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    Judith wrote a new post

    “Everything Rainbow” was a movement my teammate and I created in order to fight for LGBTQ+ rights and health in our school and community. There is huge normalization of homophobic language at our school and lac

    Becoming an Upstander

    “Everything Rainbow” was a movement my teammate and I created in order to fight for LGBTQ+ rights and health in our school and community. There is huge normalization of homophobic language at our school and lack of empathy which...

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    1 Comment
    • Dear Judith,
      I am amazed with your post, “Becoming an Upstander,” because of how much passion and effort you seem to have put in this campaign. One sentence that really stood out to be was: “recognize your privilege.” From my experience, I have learned that people often forget that they have this immense privilege of being able to create change, which gets in the way when we are actually trying to put forth a movement. I find your post very inspiring as it is not often, in any of the schools I have gone to, that people have the courage to start a campaign, especially when the majority of the students are against it as you said. I see a very bright future for your movement, and I hope that you can change the mindset of those students who lack empathy and use offensive language towards the LGBTQ community. Starting a campaign with two people in front of an entire school is an accomplishment in itself. My teammates and I are also starting a campaign in regards to the LGBTQ community and their rights in the healthcare system so if you ever wanna check it out here’s the link:https://lgbtqhealthcare.home.blog/. Thank you for writing and I look forward to seeing what you will write next!

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    Judith wrote a new post

    April 26th, 2019,

    Dear Middle Schoolers:

    We are writing to you because as high schoolers, we understand how difficult and sometimes overwhelming it can be to be our authentic selves at school. School is one

    Are You an Ally to the LGBTQ Community?

    April 26th, 2019, Dear Middle Schoolers: We are writing to you because as high schoolers, we understand how difficult and sometimes overwhelming it can be to be our authentic selves at school. School is one of the main places we grow...

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    3 Comments
    • How can middle schoolers make members of the LGBTQ+ community feel welcome through their every day actions? In what ways can I show that I am supportive of all genders and sexualities without being part of a specific organization. I want to help make people feel comfortable. It almost feels like the things proposed in this piece are targeted towards older people, but younger people should not need to be part of an organization. What are some things I can take part in?

      • Dear Olivia,
        Thank you for your comment!
        One way you can help the LGBTQ+ community safe is to just provide space for them! The LGBTQ+ community is often silenced so something you can do is encourage others to step down, and let others talk for a change. Also, the best way you can be an ally to someone is to ask them what a good ally to them means. Everyone needs different type of support and others, might not want it at all. It’s better to ask than assume! However, it is not there job to educate you. There’s always lots of room to grow and ways to learn. Also, GSA isn’t necessarily an organization. It is a student led club that can provide emotional support, start discussions and organize school events. Does your school have a GSA? If it doesn’t, maybe YOU’LL be the one to start it. If you are more intereseted in creating a GSA for your school or want to know more, visit the GSA network or just leave a comment here. Or, you can also contact us on our instagram @everythingrainbowoakland_

        Good job being an ally!

    • Dear Sergio,
      Thank you for your comment!
      I am happy that the letter was that important to you. Like you stated, our goal was to give voice to those underrepresented so hopefully this letter encouraged you to do the same! If you would like to learn ways to do so, please feel free to contact @everythingrainbowoakland_ on instagram!

  • Dear Mikayla,
    Thank you for reading and replying to my poem! A line that stood out to me was when you talked about the connection you made with my poem and a movie you saw. What movie is that? Why did it connect to my poem? Did it connect in a good way?

    Thanks!
    Judith

      • Dear Calvin,
        Thank you reading and replying to my poem!:) I wanted to adress what you meant when you wrote “…it made me think about how we really have this problem in the world right now”. Can you elaborate on what problem you are talking about. Also, a line that stood out to me in your reply is when you wrote “…because they don’t see some…

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      • Dear Jessica,
        Thank you for reading and replying to my poem! The part of your comment that stood out to me was when you wrote “This stood out to me because I think it really brings out your topic”. Can you ellaborate on what you mean by that? Also, do you think those lines mean anything? If so can you explain because I’d like to know what others…

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      • Dear Victor,
        Thanks for reading and replying to my blog! I wanted to adress what you said when you wrote “…If they do that they can make everyone feel and especially the LGBTQ community”. I agree with you but I was wondering why you think that’s important? What do you think we should be doing in order for the LGBTQ community and everyone at…

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      • Dear Wendy,
        Thanks for reading and replying to my blog!:) I wanted to adress what you said when you wrote “I didn’t really think about this topic but you made it relevent…”. Why didn’t you think about it before? What can people be doing to make the topic more relevent? Look forward to hearing back!
        -Judith

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            Judith wrote a new post

            Does inclusion lead to safety? Oakland is filled with all types of people but the classrooms don’t always embody that diversity. One can see that there are voices missing in Oakland schools whether it’s thr

            Inclusion and Safety in OUSD

            Does inclusion lead to safety? Oakland is filled with all types of people but the classrooms don’t always embody that diversity. One can see that there are voices missing in Oakland schools whether it’s through the identities of protagonists...

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            4 Comments
            • Judith,
              I agree with your statement that we need “inclusion and safety in OUSD” that way everyone feels safe and comfortable with who they are. I didn’t really think about this topic but you made it relevant and that is really important because these aren’t easy topics to talk about for tennagers. A line that stood out to me from your writing was when you said “Queer youth don’t deserve to receive antipathy towards their identities because soon, that hate can become internalized.” this stood out to me because it made me think of my fellow peers who are part of the LGBTQ community and how they are treated at our school and how safe they feel. I think that OUSD needs to be inclusive for everyone. You are a great writer thanks for writing and posting I look forward to seeing what you write next because you talk about important topics going on good job:).
              -Wendy

            • Dear, Judith

              I was really amazed with your writing specially the topics you chose because not a lot of people write about this and people need to know about topic. One part that stand out to me was when “More inclusion in OUSD matters and leads to safety because it allows youth to explore the beauty of the diversity not only within their communities but within themselves as well. Because they feel safe to explore the complexity of their identities”. This line stand out to me because if they do that they can make everyone feel and specially the LGBTQ comminity.

            • Dear Frank,

              Thank you for reading and replying to my blog!
              I am happy you agree with what I wrote but I was wondering if you have any questions about my statements or would like to know more. There was a lot I learned in my interviews so feel free to ask about anything:).

              A question I have for you is when you wrote, “In order for intersectionality to occur we must embrace these ideals that are being taught in the classrooms and apply them to our daily lives”. What do you think it will look like when we apply these ideals into our lives? Also, is this a necessary change? Lastly, have you been apart of an Ethnic Studies class? If so, what was your experience like?

              Thanks again!
              Judith

            • Hi Erica,

              Thank you for reading and replying to my blog!

              I believe that by talking about identities and their intersectionality in general, a space is created to recognize how sexuality and gender expression can be included because we discuss how our identities can be impacted/harmed. However, our Ethnic Studies class isn’t focused on only LGBTQ+ identities or sexuality and gender. So, we don’t talk about related issues as much as we need to. If the curriculum was enough, I believe that the inclusion Ethnic Studies provides, would occur outside of the classroom too. Also, I think that we need more books with queer protagonists. This would allow youth to feel represented, important, and learn how to empathize and understand others experiences.

              I have not read much about curriculum in other cities or states and how they try to be inclusive. What is the curriculum like in your city/school? Have you attended an Ethnic Studies class before? If so, how inclusive was it? Did it actually leave a meaningful impact? What other changes do you think should be made? What results would those changes cause?

              -Judith

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            Judith wrote a new post

            For this poem I had to connect a topic from Shakespear to my own life. I chose to write about my mom because my topic is about love. I look forward to reading your comments!

             

            The Universe Within Us

            Ever

            The Universe Within Us

            For this poem I had to connect a topic from Shakespear to my own life. I chose to write about my mom because my topic is about love. I look forward to reading your comments!   The Universe Within Us Ever since you...

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            3 Comments
            • Dear Judith

              Thank you so much for sharing your poetry. A line that stood out to me was “Trying to drive out the darkness that surrounds you,

              Trying to close up on you

              Just like all the other borders

              orbiting around you.” because it really described how Trump is separating families and taking away kids.

              A connection I made to your poem was close to an movie I saw.

              Your poem also reminded me of a beautiful description of a love movie.

              Thank you so much for writing and I look forward to reading your next post.

              Mikayla

            • Dear Judith, I think your poem is really interesting because it’s crazy to think that people have had to go through these experiences. I really like how you included a lot of metaphors into your poem as well, it’s really creative and meaningful. My favorite line was “Trying to get ahold of the world
              That was taken from your hands
              By hateful eyes,” because it made me think about how we really have this problem in the world right now. The hate part is also true and I like how you put in the word “eyes” because they don’t see some people as human.

            • Dear Judith

              I am very touched by your poem, “The Universe Within Us”, because the relationship that you show in your poem of you and your mom is beautifully shown with all the metaphors that you use of the universe. One part of your poem that stands for me is where you wrote, “And the stars that decorate the universe with the light you believe I deserve to feel instead”. This stood out to me because I can tell that you really put a lot of effort into this poem. Also, I like how the title of your poem matches the poem really nicely. Another part that I stood out to me is the last six lines. This stood out to me because I think it really brings out your topic. Thanks for your poem. I look forward to what you make next because this poem was amazing.

          • Profile picture of Judith

            Judith wrote a new post

            When people look at me, they are only seeing what the stereotypes created by the dominant narrative taught them to see. They see a young Latina who is expected to stay silent and stay down. This isn’t true which i

            Judith's Shadow Box

            When people look at me, they are only seeing what the stereotypes created by the dominant narrative taught them to see. They see a young Latina who is expected to stay silent and stay down. This isn’t true which...

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            1 Comment
            • Dear Judith,

              I really liked the books you put in your box and how you included poems. I think is amazing to have acknowledged and be grateful for your parents and the sacrifices they have made to give you a better/good life. I too do everything in the name of them to one day hope to “pay” them back for all of the work, time, money, and sacrifices they have made for my brother and me to live and thrive in the U.S.. Stereotypes will always be there but I can tell that you are a strong, young woman who will be going far in life. I like how you aren’t going to stay silent or down because of how the world wants us latinas to be. I am not a big writer, but I am a big reader and I know that you will be successful in this life and not let your race or gender identity define you. You are so much more than what you can put on paper. There will always be people and things that will try to bring you down but the fact that you are young, resilient, and aware are all qualities that are hard to break through.

              Keep working hard, continue to dream big, and stay strong!

              Allison Sanchez

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