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brid.tv and playerid – Here’s What You Missed If You Didn’t Attend This Year’s #WeAllGrow Summit

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The 2019 #WeAllGrow Latina Summit brought together more than 500 influential leaders, creators and storytellers on a mission to elevate the voices and stories of Latinas through the power of community. The annual three-day event gives attendees the opportunity to build their networks and work on skills like creating an engaging social media feed and growing an online business.

This year’s tickets sold out in a record-breaking three hours and six minutes. If you weren’t able to score a ticket this time, here’s what you missed. And be sure to read to the end, where we’ll give you information on how to live these 15 favorite moments from this year’s We All Grow with the digital pass — at a discounted price.

1. The #WeAllGrow Summit kicked off with a special performance by Las Cafeteras during the welcome party.

#WeAllGrow attendees kicked off the annual summit with a fun night of dancing and music by Afro-Mexican band, Las Cafeteras. The East LA-native group fuses hip-hop, cumbia and rock genres with spoken word and zapateado dancing to help celebrate different cultures and bring communities together.

They’ve previously shared the stage with acclaimed Mexican singer-songwriter Lila Downs and other major acts like Juanes and Talib Kweli.

2. Attendees enjoyed a tasty breakfast in bed by #WeAllGrow’s Changemakers Collective.

#WeAllGrow attendees didn’t have to go very far to have a tasty breakfast in the morning. The Changemakers Collective provided everything to fuel a full day’s worth of workshops and networking.

3. Stressed? No worries. The event provided a calming and energizing morning yoga session with Jennifer Ibarra.

Yoga instructor and CEO of MindfulMamis, Jennifer Ibarra led a group morning yoga session to calm nerves and help set the tone for the rest of the day. Ibarra believes in connecting with others on a soul level.

During the morning session, she used her peaceful voice to lead poses and stretches to reach both the hearts and minds of attendees.

4. An audience fist pump session with #WeAllGrow storyteller Veronica Castagno.

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The past couple of days have been a total extreme rollercoaster, just like the story of my life. I like to say that my life is a tango, all drama, all passion. For some reason, since the moment I found out I was going to be a storyteller on @weallgrowlatina Summit, I took it as if it was one of the most defining moments of my life. That’s how it felt since day one and like every project I do, I had to do it obsessively good, as good as I can possibly make it. And I wanted to be 1000% myself, even if that means being a lion, throw fire, a warrior that will stand up every time she gets punched to the floor. But to be 1000% myself, I had to let go of all my fears: what are they going to think of me if they see ME, with all my fire and all my lights? What will happen when they find out that I’m so much more than the fun girl who makes cakes? Will I be embraced or rejected? That scared me extremely. But 1 hour before getting into that stage, all the fears disappeared and I was ready… to roar, to throw fire, to do kickboxing, to be the fighter I am and to show all my true colors. With my immense strength and my most honest vulnerability. There was a moment when I broke down, talking about something that was heartbreaking, the moment I left my mom and my dad to chase my dream… everyone in the audience started chanting my name… like in a soccer stadium! Vero! Vero! Vero! 🏆🔥 I never in my life felt more accepted and embraced! That’s what the community of @weallgrowlatina that @laflowers created 5 years ago is. The most loving, empowering women who will lift you up if you fail and let you be their guide if you can somehow inspire them. I’m counting the minutes until I get this video so I can share with everyone. Right now, I’m still digesting felling overwhelmingly grateful to @weallgrowlatina and @wordpressdotcom for this unique and magical opportunity. I climbed another 🏔and built another 🚁! I want to see all of you FLY too! 💫☄️🥊 . ESPAÑOL en primer comentario #storyteller #weallgrow #wordpressdotcom #poweredbywordpress #inspiring #uplifting #motivational #latinablogger #youtubecreator #youtubelatino #latinabloggers #bold #fierce

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YouTuber and 2019 #WeAllGrow Storyteller, Veronica Castagno energized the audience with fist pumps before sharing her inspiring personal story. Castagno is a self-taught pastry chef and owner of Vero Sweet Hobby.

With nearly 130,000 followers on Facebook and over 70,000 subscribers on YouTube, Castagno has established herself as a leader in online bilingual desert and pastry tutorials.

#5. WeAllGrow Latina Network founder Ana Flores led an incredibly inspirational fireside chat.

During a talk with #WeAllGrow founder Ana Flores, Oscar-nominated actress Yalitza Aparicio opened up about how the lack of Latina representation in film fueled her desire to succeed. Aparicio is best known for her role as Cleo in Alfonso Cuaron’s critically-acclaimed film Roma.

As the first Indigenous American woman to ever be nominated for an Academy Award, Aparicio is a trailblazer and symbol of strength for all Latinas.

6. Yalitza Aparicio accepts the inaugural #WeAllGrow Changemaker award.  

After the fireside chat, Yalitza Aparicio was awarded #WeAllGrow’s inaugural Changemaker Award for her efforts in promoting indigenous representation in the media and the fair treatment of domestic workers. This year’s award was a hand-painted portrait of the actress by Latinx artist Denise Cortes.

A tear-filled audience cheered as Aparicio graciously accepted the award and thanked the #WeAllGrow team and its attendees.

7. The event also ensured there was a place for attendees to get pampered and Dove was there to style and freshen up people’s hairstyles.

Dove’s on-site hair lounge ensured picture-perfect curls in between workshops and sessions. Creative director and fashion stylist Sherly Tavarez made sure to stop by the hair lounge for a few touch-ups and encouraged attendees to join in.

The hair lounge featured hair artist Leonardo Rocco and Dove favorites like their Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo.

8. Snacks were provided by California Strawberries.

Who says salsa can’t be sweet? California Strawberries served a mouthwatering strawberry salsa using simple, fresh ingredients. With California’s special climate, it’s no surprise to hear that the state produces 90% of America’s favorite fruits, strawberries.

This energizing snack had attendees lining up for seconds, que rico!

9. A mobile Latinx bookstore by Alegria Magazine was parked to promote Latinx authors.

Alegria Magazine parked its mobile bookstore at the summit and displayed the work of influential Latinx authors. The bookstore was started by Alegria founder Davina A. Ferreira and aims to help teach kids and youth about Latinx storytellers.

Authors also dropped by for book signings and photos throughout the event.

10. Kim Guerra got people to stand on their feet after sharing inspiring words during #WeAllGrow’s poetry slam hour.

Author and poet Kim Guerra took the stage to share an inspiring message about the importance of self-love in the first-ever #WeAllGrow Poetry Slam Hour presented by Curated by FB and UnidosUS. She was joined by Yesika Salgado, Melania-Luisa Marte, Kim Mercado, Melizza Lozado-Olivia and moderator Nicoletta de la Brown.

Attendees were left feeling proud, inspired and motivated.

11. Did we mention there were churros? A delicious collaboration between La Lechera and LA’s Churro Catering Service gave everyone the munchies.

La Lechera and LA’s Churro Catering Service joined forces to host a churro stand with decadent La Lechera sweetened condensed milk and endless golden churros. The brand also ran a #ToqueSweet Instagram contest that had attendees snapping pics while indulging in their treats.

Congrats to the lucky winner!

12. #WeAllGrow Latina Summit always provides field trips and this year part of the group headed over to YouTube’s LA headquarters.

Attendees went on a full tour of YouTube’s LA headquarters, had a VR experience and watched a panel discussion with Doralys Britto, Dulce Candy and Jenny Lorenzo.

The day was filled with laughing and learning, and aspiring influencers were left feeling empowered and motivated to create their best content. ¡Se pusieron las pilas!

13. Self-esteem is important and this year there was a self-esteem workshop with a surprise Instax camera giveaway.

Those who participated in the Dove Self-Esteem Workshop left with great skills, practices and free Instax cameras. During the workshop, attendees became mentors for local girls from the Boys & Girls Club.

Together, they participated in an important conversation about self-esteem and beauty standards.

14. Dove also provided a custom perfume station for a personalized scent experience.

Dove brought a custom perfume station to #WeAllGrow and gave attendees a memorable scent experience. With fine fragrance and essential oils by Sarah Horowitz Parfums, creating a unique formula was fast, simple and fun.

What better way to recall the wonderful memories made at #WeAllGrow than with a mood-boosting, personalized perfume.

15. Every corner of the event was instagrammable, including these inspirational neon signs.

The mitú and FIERCE by mitú corner was the place to lounge, gather with your comadres to take photos under these inspirational neon signs and shop!

Don’t you have major fomo? On top of all of these activations, there were countless workshops that provide valuable information on networking, entrepreneurship and overall just how to make bigger moves. If you missed out on the event or couldn’t attend all of the sessions — or if you want to give this experience as a gift, there’s a Digital Pass that exists! The Digital Pass gives you access to full HD videos of select keynotes, panels and workshops. You’ll also gain early access to #WeAllGrow Summit 2020. PS, if you purchase now, you’ll purchase at a discounted price!

Click here to learn more about the incredible offers that come with the digital pass.

Ahead of Her Time: The Incredible Life of Sylvia Rivera

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Ahead of Her Time: The Incredible Life of Sylvia Rivera

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You may not remember her name or face, but you will remember her extraordinary story and the legacy she has left behind for marginalized members of the gay community. Orphaned at three and homeless by ten, Sylvia Rivera likely never anticipated that she would one day become an icon for the LGBTQ community. No, at the age of ten Sylvia was simply trying to survive on the tough and unrelenting streets of New York in the 1960s. This is the story of a life rooted in activism–whether she knew it all along or not–the story of one woman simply trying to live her life authentically. This is the incredible life story of LGBTQ icon Sylvia Rivera.

The Early Years

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Born Ray Rivera Mendosa in the Bronx, New York, on July 2nd, 1951, Sylvia was abandoned by her father at birth; her mother committed suicide when Sylvia was three. This left her grandmother to raise her, despite abuela’s disapproval of her darker skin tone and feminine behavior. 

Going Against the Grain

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Sylvia was forced into the margins of society because of her refusal to conform to gender norms. At the time, the term “transgender” wasn’t commonly known–people choosing to shun conventional gender norms were simply referred to as drag queens, transvestites, transsexuals, or simply “queers.” Still, Sylvia refused to hide and openly wore makeup in the 4th grade, leaving her to be bullied both in school and at home. At the age of ten, Sylvia had had enough and chose to run away from home.

Life on the Streets

@queeringpodcast/Instagram

She made her home on 42nd street, taking on the role of a sex work in order to survive and getting taken in by a family of trans women who taught her how to get by. Life was difficult–to say the least–for a queer gender-nonconforming person of color, especially one still a child. Her time on 42nd street would later influence her activism for the marginalized members of the gay community.

Meeting Marsha

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Then one day something happened that would change Sylvia’s life forever. She was simply trying to drum up some business when she spotted Marsha P. Johnson–a gorgeous older Black trans woman who took Sylvia out for dinner, showed her how to apply her makeup and gave her tips for getting by on the streets. The two quickly became friends and remained so for the rest of their lives.

Riot in the Streets

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On June 28th, 1969, violent confrontations broke out between police and gay rights activists outside of the Stonewall Inn–a gay bar in Greenwich Village. The police had been in the process of raiding when patrons started to fight back, giving rise to an international gay rights movement.

The Beginning of What’s to Come

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Where does Sylvia fit into the Stonewall Riots? It is rumored that she threw the first brick. Just seventeen years old at the time, Sylvia was with Marsha when the riots started and is credited with one of the most famous quotes from the event: “I’m not missing a minute of this. It’s the revolution!” 

What Happens Next

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After Stonewall, Sylvia became part of the emerging gay rights movement–albeit at a time when transgender people were not particularly welcomed. Her role in gay history eventually resulted in her being one of the first people to highlight that the movement itself needed to be more inclusive. 

To Boldly Go

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Despite the adversity Sylvia would repeatedly face, she continued to get involved however she could, using her outsider status to help make a change. She was bold and brave, willing to go to great lengths to ensure her message was received–including being willing to get arrested even though she was a transgender woman of color and would face unimaginable difficulties in prison.

A Daring Escapade

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At one point when New York City Council was debating a gay rights bill, Sylvia tried to climb into a window (in a dress and heels) to have her say. She was subsequently arrested yet still earned the title of “the Rosa Parks of the Modern Transgender Movement” for all of her efforts.

Activism and Adversity

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Sylvia was also an early member of the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) and the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), however, these groups were largely made up of gay white males who, seeking wider acceptance, started to distance themselves from important transgender issues Sylvia wanted to address.

Being “Other”

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Sylvia began to feel shunned in the gay liberation circles. Her multiple marginalized identities created a sense of Otherness that made the community see her as dangerous.

The Sit-In that Started it All

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In 1970 the GAA was using Weinstein Hall at NYU to host “Dance-a-Fair” fundraisers for services in the gay community. There was much controversy from the NYU administration which eventually led to a sit-in for five days and ended with New York City’s Tactical Police Squad ordering the occupiers out. Sylvia refused and had to be carried out by police.

A STAR is Born

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As a result Sylvia, with the help of Marsha P. Johnson, founded STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) and opened a shelter for homeless transgender youth.

A Spark of Hope

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Shortly after forming STAR, Sylvia heard of an uprising being led by the Young Lords–a revolutionary Puerto Rican group–against police brutality. Sylvia, along with other members of STAR, marched alongside the Young Lords in Spanish Harlem. Sylvia was happily surprised by the respect they were shown by the Young Lords and was quick to join them in solidarity, starting a Gay and Lesbian Caucus that worked within the group.

More Challenges

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STAR House, unfortunately, received no help from the gay community, forcing Sylvia to work the streets in order to keep the youth under her wing off of them. Despite her best efforts to provide a home for marginalized transgender youth, Sylvia was evicted from the derelict building that was STAR House.

One Last Hurrah

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Once more Sylvia found herself fighting against gay activists in order to be heard. She forced her audience to listen as she described the abuse her people endured whilst simultaneously chastising the activists for their abandonment. Sadly, this would be the last of her involvement for decades as she slipped away into a quiet life in Tarrytown.

Well-Deserved Recognition

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In 1984, despite past feelings of antipathy from the GAA and the GLF, Sylvia was “rediscovered” and awarded a place of honor in the New York City gay pride march to acknowledge the 25th anniversary of Stonewall. She reported feeling like she’d been taken off the shelf and dusted, but nevertheless, she was seen by those she’d spent her life fighting for.

The End of an Era

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In 1992, Marsha P. Johnson passed away, causing Sylvia’s life to go off the rails. Once again without a roof over her head, Sylvia lived near Greenwich Village on an abandoned pier. Eventually, she quit drinking and rejoined the movement, even trying to restart STAR in 2001. Unfortunately, though, Sylvia died of liver cancer a year later at the age of 50, continuing to advocate even from her deathbed.

Her Legacy Lives On

@sylviariveralawproject/Instagram

Sylvia died much in the way that she lived–fighting for what she believed in. Her memory lives on through the Sylvia Rivera Law Project that “works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence.”

A Life to Remember

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Long before Harvey Milk and Caitlyn Jenner made headlines for LGBTQ rights movements and transgender activism, there was Sylvia Rivera, occupying a unique place in LGBTQ history and working tirelessly for justice and civil rights. Her courage will never be forgotten.

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