I almost opened up with ¡Hola chicas! as I have just gotten back from the first ever South by Southwest Latino Tech Pre-Conference. I was a panelist along with staff members from Sierra Club, Voto Latino and Latino Rebels. And guess who was sitting in the front row while I was giving my speech? Actress Rosario Dawson! She helped start Voto Latino, thus her presence. But it was unnerving when I first spotted her from the stage.
Luckily, she was down-to-earth, let me know that she started following MomsRising on Twitter and humbled me with a photo.
As for takeaways, I was wildly inspired. First of all, my friend Kety Esquivel managed to put together the pre-conference after facing a life-threatening condition and having to deliver a premature baby. And the people that came to the conference were social entrepreneurs and activists I have long admired: Ben Jealous, former President of the NAACP; journalist Maria Hinojosa; Refugio Matos, a campaign organizer with Presente.org; social entrepreneur and founder of Latino Start-Up Alliance, Deldelp Medina; and many members from the Bay Area Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) were also there. And just to show you how my life has come full-circle, the Latino entrepreneur who brought out Markos and I to California — yes, we worked at a Latino start-up in 1999 — was there, too. He was embarrassed how the company had crashed and burned, but I thanked him for bringing us out. And as I pondered, listening to the stories of other entrepreneurs, we only succeed after we’ve learned from our failures.
It looks like Kety plans to bring the conference back next year, and I look forward to it! My 24 hours in Austin was topped off by an impromptu MotherTalkers meet-up with our Lisa in Austin and KristieVal — it doesn’t get better than this:
And now I am off to southern California with DH sans kids. We are meeting up with Erika and Tyler for a century — 100-mile bike ride — in Solvang. It’s one of my New Year’s Resolutions, I’ll let you know if I complete it. 🙂
I hope you all have a great weekend! What’s in the news? What’s up with you?