I love the Eastside because it is home.
I have Eastside roots, but was raised as a border Chicana – growing up in Tecate BC and crossing the border into East San Diego County to attend school. My path led me back to the Eastside as a young adult when I joined the ranks of InnerCity Struggle, but throughout my journey leading to this destination I met so many friends and allies with ties to the Eastside. For many years, I’ve known the Eastside to be a place call home. Part of my early childhood was spent in the Eastside because that is where my family lived. In college, close friends were from the Eastside and I joined them for trips back home – bringing up memories of my own hometown – a place where different origin stories intersect and multiple generations come together to form a community. This week, I celebrate 12 years of re-joining the Eastside and I have so much to be grateful for as an Eastside community member. I work alongside amazing and committed individuals whose passion for social justice motivates them each day. I connected with my LOVE in the Eastside and as a result 2 amazing human beings were born – who will shaped by the Eastside experience. I am so proud to call the Eastside HOME.
*Maria Brenes is the Executive Director of InnerCity Struggle*