Various authors Link: https://www.instagram.com/otherboysnyc/ A new doc series about the experiences of 50 queer and transgender men of color in NYC. The doc’s Instagram highlights anecdotal profiles of individual personalities. flerine atienza
LIT LIT: FEB
Flerine Atienza @flerinecrystal post image credit: pinterest
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