February 14, 2019

I’ve been looking at this photo a lot recently. I love myself in it. I remember with such perfect detail the moment in which I took it. It was May 2017 and I was preparing to give my first keynote at a conference. It was by no means my first time publicly speaking but a keynote was a milestone and I was very aware of what a big moment it was for my career. I was nervous and frazzled because... Read more

December 3, 2018

Yesterday began the Advent season. I have the pleasure this year of contributing to an Advent tradition, the New Dawning Light journal. Some of the other contributors this year are Onleilove Alston, Shawn Casselberry, Corey Pigg, Jose Humphreys, Britney Winn Lee, Bruce Reyes-Chow, Hugh Hollowell, and Shawn Casselberry. The journal is an initiative of Walking Tall Wilmington (WTW) –  a North Carolina organization that exists to build interpersonal relationships with individuals experiencing poverty. In addition to gathering for weekly lunches, hosting a... Read more

October 6, 2018

“You can’t make me feel uncomfortable in my ancestors’ skin” – Elk Bone No single relationship in my life has ever been as tumultuous as the one I have with my own body. My struggle with my body and my relationship with food began quite young. Some of my most vivid memories as a child are of the times my adoptive mother made me feel guilty for my behavior when it came to food. I’ve always been a bigger girl... Read more

September 10, 2018

When you’re brown, Latina, fat, a woman, and grew up lower-class you can’t speak. You can’t feel. Every instinct to express yourself is weighed against these questions: What stereotype am I fueling? Will I “intimidate” myself out of a job? a friendship? a relationship? Will this prove I really am too much? Not enough? Part of why I connected so deeply with Cardi B and her actions at New York Fashion Week this past week is that I saw a... Read more

June 20, 2018

There is this cyclical injustice where trauma is inflicted, the traumatized lay their wounds bare attempting to awaken the abuser to what they have done, the abuser momentarily awakens but subsequently forgets, and trauma is inflicted once more. Again and again… like clockwork. The collective pain of the brown community cannot and should not ever serve as a catalyst for white enlightenment.   My value as a woman of color is not determined by my ability to sanitize my experiences... Read more

May 21, 2018

Our Maker is a relational being. Creator, Son, and Spirit. Like them, we are made to be in intimacy with one another. We crave companionship, understanding, loyalty, and love. For many, those needs are met from the moment we are born and placed into the safety of a parent’s arms. That child is surrounded by family that will protect and nurture them into adulthood until a time at which they are ready to marry. With that, the cycle will begin... Read more

April 30, 2018

Home is a difficult concept for me. Immigration, failed adoption, rehoming, and being a ward of the state make it impossible to know the permanence or security of a home in the way most do. I aged out of the system when I was 17 years old. By that time I had lived in approximately 10 different cities and attended 21 different schools. No matter how you defined home – a specific city, house, or family – I didn’t have... Read more

April 22, 2018

As we begin to hear more accounts like the events between Grace and Aziz Ansari and numerous women and Bill Hybels, how do we engage these experiences in light of the greater conversation surrounding gender-based violence and sexual assault? In the midst of the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements, how do we honor the stories of those whose experience resides in the gray? Forty-four percent of women have experienced a form of sexual violence other than rape or attempted rape (of... Read more

April 12, 2018

I speak endlessly on identity. The audience and the details vary but at the heart of everything I do, personally and professionally, there is most often some study of identity. The spirituality I practice, the posture I take when pursuing justice, the art I create, and the very name I call myself are all connected to identity. I am constantly finding myself on this seesaw of fully and beautifully knowing who I am or being terrified that I have no... Read more

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