Cross-posted in partnership with the National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health as part of the 2012 Latina Week of Action.
This profile of Bianca I. Laureano is one of several of powerful Latina women advocates throughout the United States.
I struggled with picking just one (or a few) points that I value and find powerful. It’s taken me a very long time to claim the power I have and why focus on just one way I’m powerful? Here’s a list of a few ways I find and value the power I have today, and hope to maintain, evolve, and transform in the future.
Soy poderosa because:
I ask questions as I center and desire liberation for us all.
- What does it mean to be free?
- How do I build with others whose ideas of “freedom” and “liberation” may be drastically different from my own?
- How can I prepare to live freely without some of my community and/or family?
- How do we come to respect one another’s goals to live life on our own terms?
- How do we hold one another accountable in a way that will help us all?
I challenge the dominate stereotype about Latinas.
- I’m a queer LatiNegra who doesn’t run, hide, and attempt to erase her African ancestry.
- My working class family challenged ideas of machismo and survival.
- I was raised to value and remember the work and sacrifice Latin@s before me have made and transmit those values to others today.
- I actively am committed to examining, exploring and demystifiying these stereotypes about us.
I choose to be open, honest, and public about my/our healing process because of the dearth of examples available to us.
- Even if that means challenging what I’ve been taught to believe is true.
- Especially when it impacts all of my communities.
I value my time.
- In a society where some folks think my time as a woman of Color, a Caribbean woman, a Latina, means they have all-access, use, on-demand, and can manipulate it however they wish, because they do not value me (or my community); I remember I value myself.
- In valuing my time I realize I also must respect the time of others and be considerate and thoughtful in what I ask for from them, how we use our time together, and when to say “yes” and when to say “no”.
- And choose to continue to mentor those interested in the field who are of Color, from working-class backgrounds and queer-identified.
I am a media-maker.
- Carefully choosing which media outlets to consume and to create that reflect and support my personal visions of liberation is vital to me.
- Recognizing the media I create does not always have to be centered/using digital media, I realize I was a media maker long before I knew and remind myself to help ground me in mentoring others.
- My development as a media maker is a process and I will continue to learn new ways and create new spaces as tools and expand and evolve.
I recognize we all have power.
- And I expect my community to hold me accountable when I may misuse my power over others versus using power with others. This is how I choose to build and maintain community to evolve and create the spaces we need to heal, survive, and live freely.