bay area natives

5

Raised by my Xingona mama and abuelita. Grew up with my father in prison. My mom worked 3 jobs throughout my childhood and still we sometimes struggled to put food on our plates, had to figure out which bills wouldn’t get paid certain months. I have witnessed so much death in my community as a result of gang violence, police brutality, health disparities and mental health issues. I am a survivor of violence (institutional, community, and partner) and battle anxiety and trauma every day.

I was the first in my family to go to college (I almost didn’t even go. My ballet folklorico instructor in high school pushed me to apply & I saved up my lunch money for 3 weeks to afford ONE college application.)
In 2011, after experiencing a severe mental breakdown, suicide attempt and academic dismissal, I returned & graduated with a double major in Chicanx Studies and African/ African-American Studies and minor in Social and Ethnic Relations. Went back to my community roots & put in hella work just like I had set off to do when I started this whole journey.

I am now the first in my family to also pursue graduate school and will be receiving my Masters degree in Chicanx Studies with a concentration in Comparative Ethnic Studies THIS WEEKEND.

I have dedicated my life work to creating healing praxis in which Ethnic Studies, art, and culture are tools for trauma informed approaches for educators working with youth of color who navigate systems of violence.

“It takes a long time for women to feel it’s alright to be chingona. To aspire to be a chingona!…You are saying, ‘This is my camino, this is my path and I’m gonna follow it….”- Sandra Cisneros

For all of the muxeres in my family, my first teachers in Chingona-ness… This is for them.

PhD., I’m coming for you next, boo boo. 💞

Merry Christmas! For Chris “Chowder” Chow, my fave Wellie, prince of babs, fictional goalie of my heart, a gift of holiday-appropriate SJ Sharks apparel (◡‿◡✿) 3 guesses which Samwell men’s hockey team upperclassman gifted him that (Bitty, it’s Bitty)

for those heretofore unacquainted, a gift from me to you: Check, Please! treat yourself and go read it, merry xmas, you’re welcome

Another thing about the Green Day concert in Oakland

While I was sitting outside the stadium in line, I could hear the band starting to rehearse inside. It was totally normal at first, I heard a few guitar riffs, then heard Billie screaming some un-articulated words. They played Youngblood and Longview and Too Young to Die, but then there was a really long silence, and after a few minutes, I thought they had stopped. But then, I hear this faint little “Waste another year flies by, waste a night or two…” and holy hell did my heart drop. It was barely audible in the beginning, but I looked to the other fans in line, and one or two of them had heard it too, so all of our heads were perked and ready to listen. Then the drums come in. And Billie’s voice again.

Long story short: Green Day played the song Homecoming for their homecoming concert before they opened the stadium doors. They didn’t play that song in concert that night (in fact, I’m not aware of anytime they’ve played Homecoming in concert). So yeah, I heard Green Day play Homecoming in our home town and I’m still fucking emotional about it because I am so fucking proud of being a Bay Area native.

y’all mind if i…. make a falsettos san francisco au in which marvin, trina, and jason have headed west in the hopes of leaving their problems behind, whizzer moved there from the midwest as soon as he turned 18, and mendel, cordelia and charlotte are natives? bay area culture runs rampant and there are many adventures on bart/muni and at mendel’s office in the haight-ashbury where he definitely does not give patients weed

Ryan Vasquez can currently be seen as Man 5 (James Reynolds/Philip Schuyler/Doctor) in the Angelica Tour production of Hamilton. He also understudies several roles including Hamilton, Burr, and Washington. He made his Broadway debut with Wicked and was in the OBC of Waitress. He has also appeared in several regional theater productions including West Side Story, Les Miserables, Next to Normal, and Legally Blond.

Ryan is a Bay Area native and received his BA in Musical Theater from the University of Michigan.

Ryan admits in his official bio that he laughs at his own jokes.

Ryan is dating Hamiltour castmate
Solea Pfeiffer (Eliza Schuyler). They began dating before either of them were cast in Hamilton.

Like much of the Hamiltour cast, Ryan is obsessed with the Nintendo Switch and often plays during intermission and between shows on two show days.

Ryan singing with Solea: https://youtu.be/RyiumJ18caI

Social Media: @itsryanvasquez
4

Peaceful Protest at the Trump Rally in San Jose CA..

-1st off I am a San Jose born and raised. My Abuelita is from Michoacan, and my Grandpa the same place.. But this is not about them.. Today I have the responsibility to set the record straight.. Yesterday during the protest I showed up in my friends car and we saw all the protestors walking towards us.. We were playing the song “F*ck Donald Trump” by Nipsey Hussle and YG, as they got close, I hopped out the car and we all started dancing and chanting “F*Ck DONALD TRUMP.” Yes I am the one with the white shirt.. People then jumped on the car and we had what we call in the Bay Area, a sideshow. Now the news would not show the positive energy of people dancing in the streets like our ancestors who would dance around a fire. In this dance there were Brown Panthers, Nortes, Surenos, Black and Brown Unity, Whites, Asians, Native, and all the other colors of the human palettes dancing and chanting. There was no violence at all. In fact even when we started to notice dents to the roof of the car, we asked people to get off and everyone obliged happily and laughed understanding that this was the only car we have.. They then began Chanting “F*ck Donald Trump” and went on with the protest walking down San Carlos st.. 

 -Now for the Bad Apples that started the fights I do not condone that.. On top of that, the media is not showing all the Trump Supporters tantalizing and taunting the peaceful protestors.. Now Violence is never the answer.. But the media will never show the Brown Panther telling people to be peaceful.. or the Trump Supporter talking shit to all the protestors and 4 young latina woman who were protesting kept people from throwing stuff at her.. Oh no the media like CNN, MSN, Huffington Post, Fox News, ABC, and etc.. They all want that WSHH ratings.. To show that in San Jose is a bunch of Savages.. We are not savages.. In fact most of the “Illegals” that you are talking about are 2nd up to 10th  generations in San jose.. 

-As for what happened after we left I could not tell you, except the bad apples that started acting up, were the 1st runs to run when the officers stepped in.. So do not blame everyone for what a few bad apples do.. That like saying because the KKK claim to be christian, we must assume all christians are racist.. Of course we all know that bs, so please, before you start going off on the subject that you do not know about.. Please figure how to talk to the locals.. Its 2016 we all have social media.. Hit me up if you got questions, concerns, or just want to chop it up.. I will set the records straight..

‘Hamilton’ star Daveed Diggs: Slam poetry saved my life 


At 4 a.m. Saturday, Daveed Diggs left the party celebrating his last performance in the Broadway blockbuster “Hamilton,” threw some clothes in a bag, and jumped a train for Washington.

A little over 12 hours later, he was at the Kennedy Center, emceeing the Brave New Voices Grand Slam Finals. “It’s not hyperbole when I say, I need this so bad right now,” he announced to deafening cheers from the audience.

The poetry slam is an annual competition for teenagers run by Youth Speaks, a nonprofit organization focused on youth education and the oral art of spoken word, or poetry recitation. This year’s event was huge, drawing more than 500 teens from all over the world. But when Youth Speaks was founded, in 1996, it mostly touched kids living in the Bay Area, including one Oakland native named Daveed Diggs.

“I had to make this happen,” Diggs said in an interview before taking the stage. “They would have loved me to finish out the weekend at ‘Hamilton,’ but I wanted to do this.”

Dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, with a baseball cap taming his mass of curly hair, he spoke thoughtfully about his youth and his artistic path, frequently flashing his signature wide grin.

Diggs was a student at Berkeley High School just as Youth Speaks was planting its roots in the neighborhood. The group, Diggs said, made poetry and spoken word just another teen activity, as common as parties or football games.

“It was a part of what you did growing up,” he said. “It was woven in the fabric of the community. I don’t think I realized how special that was until I left. I didn’t know that it wasn’t part of what everyone did when they were teenagers, which was to go watch your friends spit poems.”

As a result, Diggs ended up with a group of friends who all write and perform. When the 34-year-old accepted a Tony Award this year for his dual roles as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in “Hamilton,” he gave a shout-out to Rafael Casal and Chinaka Hodge, two Youth Speaks veterans he has been close with since his youth. Both also had roles in the festival.

In high school, Diggs participated in poetry slams co-organized by Youth Speaks. The group’s founder and executive director, James Kass, still remembers the first time he saw Diggs perform.

“I remember the intelligent nature of his work,” Kass said. “On the stage, he was dynamic. The same energy you see in ‘Hamilton’ now, that was evident when he was a young person.”

Diggs used to write his poems 10 minutes before a show on a notecard scribbled with thoughts and arrows connecting ideas. It wasn’t until Youth Speaks that he learned how to get organized, he said, and think about structure and word choice.

“I was a very good performer, but not a great writer,” he said. “Then Youth Speaks came in, and I got to see the poets they were working with, and they started working with the poets at Berkeley High School. I became very aware that the way they were teaching writing was great.”

Shortly after, he started to write rap songs using the techniques he had learned, forming and joining multiple hip-hop groups that eventually led to his meeting “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in Miranda’s freestyle group, Freestyle Love Supreme.

After graduating from Brown University in 2004, Diggs worked for Youth Speaks as a teacher, imparting the same lessons he had absorbed when he was a budding artist.

“I was really aware, even while it was happening, that the discovery of arts education in my life sort of saved my life,” Diggs said. “As a kid, you don’t have a ton of spaces where you are honored, where what you think is honored, and what you say is revered.”

The personal, political and intimate nature of spoken-word performance translated to his acting as well.

“Acting is about finding truth and finding the way to convey the truth,” he said. “These kids writing their own stories have such easy access to that. I do try to access what I learned from watching them when I’m acting. What are the ways to feel really honest? If it feels forced, it’s not going to work. It doesn’t matter if you wrote the words or not.”

Diggs hoped his presence at Brave New Voices would show the teens that they, too, could make a life from the world of poetry, hip-hop and performance.

“Maybe I can make them a little less stressed out about the future,” he said. “I was so stressed, man. When I was 17, I was so worried about what the hell was going to happen. Maybe it’ll take some of that stress away.”

Youth Speaks’s goal, Kass said, is to create a new generation of people who will define the culture of the future — just as Diggs is doing.

“Here’s a young person we’ve known who is now one of the hottest people in American theater,” Kass said. “Now he is speaking to an entire audience of people that could be him in 15 to 20 years.”

Diggs’s appearance at the festival wasn’t entirely selfless, however. He’s been in a “Hamilton” bubble for two years, and now he needs to recharge. For that, it made sense to return to where he came from, even if he was tired from pulling an all-nighter.

“The energy in the room is crazy,” he said, laughing. “It’s crazy. Every time I come to one of these things, I’m sweating and crying and laughing and screaming. It’s been a while since I was just in a room where kids were being brilliant and honest. I need this for myself. I really wanted to make sure I had the space to come here, and be inspired, and remember what this is like.”

nature.com
Plant and animal DNA suggests first Americans took the coastal route
Life came to ice-free Canadian corridor too late to sustain migrations of Clovis and pre-Clovis people.

Archaeologists need a new theory for the colonization of the Americas. Plant and animal DNA buried under two Canadian lakes squashes the idea that the first Americans traveled through an ice-free corridor that extended from Alaska to Montana.

The analysis, published online in Nature on 10 August and led by palaeo­geneticist Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen, suggests that the passageway became habitable 12,600 years ago1. That’s nearly 1,000 years after the formation of the Clovis culture — once thought to be the first Americans — and even longer after other, pre-Clovis cultures settled the continents.

Some 14,000 years ago, as North America was emerging from the last Ice Age, twin glaciers that blanketed central Canada receded, creating the ice-free corridor before the appearance of Clovis people across what is now the central United States. “That coincidence seemed too powerful to ignore,” says archaeologist and co-author David Meltzer of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. “People who have been cooling their heels in Alaska for thousands of years see this new land open up and they come blasting down this corridor into the new world.”

Persistent idea

The ice-free-corridor theory began to crack in the 1990s, when researchers made a case that humans lived at Monte Verde in Chile more than 14,000 years ago. The discovery of other possible pre-Clovis sites in North America further shook the theory that Clovis people were the first Americans. But the idea that their ancestors at least trekked through the corridor persisted, says Meltzer, even though there was little consensus on when the passage opened or when it became habitable. “It’s 1,500 kilometres. You can’t pack a lunch and do it in a day.”

To build a picture of the habitat as it crept out of the Ice Age, Willerslev’s team analysed DNA in cores taken from beneath two lakes in what was the last stretch of the corridor to melt. The first plant life — thin grasses and sedges — dates back just 12,600 years. The region later became lusher, with sagebrush, buttercups and even roses, followed by willow and poplar trees. This habitat attracted bison first, and later mammoths, elk, voles and the occasional bald eagle. Around 11,500 years ago, the corridor began to resemble the pine and spruce boreal forests of today’s landscape.

The region’s bounty must eventually have tempted hunter-gatherers. But the dates rule out its use as a corridor by Clovis people and earlier Americans to colonize the Americas, says Willerslev. Instead, both probably skirted the Pacific coast, perhaps by boat.

Loren Davis, an archaeologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, agrees: “Now that the ice-free corridor has been shown to be dead in the water — no pun intended — we can start to look at something like a coastal migration route.”

Other recent research has hinted that Clovis people and other early humans could not have moved through the ice-free corridor. In June, a team led by Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary palaeobiologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, sequenced ancient DNA from bison that lived to the north and south of the passageway and found that these populations were cut off from each other during the last Ice Age until at least 13,000–13,400 years ago, when they started mixing again2. Shapiro, too, now favours the theory of a coastal migration route for humans.

Pacific pit stops

Discovering sites along these routes won’t be easy, because most are now likely to be underwater. But this summer, Davis and his colleagues began surveying areas of the Pacific Ocean, such as former bays and estuaries that might have served as pit stops for the first Americans. In 2017, the team will start to collect marine sediments to look for signs of habitation, such as stone artefacts or ancient human DNA.

Willerslev hopes to be part of the searches, and thinks that recreating these once-coastal habitats through DNA sequencing could prove to be a valuable tool. The fact that early humans advanced to the Americas despite continent-sized glaciers standing in the way has also prompted him to rethink the conventional wisdom that early humans, like other animals, migrated solely in search of food.

“Just like people today are trying to reach the top of Mount Everest or the South Pole, I’m sure these hunter-gatherers were also explorers and curious about what would be on the other side of these glacier caps,” he says. “When you first reach California, why would you go further? Why not just stay in the Bay Area?”

At 4 a.m. Saturday, Daveed Diggs left the party celebrating his last performance in the Broadway blockbuster “Hamilton,” threw some clothes in a bag, and jumped on a train for Washington.


A little over 12 hours later, he was at the Kennedy Center, emceeing the Brave New Voices Grand Slam Finals. “It’s not hyperbole when I say, I need this so bad right now,” he announced to deafening cheers from the audience.


The poetry slam is an annual competition for teenagers run by Youth Speaks, a nonprofit organization focused on youth education and the oral art of spoken word, or poetry recitation. This year’s event was huge, drawing more than 500 teens from all over the world. But when Youth Speaks was founded in 1996, it mostly touched kids living in the Bay Area, including one Oakland native named Daveed Diggs.


“I had to make this happen,” Diggs said in an interview before taking the stage. “They would have loved me to finish out the weekend at ‘Hamilton,’ but I wanted to do this.”


[…]


In high school, Diggs participated in poetry slams co-organized by Youth Speaks. The group’s founder and executive director, James Kass, still remembers the first time he saw Diggs perform.


“I remember the intelligent nature of his work,” Kass said. “On the stage, he was dynamic. The same energy you see in ‘Hamilton’ now, that was evident when he was a young person.”


Diggs used to write his poems 10 minutes before a show on a notecard scribbled with thoughts and arrows connecting ideas. It wasn’t until Youth Speaks that he learned how to get organized, he said, and think about structure and word choice.


“I was a very good performer, but not a great writer,” he said. “Then Youth Speaks came in, and I got to see the poets they were working with, and they started working with the poets at Berkeley High School. I became very aware that the way they were teaching writing was great.”


Shortly after, he started to write rap songs using the techniques he had learned, forming and joining multiple hip-hop groups that eventually led to his meeting “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in Miranda’s freestyle group, Freestyle Love Supreme.


After graduating from Brown University in 2004, Diggs worked for Youth Speaks as a teacher, imparting the same lessons he had absorbed when he was a budding artist.


“I was really aware, even while it was happening, that the discovery of arts education in my life sort of saved my life,” Diggs said. “As a kid, you don’t have a ton of spaces where you are honored, where what you think is honored, and what you say is revered.”


[…]


Youth Speaks’s goal, Kass said, is to create a new generation of people who will define the culture of the future — just as Diggs is doing.


“Here’s a young person we’ve known who is now one of the hottest people in American theater,” Kass said. “Now he is speaking to an entire audience of people that could be him in 15 to 20 years.”


Diggs’s appearance at the festival wasn’t entirely selfless, however. He’s been in a “Hamilton” bubble for two years, and now he needs to recharge. For that, it made sense to return to where he came from, even if he was tired from pulling an all-nighter.


“The energy in the room is crazy,” he said, laughing. “It’s crazy. Every time I come to one of these things, I’m sweating and crying and laughing and screaming. It’s been a while since I was just in a room where kids were being brilliant and honest. I need this for myself. I really wanted to make sure I had the space to come here, and be inspired, and remember what this is like.”