Citizen Orange: July 2011 Archives

A lot has happened over the last few months and I've done my best to keep the readers of Citizen Orange apprised of every thing that I believe affects my writing. I wrote about my commitment to Catholicism in April, and I've tried to inform readers about my recent part-time job at Neighbors United For A Better East Boston (NUBE) working against S-Comm in Boston.

Today, I'm excited to announce that I just completed my first full day working for My first public action was tweeting Obama's NCLR speech. I'm going to be handing off some of my responsibilities at NUBE over the next few weeks, but I hope to continue to work out of the NUBE office to stay connected to the local pro-migrant community and to get out of my apartment.

I've got to say that I'm really excited to be working for Presente alongside of Carlos Roa, Favianna Rodriguez, Felipe Matos, and Laurie Ignacio. It's not just that this is the first time I'll be getting health insurance outside of school (yes I'm frequently among the 2% of folks that don't have health insurance in Massachusetts), it's the first time that I'll be able to dedicate myself full-time to the pro-migrant social media work that I love and am skilled at, and will be able to do it from anywhere.

I'm equally, if not more excited, to be doing this sort of work with people that I trust and respect, which if I can impart some advice, is probably one of the most important factors to consider when you work with people in the public arena. While I don't plan on leaving the Boston area in the next couple of years, it's dream of mine, primero Dios, to be able to do pro-migrant work for an organization like Presente from my home of Guatemala, at some point.

Saying that, I want to be clear about what I envision my role at Presente to be. I identify very firmly as a migrant, as a Guatemalan, and as a Latin American leftist among many other things, but I've tried to be clear since I started blogging that within the racial context of the U.S., I'm identified as white and benefit from white privilege. That's a big part of why Citizen Orange has always been identified as an ally space.

That's not something I feel I have to apologize for, it's just the reality of the world we live in. It is just something that those of us who benefit from white privilege have to be conscious of and have to try to work against to the best of our ability. Though I've certainly made mistakes, as we all have, I believe in general my actions and words up to this point in my life have proven that I'm willing to give my life, several times over, to work against systems of oppression like racism and nativism. I can only pray that I'm able to keep that fire burning in my belly for the rest of my life.

I bring all this up because I see Presente as a Latin@ space, and I envision my role there to be a mostly behind-the-scenes supporting role. In other words, me taking credit for things like the tweets I wrote today won't happen much outside of this blog post. Everyone working at Presente, right now, is a rock star. I want to be there to take some of the work off of their hands so that they can continue to be the rock stars they need to be for the Latin@ community.

That doesn't mean I won't leave my mark. I've already got a few things up my sleeve for when I get into the flow of things, but I'll leave that to discuss at another date. For the time being, I just wanted to inform people of my new role, and to thank everyone at Presente for the honor of working alongside of them.