[Handpicked: January 2017]

Welcome to the new year! A little late, as usual, but that’s okay. I’ve given up making a resolution about doing things in a timely manner. Time is but a construct, my friends. This month, I came back to a very cold Boston (yet one that’s not as cold as usual, because climate change) so I’ll be sharing a few things related to winters in the Northeast and ways to escape them.

img_3521The Beehive, South End

I am obsessed with this place. Little did I know, it’s a sister restaurant to Harvard Square’s Beat Brasserie, a place Lela and I stumbled upon that fateful weekend in Boston when we became friends a few years ago. So, Paola and I made our way over for a brisk walk to Tremont St. for the live jazz music over brunch and it did not disappoint. I would recommend the coffee (so worth it!) and the scrambled eggs. You’ll feel mildly healthy because they’ve got kale and artichoke [read: kale yeah!] and so you can treat yourself to the banana walnut cake for starters. Balance is key, and that sounds balanced, right? I’m not really sure why I keep making excuses, but just let me have this. Be sure to get a reservation though, this place is picking up in popularity as I write this post.

img_3581Rallying for the ACA, Faneuil Hall

Boston, the cradle of liberty and home to American freedom, is quite the fitting place to rally for what you believe in. Last weekend, Sharon and I went early to Faneuil Hall to see the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation speak in favor of the Affordable Care Act at a rally publicized by Senator Elizabeth Warren [read: mom] herself. I was in awe of the incredible leadership team we have representing us every day in D.C. and it became clear that it’s one of the best teams in the country. Faneuil Hall has seen some landmark events over the past couple hundred years, and this was another one of them that I was lucky enough to attend. Cold wintry days? Not enough to stop a Boston crowd. I believe there were a few thousand in attendance, and we were right up front. To thaw, we ran to Veggie Galaxy [read: home] and Crema in Central and Harvard Squares, respectively.

MLK Day/Week Events

At Northeastern, we hosted a week dedicated to celebrating the legacy of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement as related to today. During this week, I experienced one of my top 5 Northeastern moments. The President of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks, came to speak at our student center about civil rights today. The three words I said after leaving were: I was shook. There was no better way to spend the final day of the Obama Presidency than learning how to be active as we move on, reflecting on the words of Dr. King, and acknowledging activism today. In speaking to President Brooks, I was able to reflect on my own leadership in working to make spaces be more equitable on campus and accessible for everyone. Absolutely invigorating – if are looking to be involved in organized activism in any way, I say to look to organizations like the NAACP and the ACLU for guidance over the next few years.

img_3632Unity Ball, Harvard University

What in interesting night this was. Alexandra and I had invitations to the Unity Ball, hosted at Harvard University in conjunction with the Mexican Consulate and FDR Foundation. We got to the Adams House with no clue what to expect and were met with inspiring speeches and Mexican music/dancing amongst a crowd of people on the Friday night of the inauguration. And then another incredible opportunity presented itself: we were able to get a tour of FDR’s student suite in that same residential building. There we were, standing in a space where one of America’s greatest presidents lived and studied on a historic day when one of America’s most poorly-rated presidents was inaugurated. I can’t say there was a better way to spend the day, but it was surreal for me to be thinking of his legacy on a day many had a hard time facing, myself included. It gave me the energy to stay up all night and hop on a bus to Washington D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington.

“Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City” by Nikole-Hannah Jones

Long-form journalism is a pretty abundant gem. Every major paper has been experimenting with bringing back something bigger than an editorial but shorter than a formal essay, and I’m finding that I’m always itching to find the next big influential piece. Nikole-Hannah Jones presented at Northeastern this month, and I was given the opportunity to go out to dinner with her. In preparation, I read this piece first (one of her most well-known) and have to say that it’s one of those pieces that can wake people up to disparity that you all have a part in upholding. I went to a public gifted school from elementary through high school graduation. We were constantly protected from larger county-wide conversations regarding privilege and the sheer amount of funding we received as a school, as opposed to the other schools in the area. I rarely thought about the gripping impact of a lack of diversity in school (we always joked that we were diverse, but I could count the number of black kids in my high school on my hands). Given this thought, I do agree that housing segregation, still enforced in America and most likely in Florida, deeply contributes to school segregation regardless of school specialization. We saw schools in our county suffer while other districted schools, surrounding specific neighborhoods, thrived and provided more college-prep programs than the former ever could. Start thinking about this; if it makes you uncomfortable, then you’re doing it right.

Northeastern University Political Review, “The Case for Identity Politics”

I debated whether to include this here or not, but screw that – I’m a featured columnist for the Northeastern University Political Review! I’m writing on identity politics, ways identity could be treated under the new administration, and generally in favor of the intertwined nature of voting and organizing based on identity. I’ve been studying identity for the past few years, both in literature and anthropology, and really wanted to see where I could apply some of the theories I engage with in today’s issues. So, if you appreciate my writing here, get ready for another site to keep up with (if you’d like) in a pretty different style but a very important one.

Thanks to global warming, it’s been a warm entry into December. Where I’d normally be ranting about the weather by now, I’m waiting for it to get real cold real fast in a few. Maybe it won’t get cold until January 2017? Maybe it’s wishful thinking? Who knows… I’ll be inside until then.

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