Show some love to a local treasure

What frustrates me most about those that bash Tacoma, is that they are content to remain unaware of the beauty, charms, swag, and blessings that happen in my city every, damn, day.  My city lives, breathes, and pushes day in and day out.  And her people respond.  And her people are my people.  They grind, they cry, they hide, they fight, and they strive to keep their head above water despite the systems that work against them.  It is in this tension that I serve my city.  To that end, part of serving T-town is making people aware of what goes on here.  Brown Betty’s Go See’s will tell you what’s crackin’ in our area.  Feel free to send me announcements to share.

We are so fortunate to have Native Quest Cultural Center right here in Tacoma!  It is a mind-blowing, and incredibly comprehensive resource for both Natives and non-Natives to learn about, celebrate, and honor Native American art, culture, and experiences.  Complete with a coffee shop, bookstore, library and museum, this is a wonderful day trip to take with your kids, mentees, and friends.  An inclusive and welcoming environment, Native Quest offers a monthly Indian market featuring the work of local artists as well as weekly classes and entertainment.  Very soon, Native Quest will be having a benefit for honoring Native American women veterans. Here’s another upcoming festival:

Support this center!  Raise the expectation for cultural appreciation and cross cultural engagement in our city.

Do the Ladies Run this Mutha—-, hell yeaaaaahhhhh!!!

There’s a quote on my vision board that reads, “Be the girl you were too lazy to be yesterday.”  Not especially groundbreaking, but it caught my eye enough to incorporate it into my goals for 2012.  This quote resonated with me because I’ve let opportunities, adventures, and fruitful partnerships pass me by out of complacency.  Familiarity can be our worst enemy. It’s kept me in dysfunctional relationships, de-energizing friendships, and unfulfilling jobs.  Hell, familiarity kept me from discovering a gem of a coffee shop (love AMOCAT!)

When a thought turns into an action, regardless of the outcome, our bandwidth as a human being expands. Win or lose, engagement and investment in the direction of our lives and the lives of those around us, is the difference between having a life and living your life.  This is particularly important to remember as we observe Women’s History Month—and today, International Women’s Day.  Let us pause to not just think about, but act to interrupt the violence, oppression, and hopelessness still so prevalent for women around the world today.  Whether it is time, money, or expertise, we all have the power and individual choice to support our sisters here and abroad.  I know what you’re thinking:  “That’s all well and good, but where would I start?”  To that I say, start with you.  Refine your eyes, ears, heart, and mind to see, hear, feel, and know about the issues impacting communities of women.  Human rights, reproductive rights, employment, education, sexual violence and poor health are still claiming victims, young and old, every day.  As human beings, I strongly believe we are interdependent.  If this is a universal truth, our connection as women is innate, strong, and colors our interaction with and responsibilities to one another.  Therefore, it behooves us to know the trials and triumphs of our sisters.  Find a community based organization in your area who serves women in need, propose questions to your local leaders/decisionmakers and demand their support on women’s issues, mentor a young woman, but most importantly, be aware of, and question the systems that impact us.

Lastly, and this request comes from the very center of my heart, let’s mobilize, ladies.  Let’s meet, let’s talk, let’s diatribe, and let’s do it authentically.  Cross some cultural boundaries!  Working women, stay at home moms, Catholics and Muslims, high school drop-out’s and Ph.D.’s, there is common ground in our collective experience as women.  Yes, history, economics, and politics will cause some friction, but therein lies the opportunity for dreaming, planning, demanding, and celebrating the achievements to come.

Let’s do this….

QUESTION: How will you celebrate Women’s History Month and/or International Women’s Day?  What, in your opinion, are the most pressing issues for women this year?