This post is part of a special Women’s History Month series highlighting 31 community advocates (one for each day in March). The words on the feature image above were chosen by the interviewee when asked to select three words that best describe her role in the community.
For more information on how you can get involved, follow the links provided at the end of each interview.
Full name and age: Suzie Aguirre, 31
My cause is to fight against any and all injustices. I am part of a few collectives that aim for self and community empowerment, including El Hormiguero, Bikesanas and HOODsisters.
My passions are punk rock and putting in work to deconstruct and reconstruct my community into a place where future generations will live in a healthy environment — in every sense of the word. I have learned that these two worlds can be part of one path. I can fight for what is right and channel that energy through both.
Projects that come out of our collectives consist of art, biking, and workshops that create alternatives and help spread social consciousness amongst many other things. Making this accessible to our communities is a common goal. We reach our goals through the strength of collective work.
Why do you choose to focus on the Valley and do the work that you do?
I choose the Valley because it is my home, and the community is my family. I have lived in Pacoima my whole life. I don’t think anyone would like to see their home invaded by illnesses, such as the greed that colonization and capitalism has brought to our people. All the challenges in our communities root back to that, and I believe it is time for us to heal together.
I love this place; my roots are deeply embedded here now. I see our people struggle on a daily when others just slide their credit cards to buy their comfort by the means of our sweat, tears and even blood. It’s not fair and it’s not right.
Why is it important for women to share their passion with the community?
Women are magic. We are strong and nurturing, which brings balance. For hundreds of years, men have been taking leading roles in so many aspects and look where we are now. I don’t know about you all, but I know our ‘hoods and quality of life can definitely be a lot better. I think men need to step it up and learn to be allies instead of competing for that “profit-over-people” bullshit that has been ingrained in so many of us.
If you had one wish for the San Fernando Valley, what would it be?
To live in a happy, healthy place without having to worry about safety and bills all the time. And this goes to every corner of the universe, not just the SFV. Ultimately, to live in a place where the night will be our friend again.
Where can we find you online?