Multicultural Vida

Highlights of 2019

Every year I write my highlights of the year on this blog so I can look back and think of all the things I accomplished. I find that it helps me remember that (despite thinking the contrary) it’s been a pretty good year.

I find that by December we are pretty much exhausted and so it’s easy to think “What have we done all year? Where has this year gone?!” so writing out accomplishments in this list of highlights is a good way to remember the cool and exciting things that have happened. 

Before the highlights… the lowlight… 

Before I do that, I want to say, this year has been the hardest year for me in terms of being a mom. When I quit my job I knew I wanted to spend more time with my kids, and I love being able to be around for the early pick ups and the days when they are sick– but, being at home is SO much harder than I ever thought it would be! 

And, the thing is, we don’t talk about it enough. We don’t talk how hard it is to be a SAHM or a WAHM. I am not interested in saying one type of mom works more than another, or that one mom has it harder than the other… being a mom is f*cking hard. FULL STOP.

There are many moms that love being with their kids all the time, and I realized I am not that kind of mom… and that is OK. I am a better mom when I can work on my own projects, when I can work outside the home a bit, and when my kids are in camp and daycare.

This summer when my daughter would whine or want to be breastfed (because I tried weaning her 3 times before I actually was able to) I felt like there was a woodpecker pecking in my mind. This summer was one of those summers where I needed to end my day with a little hard lemonade (habit which I forced myself to stop doing because, well I didn’t think drinking at the end of the day was a great way to start off the school year, and I didn’t want to be dependent on hard lemonade to feel relaxed). 

Soooo let’s talk about HIGHLIGHTS SHALL WE?? Because 2019 was really hard and I’m glad it’s over but also, let’s celebrate the awesome moments. 
highlights of 2019

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2019 

All that to say, 2019 was a HARD YEAR! BUT– there was some pretty cool and memorable moments and I’m excited to share them here. 

Celebrated Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ election in Washington DC! 

On Jan 6th we got up bright and early to head to DC to celebrate AOC being sworn in to the 114th Congress, as the youngest Latina ever in the most diverse House of Representatives ever! 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#Latinas on the Hill! It’s a girl from the Bronx and a girl from Queens. One is more famous than the other 😆 , but both are from the fabulous NY-14! All jokes aside, Thank you @ocasio2018 For being an inspiration to #Latinas and #WOC all over the USA! Somewhere a little girl is watching you and thinking that she can be you when she grows up. You’re an inspiration to us all for your courage, your humility, your perseverance, your strength, for speaking truth to power. Stay strong and don’t let the other side intimidate you. Thank you for working to improve the lives of our families and our communities in NY14 and all over the USA! #powerlatinas #116congress #thehill #cannonbuilding #ocasio2018 #houseofrepresentatives #wocpodcasters #femalepodcasts #waglove #weallgrow

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The Nation at Hope Report with the Aspen Institute was Released 

Two years ago I started my work with the Aspen Institute on social emotional learning. I was part of the Parent Advisory panel and we worked on a document on what we as parents wanted to see in social emotional learning in schools. 

In January policymakers, educators, researchers, advocates and parents got together in Washington DC to unveil final report entitled Nation at Hope. 

You can read the findings of the entire report here: nationathope.org 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Make sure to check out the report now available! Read it, share it with your principals, school boards, DOE, parents! You can read it: Read the full report at: nationathope.org #Repost @danporterfield ・・・ Today, the @aspeninstitute and @aspensead released a major report on the future of American education with recommendations for the wholehearted pursuit of the social, emotional, and academic development of every child. What I love about this report is that it looks at the whole student and that its fundamental supposition is that our young people—the future of this country—are a collection of assets and talents and cultures and drives and resilience and aspirations and hope. That is to say, this report takes an asset-based approach to drawing out the greatness in our young people—and those assets include the students’ families, their emerging identities, their emotional makeup, and, in so many cases, the success strategies that the adults who love them use to bolster their confidence in a society that too often privileges wealth, power, and certain norms of gender or race or ability. Nothing could be more important for our society. We must give our children an ownership stake in this democracy. We must provide the kind of holistic education to and through college and career that propels young people into lives of meaning and purpose in the pursuit of a more perfect union. Read the full report at: nationathope.org #nationathope

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Headed West to the Alt Summit in Palm Springs, California! 

I got the chance to attend Alt Summit in Palm Spring this year thanks to WeAllGrow. 

The event is all about elevating women’s voices. It was created by Gabby Blair, aka Design Mom (You may know her from her viral tweets on abortion being caused by irresponsible ejaculations, I.e. men). 

Gabrielle Blair and Diana Limongi at Alt Summit 2019

Represented New York with ZEROTOTHREE at Strolling Thunder 

ZERO TO THREE is a great organization that works to make sure all babies have everything they need to thrive. They work on policy, research and more. Every year they host an event called Strolling Thunder in Washington D.C. where they bring a family from every state to share their struggles in parenting. Some families spoke about paid leave, others about health care. I was there to represent NY and to speak to my elected officials about affordable childcare. 

The event is great! My daughter and I traveled with my mom, who helped with her while I went to some advocacy training to prepare for our meetings. Then we storm Capitol Hill with our babies in their strollers! My representatives were busy but I spoke to their aides. It was a great day! 

For more information on Strolling Thunder click here. 

 EN ESPAÑOL: LAS FAMILIAS NECESITAN CUIDADO INFANTIL ACCESIBLE 

Embraced my Guerrera Spirit at WeAllGrow in Long Beach, California

After a couple of years of being unable to attend, 2019 marked the year I was able to go to WeAllGrow again! 

WeAllGrow is a gathering of Latina entrepreneurs and digital creators in California. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Back home after #WeAllGrow and I haven’t even begun to process it all, so until I do— I am just going to leave this work of art and talk about how inspiring this GUERRERA portrait was. Spending time with so many talented, driven, spiritual, woke, go-getting, diosas, brujas, sabias, lobas, guerreras moved my soul, reenergized and inspired me. Nothing happens by chance so if you got to be there, if you met people, if you heard something or were part of something at WaG that moved you, that is exactly how it was supposed to be. Remember what @paulocoelho said… the universe conspires to help you get you exactly what you want. Keep shining and changing the world #Latinas! This art is by @thebrooklynbruja #powerlatinas #alphalatina #cincuentañeros #weallgrowlatina

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Raised My Voice for Accessibility in NYC with Up-Stand 

When the founder of Up-Stand asked me to speak at a rally on their behalf I feel what I usually feel when asked to speak in public. Excitement and fear. (aren’t those practically the same?) Excited for the opportunity and then a tiny bit of me wants to say no out of fear. But, again, this year was the year when I promised myself that I would get out of my comfort zone and say yes to things that make me a bit uncomfortable, not let fear get in the way. So I said yes. Here’s a bit of what I said. 

“The lack of accessible subway stations means parents who need strollers are confined to their neighborhoods. It limits our lives, it makes us waste time, and the worst thing, it hits the poorest New Yorkers the hardest.

The lack of accessible subway stations means that we have to carry strollers up and down stairs in dangerous conditions, hoping that we won’t slip and fall, hurting ourselves or our babies, or worse, dying like #MalaysiaGoodson did earlier this year.
Riding the subway is stressful enough.

Without accessible train stations, thousands of parents and people with disabilities struggle to live their every day lives. Simple tasks such as going to the doctor and shopping mean much planning, headaches and stress. There is no reason why we cannot modernize our stations and move toward a more inclusive transit system. Other cities are doing, why can’t NYC?

We have to make New York City a family friendly city, a welcoming city for tourists, but more importantly, a safe and inclusive city for New Yorkers with disabilities.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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2019 was a year where I worked hard to get out of my comfort zone! 

Hiked in New Jersey with Recla.ma

I met Cindy from Recla.ma at WeAllGrow. I kept bumping into her and finally I thought, “OK this must be a sign, I should go hiking with her.” Well she said, I was in luck. There was a summer solstice retreat coming up in my neck of the woods, New Jersey.

I was excited for the possibility of going on the retreat, but I wasn’t very excited about driving to Jersey. See, after an accident I had on the highway in 2004 (thankfully no one was hurt) I have a thing about driving on the highway. It makes me very anxious. But, one of my goals for 2019 was to drive more. So after trying and trying unsuccessfully to find someone I could carpool with I thought to myself “You can do this.” So, I drove to Jersey (even picking up a friend along the way!) and I drove back! 

I am happy that my fears didn’t get in the way of having a really great experience. You can read more about my experience on the Recla.ma summer solstice retreat here. 

Cindy also has a New Year’s hike coming up, so head to Recla.ma’s Instagram and get all the info there. 


 

READ RELATED: HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018 

Celebrated LOVE IS LOVE! 

Where will you feel so much love and happiness? At NYC’s Gay Pride March! We marched, danced and celebrated. It was the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and the love was palpable. 

Gay_Pride_March_NYC_2019-love-is-love

Storytelling at the Century Foundation’s event, “The Personal is Political.”

When 2019 began I told myself that I wanted to do things out of my comfort zone this year. I told myself that I would accept the opportunities that came my way even if they were a little scary. So, when MomsRising asked me if I wanted to be part of a panel as a storyteller to talk about affordable childcare, I was a bit scared but I told myself that I had to do it, so I did. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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So I did thing last night. I was part of a storytelling event at The Century Foundation. They wanted a mom to discuss how policy affects #motherhood, affording a family. The theme was #politicsispersonal. I said yes to the invitation bc I believe in saying yes to any opportunity to share stories; #storytelling is so powerful. also I have been trying to do things that are out of my comfort zone! BUT I have to be honest, I was so nervous about getting onstage. I’m sure I forgot some important point I really wanted to make. I got more comfortable as I could d see people in the audience nodding their head in agreement. Use your voice! Share your story! I guarantee you that you will touch at least one person, you’re never the only person experiencing something! When was the last time you did something that scared you? #parenting #motherhood #momactivist #activistmama #poderosas #risers #mamaslatinas #weallgrow #latinaspoderosas

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My podcast was named one of the best Latinx podcasts on Oprah Mag!

O.M.G. This happened. 

I was in amazing company (with some of my fave podcasts like Latina to Latina) in this list of the best Latinx podcasts on Oprah Magazine (this means I’m a degree closed to meeting Oprah amirite?!).

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Less than a year ago, before I was ready because I didn’t know much about #podcasting at all, I decided to just do it before I was ready (following my friend and mentor @lorrainecladish’s advice) and learn as I go, And I launched my latest project in Nov 2018: my #podcast #ParentingAndPolitics. Last week we were featured on @oprahmagazine! The podcast looks at how our parenting is affected by politics (a lot!) May mission is to inform, empower and inspire parents. My guests are movers and shakers who are working to make our country a better place for families and our children. 20 episodes in we have discussed early childhood education with @parentingexpert, social emotional learning with @timothyshriver, activist fatigue with @carustol, the power of Black moms with @monifabandele, what seeking asylum looks like for families with @immfamtogether and much more! I want to invite you to check it out, we always end the episodes with action plans and reasons to be hopeful! Happy September! #wocpodcast #femalepodcasts #shepodcasts #weallgrow #poderosas #bethechange #mkbkids

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Joined forces with 123Andres to money for Immigrant Families Together! 

I was blown away when I read the NYTimes article about Julie Schwietert Collazo’s efforts to reunite families, and then one day at a dinner party with other ladies in my community I MET HER. And it was activist love at first sight. So, when 123 con Andrés posted on Twitter about helping separated families I reached out and together we put together a fun bilingual concert for kids in NYC to support IFT. 

The concert raised over $1,200 to support the great work of Immigrant Families Together. 

If you want to donate to IFT visit here and check out my favorite organizations to support here. 

RELATED: LISTEN TO JULIE SHARE ALL ABOUT HOW IFT HELPS ASYLUM SEEKING FAMILIES HERE. 

Immigrant Families Together concert

The power of manifestation: I met Dolores Huerta and Alicia Menendez! 

I believe in writing things down and visualizing to make them happy. Earlier this year I wrote a post about how I hoped to meet Dolores Huerta one day… if you don’t know who she is, you should know about her! Dolores Huerta is a kickass activist who fought alongside Cesar Chavez for farmworker rights. Today, she fights for immigrant rights, voting rights and other issues. She is 89 years young and she is a force to be reckoned with, still marching and chanting “Sí se puede.” She is the mom of 11 kids and she shows no signs of stopping. Basically I want to be like her when I grow up (except, no I don’t want 11 kids, lol). 

In another post I wrote that I admired Alicia Menendez (she’s the host of Latina to Latina podcast and a brilliant journalist, and author of The Likeability Trap) 

and that I hoped to meet her one day. So, when Latina to Latina podcast posted that they were going to be recording an episode LIVE with Dolores Huerta I was PSYCHED. Except when I found out it was going to be in New Jersey. GULP. I bought my ticket for the event but I was still on the fence about driving to Seton Hall. Then, the day before the event I saw that it was supposed to rain all day. So, now not only did I have to drive to Jersey but I had to drive in the RAIN. All things that I dislike. I thought about not going. But, then I knew that I would stay home and later regret not having gone to meet some of my sheroes. So, I braced myself and drove to Jersey. and I met BOTH of them and it was MAGIC. 

I shared my story about raising bilingual kids on Latinas on CUNY TV. 

This summer I was excited to hear from Gisela Alcantara Sanders from Latinas on CUNY TV who wanted to interview me about raising bilingual kids. I loved being able to share my experience because raising bilingual kids is very important to me. Check out the piece! 

(If you want to check out my articles on Raising Bilingual Kids click here). 


 

So friends, are you ready for 2020?? It’s going to be a big year! Rest up because we are going to need it! We have to get to work to make the country a better place! 

What are your accomplishments this year? Leave them in the comments! 

Diana Limongi
Diana a mom, activist, nonprofit professional, podcaster and writer from Queens, NY. She writes about motherhood, activism, raising my multilingual kids, culture and travel. She and her multicultural family live in Queens, NY.

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