My name is Teresa Rivera and there is literally no way I could fit myself into a few paragraphs, but here we go!
I am a proud Afro-Boricua/Caribbean kid, born and raised in Lenapehokin land (The Bronx.) I am the product of my mother and my tias. Through my mother I learned about the importance of community and advocacy. And through my tias I learned about the power of my ancestry and my voice.
When seeking financial opportunities, I found myself in spaces similar to the ones I grew up in. Spaces where I was able to help young people navigate their world through teaching them how to advocate for themselves and their community. I discovered a love for educating and decided to continue doing what I loved, I had to go to learn even more.
That’s why I am a proud CUNY kid. I completed my first two years at Hostos where I was able to find my true passion as a scholar, which was in Black Studies. I continued my education at CCNY where I double majored in Black Studies and Latin American Studies.
Around this time, I realized what my community needed most. Young people need access to their true history. On my journey of self-education, I read Prisoners of Colonialism by Ronald Fernandez. Like many Puerto Ricans, I cried over those pages-yet was filled with an immense pride. In the words of mi tia, Mariposa, “A Boricua mind transformed and a butterfly was born”. I felt like all this knowledge was erased, hidden and inaccessible to my community. I made it my duty to bring the knowledge to the people. I believe in Sankofa, learning from the past. In 2019, I began hosting workshops on Puerto Rican history. My goal is to be able to provide my community with the information that is needed to decolonize our minds.
So in conclusion, I believe in the independence of Puerto Rico and all colonized lands. I love creating spaces for womxn of color. I hate racist, sexist, homophobes, capitalist and people who are complacent in ignorance. I am a lover and a fighter. I am an anti-social, social butterfly. I’m a community educator, advocate, scholar, facilitator, and public speaker. But above all these things. I am simply me. Here on this Earth to learn and love those who cross my path. And...
“If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you do not see” -(James Baldwin)