September’s meetup dove deep into the many colorful layers of the Latinx diaspora. The Mixed Space community, alongside our speakers, shared our own unique experiences and perspectives on the theme.
Our host for the evening, Ariel Bastida, introduced an innovative way to kick off our monthly meetups by sharing previews ahead of the actual meetup start time. This included a custom TMS Zoom tutorial, narrated by TMS’s CEO, Lili Stiefel; followed by an introductory preview in which Ariel Bastida summarizes The Mixed Space and the way meetups function.
Ariel had an amazing opening statement where she listed some of the many identifiers that are considered part of the Latinx Diaspora. She also made it clear that the speakers and herself were speaking from personal perspectives and not speaking for the entire Diaspora. The evening’s moment of silence honored all of the people in the Latinx diaspora who have had parts of their identities erased, those who are fighting to be seen, and our ancestors that have come before us. The momentum picked up as our speakers, Lucy Flores and Natalia Guzmán, started to share their backgrounds and ties to the meetup theme.
Lucy Flores is an American lawyer, former politician, and founder of Luz Collective, a Los Angeles-based digital media company. Lucy embodies her story as a Latina Mexican-American by graciously showcasing how we handle pushback within the Latinx community. Lucy’s knowledge and experience can vividly be seen to create an immense trust and relatability to her audience throughout the meeting.
Natalia Guzmán is a content creator who works with organizations with environmental and women issues, and works with the Luz Collective. Natalia proactively combats the Latinx erasure in communities by sharing her truth with others and uplifting the community. Her powerful stories reminded Lucy of a phrase that goes “Your existence is resistance.”
Both Lucy and Natalia expressed their focus on how identity in the Latinx community can depend on the story and how individual people identify themselves. We are reminded of the vast amounts of diversity within the Latinx community all over the world.
The community in this month’s meeting was especially eager to continue to share related stories and endeavors. Many stayed to utilize the safe space, made by the host and speakers, as they do with every meeting.