I am from the streets

November 17,2008
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera( )

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

This afternoon, I sat next to the facilitator in a conference room full of conversational clatter. It was a monthly meeting in which advocates who work on legislative policy for Boston youth share their work. Every time I attend this meeting, I feel like I don’t belong there. The lingo alone leaves me lightheaded. I mean, what is a “9c"? I reached that point where, if this was a movie, you’d start to hear birds chirping. I began to doodle, wondering if I just don’t want to challenge myself to learn, or if I genuinely don’t belong. I love the streets; I love everything about the them – the litter, the vacant lots, the people, the drunks and the drug dealers, the forsaken parks and the prostitutes. I want to see the prostitutes become prominent leaders. I want the drug dealers to become community organizers. That is where I belong. I am from the streets. The streets – Washington, Harvard, Esmond, Bicknell – are in me. (And a “9c"? It’s a "statutory power of the governor to do emergency balancing of the budget.” Yawn.)