institutionalized molding

A system that was historically intended to mold you into another factory worker.

A system that humiliates you by forcing you to implicitly re-enact the murder of your ancestors every November… by dressing you up as the Indian or the Pilgrim.

Or by making you rebuild what your ancestors built years ago to later be enslaved and forcefully Christianized in those same buildings they called Missions.

A system that cared more about whether you were wearing your uniform than about the classes you were` failing.

A system where your history teacher could sit back, read the newspaper all day, and run to be a school board member anyway.

A system that forces you to invest time in material that is completely irrelevant to your history or culture.


A system that makes you hate yourself.

A system that makes those who don’t get “admitted”, feel worthless.

A system that makes you feel guilty for sleeping 7 hours during “midterm season.”

A system that fills you with self-disgust as you walk out of that exam.

A system full of corrupt incentives.

Ones that push you to graduate to survive when all you want to do is fulfill your mind.


A system that makes you believe you are in a privileged position for being closer to the man.

A system that shoves information into your head to be coded there until tenth week.

A system that you need to exploit in order to take back all that was exploited from your own community.

A system not that different from a prison

Or a factory

Or the military

A system called school.

and the face of God opens

                 and the face of God opens

For official rules go to
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over the passive blue sky
the bloody heat of fantastic LA

Raza Grad 73’ till Infinity

June 1st, 1973: As thousands of UCLA graduating students sat in Drake Stadium, ready to hear their name and receive their diploma, the few number of Raza students amongst the class sat ready to redefine the impersonal graduation process. Although emotions of excitement were felt throughout the graduating class, for the Raza students on campus, this so-called “celebration” of their accomplishment also felt extremely unwelcoming.

While it was meant to celebrate the achievements of students’ efforts at UCLA, the graduation had no relevance or connection to the experience of the Raza students. The ceremony was only held in English and tickets for students were limited. Although the Raza students wanted to acknowledge the help their family and community gave them throughout their time in school, the school’s graduation process implied the school did not want to recognize the community the students came from. Yet, rather than comply with the process, and accept their accomplishment as an individual effort, the Raza students at the graduation threw their caps in the air and walked out in protest of the impersonal, English-only, and culturally irrelevant ceremony.

As the students walked out of the ceremony to a speech read by Chancellor Charles E. Young explaining the reason behind the protest, the booing coming from the predominantly white crowd reflected the alienation these and many other Raza students felt on campus throughout their college experience, as well as the reality of the racial inequality dominant on the campus.

Waiting for them on the lawns of Sunset Canyon Recreation, with open arms and delicious food, were the family and friends of these students. With the presence of loved ones, food, and a small impromptu stage on the back of a flatbed semi, the first UCLA Raza Graduation was born.

Unlike the UCLA Letters and Science commencement ceremony, Raza Grad does not limit tickets for the families and friends of the participating graduates, is bilingual in order for families to understand, and features culturally relevant and empowering speakers and performers that the audience can relate to.

Since its initiation, Raza Grad focuses on ensuring all Raza students and communities have the opportunity to be a part of the culturally empowering ceremony that celebrates the cultural diversity and history of Latinas/Latinos and Chicanas/Chicanos at UCLA.

For this reason, the identity of a Raza student and thus the invitation to Raza Grad is not limited to students who identify as Chicana/o Latina/o. It is not limited to students from particular backgrounds. It is not limited to students from certain areas of study, or even restricted for graduating students.

Raza Graduation is open to all: undergraduates, post-graduates, students of different races and ethnicities, students with different majors, and anyone who values the access to higher education and retention of our communities.

Forty two years later, Raza Grad continues to be a student-initiated, student-run graduation celebration at UCLA that honors the success of each Raza graduate in achieving a degree in higher education. As Spring quarter begins, the excitement of graduation once again starts to fill the air all around campus. Now held at Pauley Pavilion, this year’s Raza Graduation will take place on Sunday, June 14th 2015.

First initiated by UCLA’s MEChA in 1973, MEChA de UCLA successfully continues to plan, fundraise for, and host the ceremony through the suggestions and decisions made from a committee consisting of volunteer Raza students on campus that also participate in fundraising, outreach, and community service activities.

In the involvement of the students to plan the ceremony, Raza Grad becomes a representation of community building, unity, and resilience. It is a celebration built for the community by the community. To be able to see my fellow Raza peers ready to embark on life’s next journey despite the bullshit we have faced in this university, whatever it may be, is truly inspiring and motivating to myself; however, in acknowledging each of our experiences, we also recognize that our journey was not one we traveled alone.

The theme for this year’s graduation is: “Mis Raíces Son Mi Orgullo y Poder,” “My Roots Are My Pride and Power.” This year’s Raza graduation wants to focus on the efforts and accomplishments of our families and communities rather than ourselves. 42 graduations later, we still recognize the strength our families and communities give us to survive the harsh world of the UCLA campus.

As a graduating student, I am grateful for a ceremony my parents will be able to understand and be able to feel a part of. This degree that I have earned is not only for me, but for my parents, who have spent most of their lives tirelessly working to provide my siblings and I with as much support as they could to help us succeed. This graduation is more for my parents and my community than it is for myself. It is important that this celebration continues to thrive because Raza Grad not only helps us celebrate and recognize our accomplishments, but also helps us honor the community that helped us get here, and inspires us to give back to it as well.

If you wish to participate in Raza Graduation for June 2015, please register at:

Capirotada Recipe

Easter might be over, but it is not too late to experience one of the most traditional and popular desserts of the season: capirotada. This seasonal dessert is the perfect potpourri, a concoction of the least likely ingredients brought together to create a delightful and unique taste. Although it makes use of a wide variety of ingredients (which may differ upon region), the steps to make capirotada are rather simple. Here I provide a recipe to cook capirotada traditional from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Keep in mind that the quantity of ingredients is up for the person cooking, so they may vary.


  •      Water (1 liter is suggested)
  •      Piloncillo
  •      Cinnamon
  •      Clove
  •      Birote/Bolillo bread cut into chunks
  •      Raisins
  •      Peanuts and/or nuts
  •      Monterey cheese strips
  •      Plantain slices
  •      Multi-colored sprinkle


  1.     Boil water with cinnamon, piloncillo, and clove within a medium-sized pot to make syrup. Once boiled, set aside.
  2.     In another pot, place 2 or 3 corn tortillas at the very bottom so that the dessert does not stick.
  3.     Place a layer of sliced birote/bolillo, and upon it lay and spread out the other ingredients. Use a sprinkling motion so that the ingredients will be randomly distributed throughout the width of the pot.
  4.     Once this layer is done, shower with the syrup so that the ingredients beneath begin to soften.
  5.     Repeat this process until desired quantity is reached.
  6.     Finally, allow the layers to cook on a low flame until birote/bolillo is noticeably soft. When the bread is soft, then the capirotada is done!


for Rush Limbaugh, before appearing live on FOX

let me tell you about something dirty, something delightful:

Rush Limbaugh, when I give him my entire body:
takes me by warming torso
into him like a piercing light
my eyelids shut and yes,
I bit it on the couch and his juices
drip like candle wax on the mantel place
soft glow, the sound moans,
tender trailing my fingers over the hills of his chest, Rush
Limbaugh, rise, became one with the bones glowing from my chest
for writers and intellects my spine savors for – tu boca mi amor, sabor en
colores diferentes, calienta como un volcan, mi changuito
respiro tu calor –

and there I was,
I ran back down that pale chest so that his hand outlining my neck
pulls my hair and his belly
and balls relax right before I press my chin onto
his sizzling zipper, blow softly, loosen his belt with my teeth
trace his heat
from my chin to the tip of my trembling upper
lip and I wide open slide I’m speaking,
“I’ll sacrifice for you”
he, “I’ll support you”
“I’ll protect you”
“my slave”
“sucking everything”
“my universe”—
“You see, folks, we live in the greatest country on earth.  We have an incredible history, a great,
great story.  And our mission in this series is to tell that story.  To tell the story of the American
founding in a very relatable way so that the young reader can really get to know the exceptional
patriots, the people who made this country possible.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime experiment in
how human beings organize and manage themselves politically, socially, economically as a
population of a single nation.  It was never tried before.  It is miraculous.  I love this country.  I
wish everybody did.  I hope everybody will.  And that is one of the many reasons for the Rush
Revere series.”