This workshop explores our understanding of Latino "history" and how this understanding shapes the actions of Latino individuals and communities today in the United States. It highlights the importance of self-knowledge in regards to how our socio/political identities manifest themselves in the outside world.
The history of the Americas is somewhat taught in our educational institutions, however more focused is placed on US and European history.
The lack of understanding of our own histories creates an internal discord also known as "culture clashing". Many Latinos in the US suffer from this every day, and communities are deeply impacted by this lack of self-knowledge.This workshop aims at educating Latinos in basic Latino History, building self-confidence and self-esteem, and taking constructive pride in our communities.
In matters of race in the United States, the African-American and Latino communities act as separate "racial" entities. This separation can be seen in many facets of our society ranging from political to religious to social. However, when self-identifying or being identified by the other, African-Americans and Latinos are grouped as "minorities", and this categorization also connects the Latino and African-American communities respectively.
The "Connection" is further understood by linking the history of Africa and her Diasporas to the Americas, showing how historically all aspects of Latino life are influenced by the African presence. This connection creates unity, understanding and acceptance of the "Other" as "Self"; thus creating more unity in our communities.
It is estimated that over $7 Billion dollars are spent annually on the maintenance of our hair. Our hair is our crown, and the attitude we have towards it creates a huge impact on our self esteem. Within the Black and Latino communities, there exists the need or appeal to stray away from hair appearing "nappy", or having "Bad Hair".
There is a long historical implication to such, and understanding these implications, as well as creating new agreements, that allow us to see the beauty in our natural state of being, can lead to freedom of expression, of being, and release limitations our communities put on themselves in order to appear to be like someone else. FREE YOUR HAIR!!!
Our current education system does not nurture our self understanding through our own histories, much less any history that has to do with victory through struggle.Our history is filled with accomplishment, achievement of power, and freedom from oppression. Knowledge of this history grants us with the mental agreement: "Yes We Can!" Through self-education, and compassion for those around us, people CAN come together to create change in their communities, and there are countless examples to fortify such agreement.
This workshop takes the audience through the history of the Americas in terms of movements and revolutions from which people came together for a cause, and achieved such through organization and self-discipline. This workshop is designed to bring the inner activist out of us, and teach practices that allow us to bring our community together.
When asked "what" they are, most people respond with either their Race or their Nationality. Most of us have strong associations and connections to our sense of being to that of our national heritages. However, most are also oblivious to the historical implications that gave birth to the concept of their own nations, much less their own actual nationalities.
The sense of nation leads people to come together, however, it can also lead many to war and destruction, mainly because of this lack of understanding. Gaining this understanding leads to a higher step in the process of self-actualization, bringing members within the nation closer together in their own understandings of nationhood; as well as communities of different nationalities closer together, due to their understanding of the concept of the Nation.
In the United States, there exists a myriad of cultures that live through the "hyphenated identity": Fill in the Blank-American. While many of these identities are already American, the division in this identity leads to an internal personality clash, that leaves the subscriber to the identity being in one way, while trying to "appeal" to another.
This split creates a psychological disorder known as the "Colonialized Personality Disorder", whereas the subscriber to the hyphenated identity whose first half of the hyphen comes from a land that was colonized in its history (eg. Latin American, African, Asian) develop common personality disorder traits due to their lack of knowledge and understanding in regards to their histories as a people. This workshops breaks the Hyphen in that identity, leaving the subscriber whole and confident in their being.