Last week my group Circa ’95 was invited to perform and talk to a group of Junior High School students from Hyde Leadership Charter School in the Bronx. The sound system might not have been so great but the love that the students and staff showed was tremendous. They were so happy to see us at their school. Really, I think any artist could have been their but it was sweet and special because it was us. We are Puerto Rican and Dominican and most of the kids come from similar backgrounds. They know when someone is from around their way or not. They have wonderful instincts. I was really moved by all the girls that kept crowding around me. I’m still uneasy about being in front of groups of people…. I still get nervous and shy 😉 but to see their eyes, smiling faces, singing along and wanting me to sign my name on their arms was adorable. It also reminded me why I do this. And it’s to inspire! I can’t imagine making music that isn’t being thoughtful about the listener. These little girls are following what I’m doing. They are singing along. It’s a choice to uplift and inspire them.. Not insult them. Why would I call them “hoes” or say they are “bitches”? I think little girls need love and someone to tell them they are beautiful just the way they are. It’s time to change the perception of young women of color in the media. We are all not “ratchet” and Girls can wear sneakers …. they don’t need to wear heels to feel pretty. They can have wild curly hair, they can play basketball and be into technology. The rules are meant to be broken ladies. Keep dreaming big and inspiring each other. -PD





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