The Importance of Communication In Different Spaces

Why understanding a group before joining is so important

Not everyone who joins a specific group falls under the descriptive category. In fact, I occasionally invite non-people of color to Black Girl Trekkin hikes. Some tag along excitedly, while others may shy away from the invitation. I love including people in spaces, but I make sure that the people I invite on hikes are respectful and take the time to learn about the group and the people who are in it.

I try to check my new messages and requests across all the social media accounts that I regularly manage for the groups and organizations I lead at least once a day. I watch as reaction emoji’s trickle in like the babbling brooks I love to post on my own Instagram stories. The majority of the time the messages are very positive. I’ll usually see polite questions about upcoming outdoor events and comments on how beautiful the images that I have shared from the hiking community. However, sometimes, I’ll get questions about whether people who identify as men can join the hikes that I lead for the Los Angeles chapter of the women’s group, Hiker Babes and I have to pause for a moment.

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Why I Became The Leader Of A Hiking Group

If you asked me a year ago if I would be the ambassador for the Los Angeles chapter of the international hiking group, Hiker Babes, whose mission is to unite women who share a passion for the outdoors into a community, I would have laughed. It’s not as though I haven’t led such as groups of writers, students, coworkers, and such before. However, I always left trail scouting and leading hikes up to the other hiking groups that I am also a member — especially the group, Black Girls Trekkin.’

It was with the group Black Girls Trekkin that I first attempted to do the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge. Before I was hiking with a team of badass women who climb mountains, I never would have thought that I would have been able to hike as long and as far as we have on some of these hikes. I think the two biggest lessons I learned was that, one: AllTrails is a tool to use, and two: with the help and advice of my wonderful and very supportive friends at Black Girls Trekkin’ I can totally lead a group of women out into nature safely.

It was also all my other outdoorsy friends that have motivated to do incredibly creative and intricate things such as a podcast. It was by first getting back into running outdoors and ultimately just returning to nature in college and hiking with other nature-loving people that have led me into this life of a wild mountain woman.  

So, when people ask me how, or why, did you become the leader of L.A. Chapter Hiker Babes, I try to give a short answer. I usually just say I did it because I love hiking and I was offered the role, but what I really want to tell them is how I started running so I could drink more at bars and eat street burritos, and it lead me to be in a national online campaign for an amazing shoe company and a hiking leader for an international community. I know better that it would take too long, though.

Update: Why I Left Hiker Babes

Year of Action and Fair Wages in SOTU

Photo by ktgeek via Flickr
Photo by ktgeek via Flickr

According to President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address which took place Tuesday, this is the “year of action.” The president reiterated some of his past legislative priorities by promising to close the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and to reform unemployment insurance, but he also spoke about developing regulations to limit carbon emissions at the nation’s power plants, MyRA, a new savings bond which would encourage citizens to save for retirement and, most notably, to increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 from $7.25. Continue reading “Year of Action and Fair Wages in SOTU”

Flying Over The Atlantic

Why We Still Need Strong Female Role Models

As Published by Miss Millennia Magazine

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“I am sure he said to himself, ‘Watch me make them scamper,’” she said. She stood her ground as the aircraft came close. “I did not understand it at the time, but I believe that little red airplane said something to me as it swished by.” –Amelia Earhart

Eighty-six years ago on a May 20-21 1927 a young pilot made the first solo transatlantic and first non-stop fixed-wing aircraft flight between America and mainland Europe. The Ryan monoplane aircraft named, Spirit of St. Louis, carried Charles A. Lindbergh 3,600 nautical miles from Roosevelt Field, New York to Paris–Le Bourget Airport, in 33 and a half hours. Five years later on May 20, 1932 another pilot made a solo transatlantic flight that spanned from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland to a pasture at Culmore, north of Derry, Northern Ireland, that lasted 14 hours and 56 minutes. Continue reading “Flying Over The Atlantic”

College: Take It with You When You Go

15325_wpm_hiresAs published by Miss Millennia Magazine.

It’s that time of the year when thoughts of self-reflection and planning for the hot days of summer come rushing like cool fresh water of a rapid river in to your mind. Your anticipation for the future is overwhelming and the possibility of new adventures feel just like the subtle changes of the coming season within the air. This time is also an important one for graduating seniors at the high school and college level. You think back at all the hours you have sat at wooden desks and metal tables and you wonder how it will all play a part in the time yet to come. As the realization of reality hits, you wonder about your career, and dare I say, you wonder if you will be successful. Continue reading “College: Take It with You When You Go”

Women and Politics

“I didn’t run to make history, I ran to make a difference,” said Wisconsin’s newly elected female and first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, but it’s probably safe to say that she is on her way to make history while accomplishing her goal to make a difference.

Senator Baldwin has not only carved her place in history by being first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate, but she was also a part of a group of powerful women senators-elect who won seats held by men.

Democrat, and U.S. Rep., Tammy Baldwin took an open Senate seat over Republican Tommy Thompson who had served 14 years as the state’s governor and was former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush. Republican Deb Fischer defeated Democrat Bob Kerrey, a former two-term senator from the state, for an open seat in Nebraska during 2012 election. Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard University professor whose attacks on Wall Street fueled her campaign, won her race against the Republican incumbent, Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts and was the first woman to represent her state in the U.S. Senate. Continue reading “Women and Politics”

Phenomenal People

phenomenal people

I was speaking with a fellow female who was feeling down and out the other day about the pains of being a woman. She saw the curve of her hips and the shape of her breasts as a curse upon women everywhere. I couldn’t help but feel incredibly sad for my fellow female, not only because she felt hated that she hated being a woman in general, but because she hated herself. I had to respond with the kind of wisdom that had uplifted me so many times before. And so, of course, I turned my attention to Dr. Angelou.

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Women Banned From Universities In Iran

Republished from PhillyD(dot)TV

Not being able to play football with the boys just sucks, but not being able to grow up and go off to a university is just plain sex-discrimination. That’s exactly what Iran has been up when it decided to officially approve of female students being barred from more than 70 university degree courses according to the Telegraph.

This obviously goes beyond not fair which is why Iran’s most celebrated human rights campaigner, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, demanding a UN investigation of Iran’s plan to have 36 universities make 77 BA and BSc courses in the coming academic year “single gender” and exclusive to men. Continue reading “Women Banned From Universities In Iran”

The Misogynistic PETA

Why PETA? Why do you always do this to the veg*n community.

For all of you non vegetarians and vegans out there, veg*n is a term used to describe both vegetarian and vegan people when you’re addressing them at the same time.

But besides all that, have you seen what the organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has done lately? These dimwits have done it again with another controversial ad that has done nothing but thrown women under the bus again.

I could half tolerate the raunchy sex ads that could kinda sort of be portrayed as a generalized sexual empowerment of vegetarians, but this—this—cannot fit in that category.

The girl is limping around in a damn neck brace.

I’ve been discussing with a lot of people lately about the mistreatment of women and the fact that women are still not treated as equal to their male counterparts. We don’t get paid the same amount as men, we don’t get treated the same as men, people always blame the female victim and let the male women-basher free to do whatever he pleases after he nearly beats a girl to death in a God damn car that she was trying to escape.

There is already a deeply rooted social stigma that brainwashes everyone into thinking that women are just some sex object that they can just use and the beat the crap out of like a used tissue when they are through.

I think it’s worse that an organization that I used to support way back then changed its goals from trying to fight for the rights of animals to being some trashy news spectacle out for controversial attention that just drags women further down the f#cking ladder.

Jesus PETA. I already have enough to worry about as a Black female, but any gain we made as veg*ns today are always getting pushed aside because of PETA. This “organization” has done more harm than good for both women and vegetarians and I wish they would just screw over some other group of individuals and leave us out of it. I don’t want to be associated with things like this PETA—so knock it off and go back to the way you were in the beginning when it was about the animals.