My current projects advocating for racial and disability justice in our community…
Surviving Racism from womb to cradle: Assessing parent of color nicu satisfaction in oregon
Understanding parent of color NICU experiences is critical to inform and inspire advocacy efforts that hold medical institutions responsible for providing effective family- centered, trauma-informed and culturally-informed care. The aim of this statewide feminist participatory action research project is to better understand how institutional and medical racism shape the postpartum period in ways that either buffer adversity or confer risk for Black, Indigenous and families of color with premature infants. It utilizes mixed methods that are designed to be both process-oriented and outcome focused in order to support advocacy outcomes while also centering the racialized trauma of participants in ways that are therapeutic and beneficial to them in the process. It is being implemented by a team of women and gender diverse individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color working in reproductive justice. Specifically, it asks: How does racism at multiple scales affect parent of color NICU experience? What insights do their experiences reveal about medical institutional betrayal? How can medical institutions leverage their power to support and empower families of color? This research project is funded by Jennifer Freyd’s Center for Institutional Courage.
Community Care Squad
The community care squad is a mixed-race, collaboratively run group that supports Black, Indigenous and parents of color. Each month a recipient is nominated to receive care from the squad appropriate to their unique needs. Previous recipients have received massage, childcare, house cleaning and culturally-appropriate home cooked meals among other supports.
We are based on a feminist ethics of care that resists racism and patriarchy by caring for victims of systemic violence through concrete, actionable and emotionally responsive support. We address the embodied and emotional care needs of recipients, such as a need for rest, body work and nourishing food, which are typically repressed in capitalist societies and overlooked in social justice efforts that seek to provoke systemic change at a macro-level. Further, care needs are often framed individualistically within capitalism such that the onus of responsibility is placed on the individual to care for themselves (a.k.a. self care). Instead, we advocate for a model of community care that places the onus of responsibility on the collective to care for individuals of systemic violence.
Lift every voice: Songs of hope and healing
This project proposes to create an album comprised of individuals with voice disorders or disabilities that otherwise affect their voice. It was dreamed up by Leticia (who has a neurological disability affecting her voice) in collaboration with a local speech therapist and musician/producer. The project is designed to be process-oriented and outcome focused such that it will be therapeutic to participants while also supporting advocacy outcomes. As such, it features three interrelated aims. First, it will empower individuals with voice disorders while creating spaces of belonging where experiences of ableism can be processed. Second, it will raise awareness about voice disorders to improve quality of medical care and combat disability stigma. Third, any potential proceeds will be donated to DEI efforts in Oregon. To our knowledge, the album will represent the first of its kind. We are currently seeking funding for this endeavor. Please contact me if you would like to sponsor this project or know someone who may.
“Every interaction with Leticia asks me to grow, laugh, be courageous, and usually dance or sing too. There is no Being on this planet too small for Leticia’s dedication of love and care. Her presence beams through compassionate eyes, and her joyous laugh brings buoyancy to the important work she’s always on duty for. With skillful tact, her words ask us all to grow, and heal, and embody actions that allow others to do the same. I’ve never seen her fierce love waver. It’s there when she guides families into loving more wholly, or guides a group of white women in seeing their fragility that’s holding racism in place. It’s there when she honors the Earth and calls others to join. It reaches out into the community to give to those that give so much without the support of so many. Leticia has shown us how simple and joyful community care really is.” -CCS Member