Category Archives: Blog Post 2

My Communities

A place where my strongest commitments lie would be within the Hispanic community. This community is not only full of heritage and rich in culture, but also reflects values that I and many others hold. I believe that this community means the most to me, out of the list I created of many other communities I belong to, because it allows me to think in a certain manner. When I say think, I mean it as a way of being part of my daily routine in life. Being Hispanic provides a viewpoint that only few understand.

My values are enriched within this community more than meets the eye. As a Hispanic, I believe many individuals look down upon this very community. Not only out of negative intention but simply in a general aspect of life. This meaning that our community is faced with assumptions that we are only capable of doing so much that our roots and backgrounds will not allow us to achieve better qualifications or improvements within our lives. Therefore, as a part of this community I strive for success to prove individuals wrong and achieve for myself while spreading a movement that will sure be followed by many others to do the same. For ourselves and for our Hispanic comminute.

My feelings and viewpoint about my Hispanic community comes from a personal experience of being stereotyped that I have lived through. Typically I always personally get from strangers that “I will never achieve a high position anywhere I go because I can only do so much”. Comments like these just make me stronger and push harder towards my goals. Roughly not even 1 months ago before Summer Bridge, my family went on a mini vacation to Rhode Island to visit a cousin. Long story short, I walked into a store with a UT shirt on and when I was going to make my purchases before I could say hello, the lady at the cashier asked how I was going to pay for my things. I simply replied, “In cash” and she replied back “of course you will like all you others”. I did not know how to respond as I was in clear disbelief. She then bluntly told me that I should wear “college shirts that I know I could get into”. I will skip what happened next solely because it escalated very quickly due to her fixed assumptions of my Hispanic community. However, situations like this only make me stronger as I stated before.

Another community I associate myself to be a part of is the single parent community. Many assume that individuals who have only one parent for numerous reasons such as divorce, generally take the “wrong path”. This assumption gets truly annoying and has no meaning. I come from divorced parents and look where I am now. Achieving great things with my life. If anything, the value I hold within this community is that it has made me stronger and shaped me into the person I am today.

One organization that I have found using the Hornslink database is the Hispanic Student Association. The student organization offered on campus states that it helps providing support and improve society for all. Which is generally good. Also, this organization will give support and overall give me a place where I can enjoy myself and make a change within my community.


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I Am My Communities

It was difficult trying to choose only two communities that I felt meant the most to me because I am a very passionate person. All of these communities make up who I am. However, I guess the two that stood out the most to me were being a black woman and a filmmaker.

I chose being a black woman as one of my communities because when people look at me, they don’t see who I am, but they see my light shade of brown skin. The things I value most about this community is that black women are strong, independent, and intelligent. They are bold, beautiful, ageless, matriarchs, and so many other great things. That is how I see myself and that is what I strive to be–an empowering, strong black woman. Yet, black women are stereotyped as angry, “ratchet”, aggressive, and uneducated–just to name a few. I am none of these things. This negative imagery of black women is something that is always been a part of society that is why I look up to empowering and successful black females such as Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey, First Lady Michelle Obama, and so many other great women of color. I’ve had the pleasure of growing up with such a person in my life–my mom. Being a single mother of four isn’t easy, but her strength, positive outlook, and ability to make a way out of no way is the reason I am the young woman I am today.

The second community that means the most to me is the filmmaking community. The thing I value most about being apart of this community is that it allows me to tell stories. I can tell any story I want as a filmmaker. Filmmaking is an art that allows creativity to be harvested into great narratives. Films allow people to not only be entertained but to learn and experience something they’ve never experienced before. Although I’ve never heard of any stereotypes about the filmmaking community, I’m sure they are out there. Ultimately, I’m just a girl that loves film. I never saw people like me making film the way that I thought I could and by “me” I mean a black woman. Recently, I’ve began to idolize women such as Ava Duvernay, Shonda Rhimes, and Debbie Allen. These black women have made huge impacts to the film and TV industries by telling stories that mean something to them. That is my goal. I feel as though I have so many stories to tell, but not just any stories–my stories. In the words of Peter Jackson, “The most honest form of filmmaking is to make a film for yourself.” This couldn’t be truer.

The organizations that I’m interested in are African American Cultures (AACC), Students For the Advancement of Diverse Represention in the Arts (SADRA), and any of the A Cappella groups. AACC promotes cultural diversity, leadership, and service. SADRA is an organization that produces new plays and films written by and/or for people of color in order to provide artistic opportunities for exceptional yet underrepresented undergraduate film and theatre students. I sing (another community I belong to) so an a Cappella group is a perfect way to meet people who love music and singing as much as you do.

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My Personal Communities

Through out my life growing up I was already put into my two major communities, being African American and Mexican shaped the way of my life. Most people would think I’m just a double minority or that I’m a mutt but I think highly of myself and show that I can do something with my life even coming from what they think is a so called disadvantage.

My first major community is my African American community. I find this one to be my first because its the first one people notice by the color of my skin. While growing up in Cedar Hill the majority race in the city was African American so  some of the friends I have are African American. Now don’t get me wrong I have multiple friends of different races and had great times with each and everyone of them. That being said it kind of also affected how I was looked upon at school by the black kids because, they believe that we should only be friends with other blacks making me basically a blacker sheep in a group of black sheep. Even though I was looked at differently I didn’t let it stop me from being who I was, a half black half Mexican nice to meet guy.

My second major community is my Mexican side. This is one of the communities its harder for me to get into when I come to a new place because people don’t notice it or accept it until they really get to know me. What they first see is my dark skin so they always think I’m black but I’m also Mexican and I take pride in it. I love the heritage of my people and what they do just for a chance at the american dream. Others will look at Mexicans and think of them as lazy but we are some of the most hardest working people because we do it for our families.

These being my two communities it has shown me that I shouldn’t be afraid of the culture backgrounds that I came from, it shows me that I should take pride in them. These communities prove that with hard work and dedication I can make it into a school like UT and show my family and friends that we are getting stronger and stronger no matter if we’re the minority or not. I want to take this pride and use it for good by joining organizations that allow me to express my freedom and individuality. For the Latino Culture there is the Lambda Theta Phi fraternity that want to promote a strong brotherhood. The second club I found was the African American Male Research Initiative Club their goal is to increase the number of black males that go to graduate school. I think my fellow classmates can enjoy these groups as well as join them if they want.

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My Communities

I belong to the Christian community, and I also am a part of the athletic community. I chose these as two that mean the most to me because at this point in my life I constantly find myself dedicating my time and energy to these types of lifestyles. It seems as if every time I turn around I am contributing to or engaged in one of these settings or both. I absolutely love faith, fellowship, and physical activity.

In the Christian community, as the name suggests, our lives belong to Christ. We strive to become more intimate in our relationship with God, and to continually mature our love for Christ by growing in our knowledge of who He is. We value the unfailing love of God and His gift of faith which allows our souls to be saved by grace. As Christians we acknowledge that we are not self made, but are created in the image of our Father God. Our ultimate goal is to become more like Christ and dwell with Him for eternity when He decides to come back to earth to call those home who’ve waited steadfastly for His return.

I believe the only time I feel stereotyped as a Christian is when people place Christians in a box labeled “perfection”. They ignore the fact that we are humans as well who happen to fight the same temptations that are common to everyone else. The only difference is our commitments and how we prioritize the condition of our souls.

As a part of the athletic community I love to improve my skills and compete. People in this community value progress and the joy that comes with performing. This community is also established upon close knit relationships that resemble those of a family; a very diverse, cutting-edge, talented family. A stereotype that members of this community hear a lot is that athletes are less intellectual and that things are handed to them because they are physically talented.

I am proud to be a part of both communities because each promote community service and take unique measures to contribute to society. I personally enjoy working with children and young ladies; my favorite act of service is mentorship.

I am interested in further learning about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. This organization does not directly promote Christianity or athleticism, but it incorporates some of the key values that lie within both communities. The values that I am referring to are love, support, diligence, and excellence. In addition, this organization is very similar to the non-profit organization that I began last year in my hometown for young girls. Both organizations aim to assist and encourage ladies while cultivating moral excellence. Ha, and I almost forgot this organization was established by and for black women, another community that I belong to!

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My True Communities

Okay, I going to be completely honest with y’all. I’m not going to write about something that doesn’t really portray the real me. Like, saying that I’m a full time member to the Hispanic community or even that I’m part of my high school Band community. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I don’t respect each of the group, I do love that I’m part of each one, however those aren’t the communities that I have the most connection with. At first I did consider these as my main affiliation, but the more I thought about it, there was only two communities that I felt closer to. They are the gaming and anime community. Now I can almost know what exactly some of y’all are thinking. “Oh, look another geek with no life.” Which in the past, I would of agreed with you.

Most people see this lifestyle as almost pitiful, pointless and weird. As a child, I even agreed with these allegations to the point I hated myself. Everyone kept calling me a nerd and a geek, you could even say I was bullied and stereotyped. They would call me a fat looser and would tell me to do other things like normal kids, and at one point I tried. But I just couldn’t give them up for any other lifestyle, they were the few things in the world that gave me the most comfort and pleasure. I remember just watching my most favorite anime just to get me through the day and feel pumped up. Watch this video and tell me that this anime opening doesn’t make you feel at least a little pumped. (It’s the English dub, for y’alls convenience)

Even the stories in games and anime helped me through some rough times in my life. My parents got a divorce when I was about the age 5, so it was at the age where I can kind of think a little to myself. I just remembered being so down trotted and wanted my family back, however that wasn’t the case. So my only outlet for my emotions where games and anime. I recall just being by myself and not bothering anyone at school because I just felt so upset. But it wasn’t till I found the anime “Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood”, and the game “Kingdom Hearts” that I felt happy again. (The video I showed you earlier is the first opening of Full metal Alchemist)

I can pretty much tell you now that I learned far more meaningful morals from the show and game, than from all my years of school so far. It may not look like much from the video, most people wouldn’t understand at first glance. But the gist of Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood was about two brothers who wanted to get their mother back from the dead however they were unsuccessful and both lost huge parts of their bodies. One brother lost his leg, and the other lost his whole body. So now both brothers must go on a journey in order to find a way to get their bodies back. Seems a bit cliché doesn’t it. But the more I watched it, the more I saw the questions and lessons it taught me. Like “how far will you go to save a loved one” and “stay strong because there are always people who are going to be in your side even in your darkest of times.”

Even the game “Kingdom Hearts” has a strange presentation but with a fantastic lesson. What it taught me is kind of similar to FMAB. That the bonds between friends can be the greatest thing to have. Yes, it may seem kind of like a lesson you learn from a Disney movie. Funny thing is, that’s what Kingdom Hearts Kind of is.

It’s a tale of a boy named Sora trying to rescue his friends from the darkness with the help of Donald, Goofy, Mickey, and other Disney characters. It may seem silly but it actually works really well. When I first played it, I honestly only played it because I got to visit many Disney worlds. But like FMAB, the more I got invested to the story the more I appreciated the friends I had in the real world because they were just like Donald, goofy, and mickey. They were always there to help me.

From then on, I felt as though I had a meaning to my life. I didn’t care what others said because I knew deep down that this was who I really am. Fortunally for me at the time I had made a friend with similar interests who showed me to my first anime and gaming conventions. That is when I knew I had found my niche. Now I’m at a new city and school so I have to start all over, but knowing that there still a community here makes me feel a whole lot secure. So you bet that you’re going to see me at the next meeting for both of these communities.

Anime Club:

Texas Gaming Organization:

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Judged At First Sight

According to the authors of Critical Situations, communities are defined as “places where your strongest commitments lie” and “where you have your closest connections, your greatest pleasures, and your most serious problems.” Therefore, a community can be based off where you’re from to what you prefer to eat. If I had to chose between two communities it would have to be based off my skin color and how I live in it. I was born as an African American who happens to love tennis.

Quick! Name one good stereotype about African Americans…

Hard, isn’t it? I didn’t get to chose what race I came out as. Nobody gave me a list to chose from. I’m not saying that I wish I wasn’t African American, but I do wish people didn’t care. From the second I was born, I was placed under a group of stereotypes. This included things such as “black people love fried chicken” and “ black people don’t get sunburns”. Now don’t get me wrong, I will devour some fried chicken, but does it really matter? Being African American is just the labeling of a skin color not an assumption over a whole entire race. Sadly enough though, a lot of black do love fried chicken…So being stereotyped is something that came with the package.

.facebook_1437885851614For about four years now, I’ve been using tennis as my escape from the world. Not only did I get stereotyped from outsiders of my race, but from the ones inside as well. My etiquette divided me from them. No matter how much I wanted to be accepted, I simply just stood out too much. Therefore, my high school tennis team had been my sports community for the time being, and now I can thankfully say I am developing a new community of tennis lovers this year.

Ironic enough, you’d think a black girl playing tennis would set high status since there’s iconic players such as Serena Williams. Instead it’s the other way around for me. At my school, playing tennis created a wider division line between others within my race and I. Playing tennis, to them, was as if I was purposefully trying to isolate myself from them. Stereotypes have caused most African Americans to believe that these assumptions are how we should be; tennis not being one of them. However I believe humans are way more diverse and complex than to be put into clusters. To me, there’s nothing better than hitting a ball over a tennis net, and stereotypes shouldn’t have to overrule that. serenaTo overcome the hardships this school year I plan on joining a club/organization that promotes diversity, such as Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Who deserves to be judged at first sight? Nobody.This club embraces and encourages diversity within the the UT community to embetter society surrounding it. Living in a place where stereotypes are eliminated is what I strive for. To join a group that wants to promote diversity and its growth is what I will stand by. This club can be useful for anyone else with the same values.

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