What if each of us took responsibility for our community and our community only? When 45 was elected, I felt overwhelmed and I felt powerless. I felt this way because those that elected him basically said that bigotry and misogyny are bad, but not bad enough to not put him in office. That the comfort and well being of those in your community are not important enough to consider when voting. But one of the best lessons I’ve learned recently that I think is true, is that when those in our own community are suffering, we all suffer. We live in an interconnected world, and I don’t believe that for some to win, others have to lose. I instead believe in what Gloria Steinem describes as, “a world in which we are linked and not ranked,” to say that instead of us creating hierarchy that oppresses and divides us, what if instead we realized that we are all linked in some way, and that each of us has something meaningful to contribute to each other’s lives.
To that end, this concept formed the underlying idea I had for my 28th birthday party in Downtown Los Angeles. I got together 4 of my favorite DJs in LA (Sha Sha Kimbo, Jasmine Solano, KITTENS and Suga Shay), booked the venue in downtown that has the best sound system for DJs (Resident) and through a huge dance party. Proceeds from the party would go to Happy Period which provides menstrual care kits to homeless women just blocks down the street in Skid Row. But I also gave people the option to donate menstrual care products in exchange for free entry in case they couldn’t afford the $10.
The party served as an amazing way to kick off Women’s Month, but also to directly connect what people in Downtown LA would normally be doing on a Friday night anyway, to alleviate the suffering of women just blocks away on Skid Row.
Hours before the party I visited some women on Skid Row and asked if collecting and providing these products is helpful. I did that because often, in an earnest and good attempt to help those less fortunate, we have a savior mentality and make assumptions about what others need instead of just asking. And the response was overwhelming…”YES GIRL! We need those things! Badly.”
The party was amazing. Best birthday ever. The DJs were so lit, I have not danced that hard in so long. Sold out Resident and raised money and hundreds of products. I had put out one box thinking it would be empty, and instead we had 6 overflowing boxes of products by the end of the night to donate. I was so happy. The future is female when you take what you’d be doing any way and see if you can channel it towards social good in the community. I really believe that. Thanks to everyone who came out. It was a major success.
Outfit by Sara Cifuentes; Photos by Cali Allly