This is a three part post. Part 1 lays the foundation for the articles. Parts 2 and 3 are features on some outstanding Burquenos.
For the last three years, I’ve been a member of the Hispanic Heritage Committee (HHC). It was cool to see that my company really started to embrace diversity and inclusion since it’s always been something very important to me. I’ve enjoyed the oppoprtunity to participate in events that promote D&I and community investment including Pride, women’s leadership, military and verterans, Special Olympics, multigenerational and multicultural events.
This year our HHC partnered with Albuquerque Business First to create a special edition calendar of events during Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15. There was an ask for someone to write some articles for the publication. If you’re here, you probably know I like to write. But I haven’t published anything since the good ol’ days of Taft Middle School where I was an editor of The Taft Dissertation. Unless, you count the time I was mentioned in an academic article,
which I don’t?. Yup, I’ve been a nerd since 1993. That layout business was no joke back in the day.
I was asked to write articles that would be relevant to the broad community and related to Hispanics serving in our community. As I walked out to the parking lot, the ideas started to flow based on the topics we had just discussed with regard to our press conference key note speaker. Art, education, the military. I immediately thought of an event that Allan has been participating in recently called Art Fight. I decided my first article would cover Art Fight, its organizers, and its participants. For the second article, I wanted to focus on Hispanics in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. I remembered Allan told me stories about a pretty cool mentoring program that some of his friends had participated in while in college. They say write what you know and I guess it worked out that these things had recently connected (in my mind anyway and this is my mind).
In my free time (?) I interviewed three artists, two engineers, and a veteran over coffee and let me tell you, they all have fascinating stories. Part of me just wanted to listen instead of trying to capture notes. In the end, I had a 2000+ word article and a 1200+ word article and lots of media (pictures). After editing as best I could, I submitted them knowing they might get edited further. My committee memebers were really pleased with the submissions.
I was a little bummed when the publisher folks came back and said we would only have room if the articles were edited down to 225 words each and one picture, but I understood the purpose of the publication was to promote all of the wonderful events and organizations that celebrate HHM. In a matter of hours, I widdled my articles down to 225 words. It felt impossible to say anything in that amount of space, but I gave it my best and most basic I could.
I met the publisher contact last week and she said her reporters could have never done that. I took that as a compliment. She also wanted my contact info. Maybe someday I’ll get to write again, but until then, there is always my crazy blog. Which brings me to the point of this post. Since the articles were a bit watered down, I wanted to post them here on my blog, not because I’m particularly proud of the writing, but because my friends have some pretty amazing stories to share. Thanks to James, Celeste, Allan, Benito, Lilian, and Andres for allowing me to share your story. And special thanks to thank Allan for having friends with cool stories, editing my work, supporting all of my crazy ideas and being my best friend.