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Memories That Shaped Who I Am – Que Ondee Sola

Memories That Shaped Who I Am

Lourdes Lugo

Former editor, Class of 1988

By the time I started at NEIU, my political and community work had begun, so naturally I gravitated to Que Ondee Sola as the space that allowed me to form the intellectual aspect of that work. While working in Que Ondee Sola I had to learn to write and express my ideas in a cohesive and significant way. During our meetings I was able to exchange ideas, and form better perspectives on the realities we faced, both as a community within the university, and the community we lived in.

The office of QOS was our real home. Many times we stayed in discussions and exchanges until the university security asked us to leave the premises. We ate, shared, and lived in that space as young women and men building the hope for a better and stronger future. Sometimes we planned our next moves for a better space, or the Mexican/Caribbean Studies Program, as well as what actions were needed to bring attention to the rampant racism at Northeastern. It was within those walls that we honored our past heroes and those that were incarcerated, as we enjoyed the everyday existence of each other.

As young Puerto Rican women we found a space to be safe, heard and respected, and above all, by ourselves. We discovered our strengths and weaknesses, and worked to figure them out. We shared our talents, and sometimes not so much talent. We grew to be in the front of the line when facing injustice, and talk openly of our doubts. I learned the strength of working as a group, and the damage that selfishness can cause others.

Que Ondee Sola allowed me to meet students of different cultures and communities across the city of Chicago, hence expanding my perspective of diversity and solidarity with other groups. It was my work with the UPRS and QOS that solidified my growth and commitment to my community and country, as well as my responsibility to other groups facing the same challenges we face as Puerto Ricans. I always feel proud of the exposure I had while member of both organizations, and many of my accomplishments are the direct result of the experiences with Que Ondee Sola and UPRS.

 

Originally Published in QOS March 2012 Edition, Vol. 40 No. 3

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