Latinas THINK BIG ~ My Big Idea

In June 2012, I attended a Twitter party and the topic was LATINA LEADERSHIP. From that party, developed an online group now known as ELLA Leadership Institute. I'm fortunate enough to connect with extremely motivating and powerful group of Latina mujeres.

This weekend many of them will meet in person at Google's office in Los Angeles, to connect and celebrate the innovative work of five talented Latinas, amidst live music and powerful networking. Attendees will include industry leaders and professionals from the private and public sectors, including social media influencers, technology innovators, entrepreneurs, academicians and artists. Three influential Latin@ leaders will be recognized at this event with an ELLA Leadership Institute award, for their significant contribution to the advancement of the Latino community. I CANNOT WAIT to see what these ladies have to say and who is awarded! What a difficult choice to make … only three!? I'm sure of many more to come.

I'll be watching online. You can, too! Just go to LATINAS THINK BIG™ LA: Official Live Stream Event

WHERE I'M GOING

Thanks to Latina Bloggers Connect and ELLA, I'm writing this post to tell you where I want to go with my big idea. One blogger will be chosen to win ONE trip to New York City along with an All Access Pass to the 2014 ELLA Leadership Institute Training Conference, including airfare to New York City!

I have several BIG IDEAS but I can't focus on all of them at the same time. So, I'll share the one that is closest to my heart. I began this blog out of what I lovingly call my Cultural Identity Crisis. Almost three years later, I have learned so much about my own heritage, familia, roots, cultura y mas. That has made a HUGE impact on all parts of my life. There's un dicho/a saying: 

You can't know where you are going if you don't know where you've been. 

That means more to me today than it ever did before. For me, as I began to discover and celebrate my Tejana/Mexicana/Latina culture, I could see more clearly where I want to go. One important piece of that journey has been sharing it with my children. Why is that when we become parents, we want to instill more culture and values in our children than we ever cared to have as young ones? Sometimes that means discovering it for ourselves.

MY BIG IDEA

Let QueMeansWhat.com create a community for others to connect to their cultura. Yes, I'll continue to share my own stories here. One of my favorite parts about blogging is when others say to me, "That happened to me, too." Or "That kinda sounds like my story." Let's share those stories. Let's be a resource for other moms or whomever who want to discover more of their heritage and cultura. I'm fourth generation Mexican-American. Therefore, while I'm geographically close to Mexico, I was far from my heritage. As a mother, I want to educate my children about Mexican and Mexican-American culture.

Cultura Connections – maybe that's what we call it. It's a place to share (maybe buy) books and movies about Latino culture, by Latino authors and producers. A place to connect with mujeres who have been down this journey and take the younger chicas under their wings to teach them. A place to discover your own family tree. A safe place to ask questions about possible stigmas or stereotypes Latinos face. We need a safe place and a place to celebrate.

I'm inspired by the many Latinas I talk to online and off every day. I'm inspired by the making of Latino Americans and Latinos behind the Reel and by the documentary REBEL. All of these are our historia – where we came from – where we've been. With today's technology we can build a community, a thriving community, around it. With today's technology, we can empower our future by discovering where we've been. 

I want to attend ELLA Leadership Institute Training Conference because I am not too proud to ask for help on this BIG IDEA. Hermanas, I need you! Community is key! Let's create Cultura Connections.

Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Original content creator for ¿Qué Means What? Texas Latina mom blogger celebrating culture in education, entertainment and family life.

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1 Response

  1. Silvia says:

    Melanie Mendez-Gonzales, what a great idea. I’m sure it’ll go far. I’m so blessed to have met you!

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