About Andrea Isabel Nable

My name is Andrea (pronounced ah n d r ai ah , not AN D - r ee - uh), and I dream of life at the beach in Costa Rica or Cartagena de Indias, or city life in Barcelona or Buenos Aires! I'm a senior Hispanic International Studies major, and Politics & Government minor, with an emphasis in Global Development. I just got back from a year abroad in Santiago de Chile and being back in the Pacific Northwest I am seeing it with a fresh perspective and intend on taking full advantage of my time here!

The Anthropocene

“How can we name such tall mountains after things so small as human beings. Decolonize the mind” – Winona LaDuke

Our very own Mount Rainier, which you can see from the UPS campus on a clear day, was originally named Talol meaning “mother of waters” in the Lushotseed language spoken by the Puyallup tribe. Since Ojibwe Native American environmentalist and activist Winona LaDuke spoke at the Race and Pedagogy conference last semester, her words have stayed with me as I’ve explored the Pacific Northwest’s natural environment.

Last semester I took an Intro to Backpacking course where we learned the basics of camping. We learned to cook with an MSR whisperlite stove, tie strong knots, how to use a compass, topography, and plan the logistics of a trip, wilderness ethics, but of course the most important part was simply enjoying  nature in a respectful way. Outdoorsy stuff is quite new to me as someone who has spent most of her life in the city, but since hiking through the Andes on the trail to Machu Picchu last semester I haven’t been able to get enough of it. This course was a lot of fun and a good way to begin a life-time enjoyment of the outdoors.

At Puget Sound we celebrated Earth Week just a few weeks ago. One of the events was a demonstration of how much waste our campus produces a week, which I can imagine to be A LOT. It reminded me of the Anthropocene.

I first heard about ‘the Anthropocene’ when I visited the Deutsches Museum in Munich with my good friend Joscha. It is essentially the age of humans. An new geological era marked by innovation, industrialization, and massive, irreversible, environmental destruction. The exhibition covered topics such as urbanization,  human-machine interaction, and of course explored the consumption of insects as a future alternative for human nourishment. It really made an impression on me, made me more aware of the actual impact of our everyday sustainability efforts, and also just how deeply the course of humanity has left a footprint on the environment. If you have the chance to check out this exhibition I highly recommend it.




Goat Ridge, South Cascades, Washington.



Unlock Your Genius

*This is a blog post I wrote in the middle of the semester but forgot to publish.  I can say that in retrospect, this semester was a challenge. Not only possibly the toughest in my college career but the most rewarding.

This last semester, it’s been a challenge to maintain a balance, with a challenging course load, extra-curricular activities, and lectures, while also planning for post-grad life with job applications and interviews.

In February, my friend and I started a show called “No más” on our college radio station KUPS, dedicated to advocating for the detainees of the Northwest Detention Center (the 4th largest detention center for undocumented immigrants, in the country). More about this in a future post!

I also had a role in Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues”, a play for women’s empowerment. It was the first time I ever acted on stage, and I’m really proud to have been part it. The great thing about going to a small school is that there are plenty of opportunities to be a part of performance groups without any prior experience necessary, whereas in a much larger school you might have to audition and compete to get a part. In the past I’ve also danced at the Hui O Hawaii’s (Hawaiian club) annual Lu’au, and the Repertory Dance Group ((RDG). All of which require no prior experience!

Again, this semester I’m taking some of my dream classes with some spectacular professors.

My favorite is an International Political Economy class called “Tourism and the Global Order” where we’ve explored tourism and its social, political, economic, and environmental impact. Some of the topics we’ve explored in class are volunteer tourism, cultural authenticity, the effect of tourism on elephants, and how class and status are conveyed through tourism. The main take-away from this class is that tourism is imperfect. It has its trade-offs, and one should not moralize or be preachy about it.

In my Spanish seminar “Utopian Spaces in Latin-American Literature” focusing on the concept of utopia and magical realism in the novels Los pasos perdidos by Alejo Carpentier, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García-Márquez, and Waslala by Giaconda Belli. This has been a really great class. I feel like I developed my Spanish writing skills in a way I had not in other classes.
The Economics of Underdevelopment. A challenging class and heavy on the excel but also accessible and relevant. From micro-finance institutions, education, and market failure, the poverty trap, this class is a must for people interested in development work.

Biology. Which for someone who isn’t a science major and hasn’t taken a class since high school, is death (at least for me). But I am lucky to have had a professor who is really really awesome and I feel like I’ve taken away a lot of essential knowledge from this class . For my extra credit creative project I wrote and illustrated a children’s story book about the Beatle’s exploring the organelles of a eukaryotic cell, entitled “Across the Cellular Universe” of course, following the lyrics of the song.

The great thing about going to a small school is the resources available to you. I have been to the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching several times throughout the semester for help with Econ and Biology, as well as for help writing my papers. The tutors and writing advisors are excellent.

This is only a brief reflection of my academic engagement this semester. I honestly don’t think I could have had a better experience anywhere else.

What do HISP majors do?

The Hispanic International Studies major, also known as ‘HISP’ is not a very common major at UPS. I personally know only 3 other people in the major! Despite that I think that HISP’s interdisciplinary nature is especially applicable to doing good socially-inspired work within the borders of the United States and transnationally into Latin america , Spain, and even little known Hispanic countries such as the Philippines.

The major consists of 8 units of Spanish language, literature, and culture; 3 units of Politics & Government; and 3 units of Economics and/or business. These are some of my favorite classes I’ve taken in the major.

  • Utopian Spaces in Latin American Literature
  • Central American Literatures: On Margins, Banana Books, Wars, Diaspora, and Disenchantment
  • The City and the Novel in Latin American Literature
  • The History of Colonial America
  • The Economics of Underdevelopment
  • International Organizations
  • Human Rights and Law
  • International Marketing
  • Populism in Latin America
  • Tourism and the Global  Order
  • The Business of NGO
  • Intro to Comparative Politics
  • Oral Communication Abilities
  • Pre-Colombian Art

At Puget Sound, one of my favorite classes has been Central American Literatures taught by Professor Oriel Siu. We explored literature that interrogates the workings of power and oppression, from the Popol Vuh, to indigenous Maya denunciations of military dictatorships, and the “modernization” brought about by the Bananeras in Central America as a marginalizing project. This course was also a safe space for me to explore my identity as a student of color at Puget Sound, and as a mestiza Filipino-American coming from a country that has also suffered a history of imperialism by Spain and the United States.

One of the classes I enjoyed most when I was studying abroad at the Universidad Católica de Chile was Pre-Colombian Art. In this class we explored the following themes: the “othering” of American art and Shamanism, the myth and ritual in the art of Andean cultures such as the Selk’nam and Tiwanaku among many others, the art of the Maya and Aztec of Mesoamerica, and finally, the manifestations of these art forms in contemporary Western art and syncretism. From this I took away an appreciation of diverse artistic forms from pre-Hispanic America and learned to understand them in their historical and cultural context.

Through the major I have been able to study the history of Latin America and Spain, from Pre-Colombian America, to studies of Modern America: from the construction of the metropolis and its representation in the Latin American novel, the social processes of modernization from Eduardo Galeano’s Las venas abiertas de América Latina, to the politics of populism under Perón, Fujimori, and Velasco Ibarra to Chávez. I have supplemented these studies with my emphasis in Global Development studies, where I have incorporated my interest in Latin American studies into discussions, and for my IPE class ‘The Business of Alleviating Poverty’ wrote a paper entitled “The Role of Civil Society in the Protection of Mapuche Indigenous Rights in Chile’s Transition to Democracy.”

Some of the most interesting paper titles I’ve written this year:

  • Can FIFA’s Corporate Social Responsibility Put an End to Racism?
  • The Role of Civil Society in the Protection of Mapuche Indigenous Rights in the Transition to Democracy
  • Rigoberta Menchú: her living testimony and the Mayan Renaissance
  • The Psychomagical Family Tree: a Comparative essay of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film “La danza de la realidad”
  • Is it Really “More Fun in the Philippines”? Reconstructing Place Brand



At the Spanish Matters Colloquium with the great Guatemalan scholar Arturo Arias and my favorite, Professor Oriel Siu

A Global Village

Here in this village you may see
children living happily
Different race and different land
Here we come to understand
one another’s point of view
learning through the things we do
How alike am I to you.”

This summer, before I immerse myself into the real world adult life that is the workplace, I will be spending a month in Bursa, Turkey and have the chance to be a kid again! CISV is a non-profit global organization dedicated to educating and inspiring for peace through building inter-cultural friendship, and teaches participants to be active global citizens and leaders in their communities.

As a painfully, painfully shy 14 year-old in the Philippines, going to a CISV summer camp was life changing. I met people from all over: New Zealand, Jordan, France, Indonesia, Norway, Brazil, Germany, Spain…We engaged in activities about human rights, diversity, sustainable development, and conflict and resolution, acted silly, and sang lullabies before going to bed: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live us one.” It was the longest time I had spent away from home, and is what inspired me to get away from home and really redefine what home is. Home is the people you’re with.

Since then I’ve been involved with CISV in Chile. I’ve hosted CISV participants at my house. And this summer I’ll finally have the chance to be an adult leader for a group of four wonderful eleven year-old kids (two girls, and two boys) at a summer camp called a “Village.” There we’ll meet with other delegations from another eleven countries. It’s a mini United Nations! Every kid who goes through CISV strives to build a career out of it, and I wish that were actually possible.

CISV has inspired me personally, has made my life more enriching, and has even influenced my career aspirations. Through CISV I’ve met some of the best people and have a network that crosses borders. I think that it has great the potential in the Seattle area, and hope to start up a local chapter if I stick around for at least another year.

Strawberry Fields Forever…

“Every time we sit at a table at night or in the morning to enjoy the fruits and grain and vegetables from our good earth, remember that they come from the work of men and women and children who have been exploited for generations…” – Cesar Chavez.

When UPS students get overly excited at the sight of red, delicious strawberries at the Diner, we tend to forget the men and women who pick our fruit. We forget that the reason we have cheap food in the United States is because of the farmworkers who slave away in the fields, barely able to sustain a healthy livelihood for themselves and for their families. Trapped in vicious cycles of poverty, these men, women, and children cannot afford to put nourishing meals on the table.
Professor Oriel Siu’s Intro to Latino studies class organized a discussion with migrant farm work union ‘Familias Unidas por la Justicia’ to raise awareness of this reality that most of us overlook. Ramon Torres, president of the union, shared his experiences working for Sakuma Brothers Berries, the terrible conditions that have forced them to go on strike and why they are boycotting Sakuma, Driscoll’s, and Häagen-Dazs. What these farmworkers and their allies demand is secure living wages of at least $15 per hour, standard living conditions, that the company stop stealing their wages, and respect rather than racial discrimination in the berry fields.

The latino studies class will continue their activism next semester and have formed a club called ‘UPS students for Farm Worker Justice. Another thing we take for granted at our university is how much power we students have organizing together. It’s great to see students step up against the silencing of those who may not have the same privileges we do.

At the event, a lady from the audience told us about her experience working in the fields of Eastern Washington as a young girl. When ‘la migra,’ also known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement would show up, to confuse them the US citizens would flee while the undocumented farmworkers would stay, a clever trick…and so unfortunate that we can’t treat better the hands that feed us.

No más no más, los monstruos en la ciudad…

Under the names DJ Mamacit and DJ Guagua, my friend Kelsee and I, with the collaboration of our friend Victoria, co-host a show on our college radio station KUPS called “No más”, dedicated to advocating for the rights of the detainees of the Northwest Detention Center.

The NWDC is a for-profit prison owned by the GEO Group that holds 1,575 undocumented immigrants. The purpose of the detention center is to hold individuals suspected of visa violations, entry without papers, or unauthorized arrival, while they are subject to deportation and removal until a decision is made by immigration authorities to grant a visa and release them into the community, or to repatriate them to their country of departure. The NWDC is a place where detainees are paid a mere $1 a day for their labor, where they are not given the critical medical attention they need, are fed unappetizing meals, are dehumanized by the prison’s employees, and are separated from their families. It destroys lives.

The idea to start this show came from inspiration by socially-conscious, decolonizing, activist, rebel musicians like French-Chilean rapper Anita Tijoux. Ana was born in France to two Chilean exiles who had escaped the 1973 coup d’etat that led to Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship. As a woman of color from a country that continues to suffer from colonialism, and as a citizen of this country who cannot be recognized as truly “American” without being questioned as to “where I’m really from”, her music really resonates with me.

So Ana Tijoux was in LA to bring music to the detainees from outside of the Metropolitan Detention Center in a “chant down the walls” concert (link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMxC-Dp-wUg). I thought about how awesome it would be to share her empowering words with the detainees of the NWDC through the radio, which they have access to inside. It evolved into the idea of a program where we share testimonies and poetry by the detainees and their families, as well as news reports in order to get community support for immigrant justice and action against the detention center.

On our friday show we talk about issues ranging from the deportation of the 2014 NWDC hunger strike leader, Cipriano Rios; the expected rape of 80% of women who cross the border, and the hunger strikes at the Karnes detention center for women in Texas. On wednesdays we play themed music, from new Chilean cumbia and Colombian electro tropical, to revolutionary music and Latin top 40.

As Victoria and I will be graduating soon (in 3 weeks!!!) we won’t be back to produce the show 🙁 But Kelsee plans on continuing it together with a new co-host, our friend Nora. I’m sure they will do a great, or even better job (public speaking is hard!). “No más” was a great experience. It was personally important for me to keep these issues alive on a regular basis, and I really enjoyed playing and discovering music.

Most importantly, the NWDC is an exploitative, anti-people of color institution that goes invisible in Tacoma and our lives on this perfect liberal arts campus. We at UPS are in a SPECIAL position to use our privilege to advocate for the detainees, whose stories are largely silenced, and work for their freedom by empowering their voices (I must recognize that this year, we’ve seen collective efforts from groups on campus such as the club Advocates for Detainees’ voices, a student organized panel on the racialized deportation system, and an alternative fall break program on immigration issues in Tacoma). I hope to still be involved in the community after I graduate.

No más poster

United with the Caravana 43 in Seattle

This is a piece written by my good friend Victoria Gavia (with minimal contributions on my part), about our day with the “Caravana 43”, the parents and classmates of the 43 disappeared students from Iguala, Mexico. It was an honor to stand in solidarity with these brave souls. Emotions were high, and I will also remember this as one of the most passionate marches I’ve ever attended. Feel free to share this on social media, and make it clear that we demand an end to military aid to Mexico (Germany has done it, we can too!)

¡La luuuuuuucha sigue, sigue!


United with the Caravana 43 in Seattle

By Victoria Gavia

This past weekend the Caravana 43 from Iguala, Mexico (in the state of Guerrero) made their way through Washington in an effort to raise awareness, gather support, and continue their search for justice. One of their stops along the way included a panel presentation at Seattle University, along with a rally at the Mexican Consulate downtown, and a march from there to Seattle’s Federal Building. The 43 disappeared students of the teaching College of Ayotzinapa is an injustice that must not be ignored or forgotten. If you are unfamiliar with this tragedy, I urge you to research it—because despite what you might think, it affects you. This caravana (caravan) symbolizes the struggle of their parents, the struggle for justice, and the struggle for the truth.

“No Justice, No Peace”

On September 26th, 2014 the normalistas, who are all members of the Federacion Estudiantes Campesinos Socialistas, were blocked by municipal police who had left one of their patrol cars in the middle of the road. Some of the students went outside to move the car—that’s when police started shooting at them. The details of the event leading up to their inevitable disappearance are not all here—this act is couched in corruption and lies—but the reality remains, these young people are gone and we don’t know what has happened to them.

Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos”

We were shown graphic images of several bodies left in the street from that night, videos of the frequent confrontations between students and police forces, and an image of a man so brutally murdered that we saw the skull under the skin of his face. That night, our student presenter, Angel Neri de la Cruz Ayala, saw 3 of his friends die at the hands of the police.

“Ayotzinapa vive, vive, la lucha sigue, sigue”

Unbelievably, this is only one of many such tragedies that occurs in Mexico—crimes committed by the state with impunity. But, Angel’s brother Josimar, who was standing alongside him throughout the presentation, had an important message for everyone in the room. He said that when he heard what had happened to his brother and the 43 students his blindfold was torn off. He came to realize what kind of world he would be allowing his daughter to inherit by not challenging a system which oppresses. If we let this go unpunished, and unaccounted for it will be repeated again, and again. In the U.S. we see this same devaluation and disregard for life—and it must be confronted with action. Josimar became involved with this caravan not just for his brother, but for his family, and for his daughter. “I don’t want my daughter to inherit a world where she can’t be free,” he said. It’s difficult to raise one’s voice under such circumstances, but it is up to us to sow the seeds of social consciousness.

“Stop Military Aid to Mexico”

Later that day we worked to sow some of these seeds by marching down the streets of Downtown Seattle. We heard from a mother and a father of two of the missing students. They spoke with conviction, passion, and hope—and led the march to the federal building where important government officials have their offices. The italicized phrases throughout this text are just some of the words we chanted to get our message across. “Stop Military Aid to Mexico” is one phrase that has significance not just to the students of Ayotzinapa, but for the entire country of Mexico, and other nations across the globe that the U.S. sends aid to. Specifically, Plan Mérida is the military aid program which the U.S. Department of State website describes as, “an unprecedented partnership between the United States and Mexico to fight organized crime and associated violence while furthering respect for human rights and the rule of law.” Sadly, the reality does not reflect this ideal, and in fact directly contradicts it—as we are seeing, the police and military in Mexico are corrupt in every level, and this money is being used to fuel a narco gobierno (narco-government) that is killing those who speak out against it. Nestora Salgado, who we were also marching for, is a political prisoner (and naturalized U.S. citizen) in Guerrero who was detained and held without an arrest warrant by Mexican federal soldiers in August of 2013. Why? She was a community leader in policing efforts against organized crime. She dared speak out and is paying the price with her freedom. So we march for her; we march for all those in every corner of the world who dedicate themselves to the cause of creating a better world, no matter the cost.

This was one of the most passionate and energetic marches I have ever had the privilege to attend, and as I shouted with everyone in attendance, our voices united to become a force for change. Our march was blessed by the Aztec dancers at the start, their conch trumpets sounded and resonated in every ear—a deep bellow that is our call to action. This sacred and ancient instrument has associations with the sea, the call to prayer, the underworld, the moon, fertility, and the wind god Ehécatl, who had the power to blow life into a void. Its lasting sound is resonant of ‘the primordial blast of the world produced in the underworld by Quetzalcóatl heralding the creation of humankind’ (Patrick Johansson)—on the day of our march it symbolized the sound of our collective action working to birth a new world—one in which the search for justice is not met with enmity.


UPS and Pacific Lutheran University, United for Ayotzinapa


Photo by Emily Pederson

Photo by Emily Pederson

Aztec dancers marching through downtown Seattle with the Caravana

Aztec dancers marching through downtown Seattle with the Caravana

Confessions of a Second Semester Senior

We’re halfway through spring semester (and this first blog post is long overdue)! I’ve been up to a whole lot guysss…

So, I was lame and spent Spring Break on our beautiful, lonely, rain-full campus (Close to going on a backpacking trip to Death Valley with Puget Sound Outdoors, I decided to save for a trip to Mexico this summer with my best friend), which allowed me to recover from a very caffeine-intensive, high-stakes, sleep-deprived midterms week. During this free time, I hibernated for three days (because I was lucky enough to have all of my exams and assignments due the Friday before spring break!), repeatedly indulged in “the cookie” from the metropolitan market, and then got back to work again… on the job search and getting ahead on schoolwork because, for seniors like me, we have 6. Weeks. Till. Graduation.

The truth is, I’ve mostly been looking forward to graduating since the beginning of senior year. Yea, I love learning at UPS and I’m sure there are things I take for granted now that I’ll come to miss. Maybe that we actually get rain here, maybe I’ll miss being surrounded by people my age. But really, I’m so ready to get out of the bubble!

I should be more terrified than I am, considering I don’t have solid plans or a job lined up yet. Also, I’ve had to remember to graduate first (and pass BIO 111), before stressing over the future.

In the past two years I’ve discovered that what I really want to do is pursue a career that combines social justice and cultural heritage with the arts and education. I’ve been looking at masters programs in cultural and arts institution management at universities in Spain and Mexico. For now, the plan is to stay in the Seattle/Tacoma area for another year or two before exploring opportunities abroad, ojalá.

I know right, borrring. I really have been up to more interesting things!!! Here are titles of blog posts to come in the next 6 weeks. (Listing them here as motivation to actually write them!)

Meeting important people

No más

The Anthropocene

The German girls of UPS

Black Lives Still Matter

Undocumented Poetry

Spanish Matters

Los pasos perdidos

(In the meantime, soakin’ up the rest of this college life while I still can.)

Reflections: On Ferguson… and My History

Since the Ferguson decision, I have been reflecting on how deeply systemic racism has affected my own life, and it’s been a mourning process.

This might sound silly to some,  but I’ve woken up on early mornings angry and sick to my stomach asking myself, what are the forces that led me to come to the United States, to learn the white man’s ways, and think in my colonizer’s language? Why did I have to come here to gain the skills and knowledge that I need, in order to try to make some small social change in the Philippines in the future? I didn’t have to come back to the land of my birth, but I’m glad that I decided to. 

In Chile I studied the history of Spanish colonization and pre-colombian art and culture in Latin America, from which I gained an appreciation of Andean indigenous cultures and learned how European invasion has not allowed these cultures to fully express themselves, and still continues with the marginalization and exploitation of these indigenous groups.  For the first time I have imagined somewhere down the line, my own indigenous ancestors from the archipelago the Spaniards named ‘Las islas Filipinas’ in honor of King Felipe II  and how the Spaniards upon seeing them saw them as savages to “civilize.” I have thought about my great grandfather, a campesino from Asturias in Northern Spain who arrived in the Philippines in 1898, the connections between this and how growing up “mestiza” and comparably lighter-skinned in the Philippines, I benefited and still continue to benefit from a form of “white privilege” when I return. I have reflected on memories of my experiences with racism, traveling in Europe, living in Spain and being mistaken for a prostitute one time, how I came to be born in the United States and live here to receive what is considered a world-class education, only to put my trust under the nation that colonized “where I’m really from” for years and turned us into “Brown Americans” who continue to be a part of this system and this cycle of migration to the global hegemon that this country is. 

Race is just a social construct and being perceived as ‘ethnically ambiguous’ to many, I have come to understand how it is so fluid but feels so real. It’s crazy to think that since European expansion, this global white supremacist patriarchal system (excluding was originally designed to oppress me,  a ‘mixed-race’, filipino, woman of color of ‘American” citizenship (hahahahas). Regardless of this, I must say that I am so, so very privileged. There are so many great things about being an American.

I have hope that, and know that here, we are very gradually decolonizing our minds and our environments. There are movements to undo this  ’empire’ mentality of the past. This week, through the events I described in my previous post and my conversations with others, I have been able to envision the dream of an “America” that is truly multicultural. Where diversity is not only tolerated but celebrated. Where we speak Spanish and aren’t afraid to invade peoples’ personal space bubbles with hugs and besitos (jajaj!).  We should look forward to a ‘Brown America,’  – on an individual and on an institutional level. It’s difficult. We’re still figuring it out and I it isn’t easy, and it’s much more complicated than that (but I won’t go into detail). I am proud to be an ‘American,’ but I hope that one day I will genuinely be able to call myself an American. I hope that day comes before 2042.

In the process of reconciling with one’s ancestors while ending the semester, one should just refocus and enjoy a funny youtube music video about how the indigenous chief of the island where you grew up on killed  Ferdinand Magellan.


Humanity has a long way to go.



Intersectionality: On Ferguson, Immigration, Activism, and Poetry

Since the Ferguson decision came out, there has been an endless series of events occurring that have made me more and more cynical by the day…

  • The 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre, gone unacknowledged by our government
  • Important but insufficient executive action on immigration reform
  • The 43 disappeared students of Iguala, Mexico
  • Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Darrien Hunt, and countless others unjustly murdered by the police with lack of accountability
  • Police brutality and incarceration of protestors

We can’t breathe.

The intersectionality…discrimination, systemic institutional racism, lack of government accountability, the silencing of history, the militarization of the police, how some people profit off of other people’s misery, and how we’re all a part of this system, ayyyy diosssss!  And how every day it is perpetuated and deeply affects lives…. Though we are outraged by a corrupt system and the miscarriage of justice, we are inspired by the protest and solidarity from around the world to bring and end to this madness.

Last week at Puget Sound was an exciting time of celebrating diversity and bringing marginalized voices to the forefront on campus. Through these events I’ve been able to articulate feelings and thoughts I have always had but never knew how to express:

Undocumented Hondureño poet Fernando Fortín’s inspiring poetics on the social dynamics of being a dishwasher, black/brown relations, cynicism, racial discrimination, but also with a vision of hope.

A group of students including myself organized a panel called “Our Own Backyard: Tacoma’s Role in Perpetuating Injustice Against Immigrants” with Professor Oriel Siu’s talk about the ongoing history of racialized deportation and the disposability of lives of people of color, and undocumented activist Maru Mora Villalpando’s talk on social organizing inside and around the Northwest Detention Center (located just 15 minutes from this school). We lit candles to remember the connections among the tragic occurrences listed above. We will continue to work with Maru to bring attention to the issue of immigration and the Northwest Detention Center.

Kwanza, where we celebrated African heritage, shared delicious food, and honored the black men whose lives were ruthlessly taken away from us by police brutality.

“Slam Night for Social Justice, Identity, and Power”, where brave minority students performed their poetry and prose. I read a poem written by Fernando about Central American children who cross the border, a prose piece by a Native American on the isolation of ‘American’ society that I found on a Facebook page called ‘Ancestral Pride’, and a poem that I wrote myself inspired by the documentary “The Color of Fear.”

The trans south Asian art and activist collaboration ‘Dark Matter’ did a show on campus. Comprised of Janani Balasubramanian and Alok Vaid-Menon, they use poetry and art for “gender self(ie) determination, racial justice, and movement building” They are AMAZING!  Watch them on youtube!

These events were so inspiring, enlightening, enriching, and have come at a time when ‘America’ has woken up to where our country is at with regards to achieving ‘liberty and justice’ for ALL . I hope that as a community we continue to work together and not allow the energy to die out. We won’t. To let that happen would be a tragedy.

I have been trying to be understand why others make no effort to engage and learn about the world they are a part of, and much more about something that is happening right under their noses and affects the lives of people they may know and may care about. Maybe they just don’t understand it.  I can understand why people choose to ignore these things. It is easy to live within one’s privilege and be content with the status quo. Caring about these things can be emotionally consuming, time-consuming…and can get in the way of your progress over finals week… We all have priorities and responsibilities. 

But apathy and silencing are political tactics. There’s no way we can make a change unless we gather, in numbers.