LATISM 12 was my first conference that was outside of the teaching realm. There were several years were I attended Professional Development and Pedagogy type conferences for my career in teaching but to be in conference with so many different people from all levels of professional success was, well for lack of a better word, inspiring.
I had the honor of meeting Tony from Librotraficante, Ted Rubin from Collective Bias, Lorraine C. Ladish from Mamiverse, Ana RC, Elianne Ramos, Aaron Carrasquillo from NBCLatino and so many others. I also, finally, was able to meet several of my beloved Twitter amigas and amigos. It is so nice to meet a collective of people who are all trendsetters.
I went to LATISM to do a panel on the Role of Health Bloggers and in a very emotional confession I discussed my family. I also began to talk about how I didn’t want to go in pieces. Those words sum up how I feel about my continuous struggle with Type 2 Diabetes but in a way the people who came up to me afterward made me feel empowered.
I don’t want to be the girl with Type 2 Diabetes in the same way I don’t want to be labeled with my cultural heritage only. Diabetes is only a facet of my life. It is a sliver in the puzzle that is Jessica, Awesome Tejana. It is about acceptance not badgering. It is about helping and healing families, bodies, and the fragile thing we call health.
At lunchtime, this amazing little girl, belted out Mariachi songs. It was beautiful and so much fun to see all the cultural nuances of Houston. I now know why people love to live there.
It was at this panel that a light bulb went off.
It really was the most informative, thought-provoking panel I attended that weekend. New mantras developed like “Everyone needs to learn a little coding.” and my fav about discussing ideas aloud “Someone needs to be there to call your baby ugly.” via Nuevo Labs which is, I believe, a business accelaration company.
I also enjoyed the mini discussion we had about minorities in Technology startups, women in coding, and even accessibility. There was a discussion of the Digital Divide which like education seems to not be shrinking.
I advocated for my city whenever possible. I wanted them to know “Hey, we are here!” in the exact same way that the Who’s on that darn poppy flower that Horton was carrying to safety screamed into the clouds.
We are that city precariously sitting on the edge of oblivion in the great Digital Shift. The only option we have is to take a chance, to be the innovators, and to stop sitting on the sidelines.
We need to educate our youth in STEM, create avenues and events to better serve our communities, and to re-mold our city. It is not always about building new buildings but creating a strew of technical entrepreneurship that will bring talent and keep talent where we need it most. In the Coastal Bend, the Brush Country, the Valley and Laredo.
I walked away literally shaking with I don’t know adrenaline, excitement, quien sabe. All I know is that I wanted to scream from the 28th floor “This is the Tejana and I am going to change the world.” or at least my part of Texas.
LATISM 12 was filled with passion.
Passion resonated from the speakers in their fields. It came from the hard work of the Houston Chapter of LATISM. Passion permeated from the attendees as we began to think about our next big movement.
Our next big thing…
What will your next big thing be?
See you at LATISM 13