There are so many valuable things I have learned this past year: that my name, Rara, means strange in spanish, the many uses of a tshirt, that my students love seeing themselves learn, that positive reinforcement and speaking my truth is what I can do to be a better me and a better leader.
One lesson comes back over and over and over again: if I want real change, I have to do something about it.
If I am not part of the solution, then I shall continue to be part of the problem.
Being home has many perks – being woken up by a hug from my mom, my dad’s dance hugs, my brother’s hilarious personality. If I am home, then the learning has to continue, though, so I am continuing my unpaid sabbatical and learning how I can be part of the solution at home.
I was (and occasionally still am) part of the ‘complaining conversation’ – whether I was active or just listening, we (a collective of family, friends, coworkers, etc) would talk about the current political/environmental/work/home/etc situation and somehow it would transform from facts to opinions/complaints. Sometimes we just need to let it out to feel better about a situation or event, and other times it just puts gas onto the never-ending blaze of negative complacency. Especially when it comes to discussing political issues, the blaze becomes much like the current fires happening in California (and elsewhere) – destructive and near impossible to put out.
It is time we have more constructive conversations, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT after, instead of going back to our regular routine.
Back in June, a coworker and I went to a movie screening of “From the Ashes” lead by a small organization called 350NJ. I really loved the conversations that came from this movie, and was interested in the work they do – so when I came back, I reached out to one of the heads of the organization. I am happy to be part of the planning and promoting of the different events they are going to be doing this year, as well as other events that you can see below!
If you are interested in joining me, please feel free to contact me!
Rara Events for October!
- October 21-29 – Cleaning the Rivers of the World
So we all know that there is way too much garbage everywhere, especially in our waterways. One way to solve it is by picking up our garbage, which I intend to do in connection to this event. I will be doing some independent garbage clean ups this week wherever I am – at home by the Passaic River, in NYC, or in Atlantic Beach (going to visit my family there!). So again, contact me and we can plan to meet and make the world just a little bit cleaner, together 😀
- Monday, October 23 – Mazaska (money) Talks
This is a worldwide event, so you can check out the website, put in your zip code, and find a “Divest the Globe” event happening near you. I will be going to Union Square in NYC, which starts at 7:30 PM, and before that going to Landmark Sunshine Cinema to see the Jane Goodall documentary about her work with chimpanzees and her transformation into an activist.
- Tuesday, October 24 – Save the EPA
At my old stomping grounds, Montclair State University, an organization called Blue Wave will be holding a ‘Town Hall’ meeting to discuss the NJ administration’s (and current USA administration) terrible environmental record. It makes sense that they would hold it in the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences building, and if you are interested you can find more information and RSVP to the event here.
- Wednesday, October 25 – YMCA Legends and Leaders dinner
My dad is on the board of the Newark YMCA, and this years Legends and Leaders dinner guest speaker is Corey Booker. I have been to this event before, but with all this new learning and doing, plus Corey Booker is in the US Senate, I know this one could be the start of changing a lot of things!
- Saturday, October 28 – Sandy5 March on Climate
It is pretty crazy to think that Hurricane Sandy happened 5 years ago. I remember having my two bearded dragons sleep with me, changing the hot water every 2 hours to keep them warm. The citizens of Puerto Rico don’t have that ability. With all these devastating hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes, etc. ravaging our country and the globe, it really still boggles my mind that there are people naive enough to think that humans aren’t causing this mass destruction.
I will be meeting peeps at the Harrison PATH Station between 9- 9:30 AM to head over to the event. Look for the chick in the Lorax glasses!
- Sunday, October 29 – 5 Years After Sandy: Hands Across the Boards
I will be meeting friends at Newark Penn Station at 11 AM (look for the girl in Lorax glasses by Dunkin Donuts) to head down there for the 2PM start, but if you register you can also find that there are carpools and other travel groups going down.