LATISM’11, A Spiritual Experience?

November 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s been just over a week after the LATISM National Conference 2011. I spent the first few days recovering, and I’ve spent the last week or so catching up with my work and reaching out to those who I met at the conference. I met a lot of wonderful people and I made it a point to ask them for their thoughts about the conference.

“#latism11 was more than just an annual conference. It was an experience, a lifestyle, inspirational, something like no other. Connections were made, friends were made…Never have i been to an event that can be so life changing…” – Alcides Aguasvivas

I had one participant tell me that this was a spiritual experience. The conference affected each of us in different ways and it speak volumes about LATISM and the conference that we were able to invoke such deep feelings. I think I kept asking because I needed to validate what I was seeing and feeling was real and shared by others. For me, there were a few things that stood out and left an impression on me during the conference.

This was the first time that chapter directors and volunteers were in one place and worked together. It was amazing to see each person set aside self interest and do whatever it was necessary to make to conference a success. We put our titles aside and got to work. I think Ana put it best when she wrote on her conference recap that we had “Top bank programmers driving the shuttle? Elected officials registering people? Top marketers running crazy to fix signs?“ It was amazing to see the group come together for a common purpose and take ownership of different tasks and get them done and quickly move onto the next thing that needed to be done.

The LATISM group of directors is diverse group of individuals with varied careers and life experiences and that makes for very interesting conversation. I can honestly say that I had the most interesting conversations with several of the directors. I just wish I had more time to talk to more of you on an individual basis, but I guess there is always next year in Houston, TX. No doubt we have a group of talented chapter leaders.

Up to now I have not called out anyone by name, but I will do so for the next three persons I want to talk about. Before LATISM’11, I had only read about Dolores Huerta.  Her speech was such an inspiration. What she has done for farm workers and Latinos in general is invaluable. She is such a petit lady but a giant in courage, heart, and character. She is an icon in the Latino community. Nos enorgullese Señora Huerta.

I’ve had the opportunity to hear Ramon De Leon speak several times. He has been a LATISM supporter since the very beginning. But it’s always an experience to hear him speak. He is a Social Media visionary and a role model to our youth. Es un orgullo tener un gran representante de Social Media entre nosotros los Latinos. I think sometimes we take this for granted, but the conference help me realize how important this is.

“I have been to many conferences before. This one by far has been the best. The workshops were good and the quality of the keynote speakers unbelievable. It was nice to see how many young professionals and entrepreneurs we have in the community.“ – Carlos Aguasvivas

I don’t think we could’ve had a better speaker/performer for the closing ceremony. Tony Melendez is such an inspiration. Born without arms, he learned to play the guitar with his feet and has forged ahead as motivational speaker and performer. If Tony, with all the obstacles he has faced in his life, can have a bright outlook on life, why not us? The problems I encounter seem miniscule compared to those Tony has faced throughout his life. I cannot end without saying que eres un orgullo Guanaco, Tony.

Many attendees have told me that this has been the best conference they’ve been to. So I wondered why LATISM’11 was so different. I think it has to do with the people. This includes the attendees, panelists, moderators, speakers, volunteers, organizers and sponsors. Everyone had a genuine interest in bringing out the best in our community. And let’s not forget the Latino spirit. Where else are you going to get a day full of learning, inspiration and parranda all wrapped into one? I’ve never seen dancing at another conference. It’s that uniqueness that made LATISM’11 the success that it was.

Last but not least, We owe a huge thank you to the sponsors. Without them, we couldn’t have had the opportunity to meet, collaborate, make friendships, hear Dolores Huerta speak, hear Ramon speak, be inspired by Tony Melendez, and enjoy that what makes us Latinos. So here it goes, I big Thank you, Gracias, and Merci to our sponsors.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I hope to see everyone next year in Houston.

Occupy Wall Street: It’s not about the occupiers, it’s about us

November 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

Yesterday, the Zuccotti park occupiers were displaced by the NYC Police Department. Given that I work so close to the park, I’ve had the opportunity to walk through it several times and observe what was happening there. And that’s when it occurred to me. Occupy Wall Street is not about the occupiers, it’s about us.

What I mean by this is that although the occupiers are making all the noise, even now when they have been displaced. It is up to us to demand real change. The occupiers have been, are, and will continue to be there to continue to bring awareness to the issue, but it is us who must speak with our wallets, actions, and collective voice. We have not seen social uprising at this level since the sixties. So, many people haven’t experienced what it is to go against the grain. I’ve personally experienced social uprising that led to civil war. By no means do I mean to imply that what is happening here is the same, but it does add perspective. What is at stake here is not our lives, as was the case in El Salvador in the eighties, but our livelihood and as such we must defend it even if it means going against the grain.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been gaining momentum since its inception two month ago. It has spread across the country and across the world. It clearly touches the lives of many, hence the potential for profound change not seen in the US in a very long time. It’s also no coincidence that the critics of the movement are not as vocal. To do so would be to undermine the collective voice of the majority. I have yet to hear an argument against the Occupy Wall Street movement that passes muster.

It is up to us to demand real change. Occupy Wall Street is about us.

WordPress Workshop at the LATISM National Conference by Yours Truly

November 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

This weekend I’m visiting the family in Montreal because next week I will be very busy for the latter half of the week. I will be attending the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) Conference in Chicago, September 9 – 11.

Not only will I be an attendee, but I will also be staffing the conference, tweeting and live blogging some of the sessions. If that wasn’t enough, I will also be doing a couple of WordPress workshop sessions:

Workshop Title: WordPress Beyond the Basics

What you will learn in this workshop:

  • How to install WordPress
  • How to work with themes, widgets and plugins
  • Popular plugins for popular uses
  • Integration with Google Analytics
  • Speeding up your WordPress installation with caching plugins
  • SEO Quick Tips
  • How to host multiple blogs with WordPress multisite
  • I’m really looking forward to connecting with other like minded Latinos from around the country.

    Learn more about the conference here

    Learn more about LATISM here

    This blog runs on WordPress. Learn more about it here

    Where Am I?

    You are currently viewing the archives for November, 2011 at Curtido y Salsa.