Ra Mendoza is a classmate of mine through the Urban Studies department at the Campolo College of Graduate & Professional Studies (yes, that's her right on the welcome page!). We don't know each other too well, but well enough to shoot a message of encouragement to one another during especially stressful scholastic times, and to really enjoy each other's presence during our semester residencies. Since the MAUS program isn't terribly large, it's pretty difficult not to get to know folks.
Ra is one of those souls that sits awfully quiet during class, but when she opens her mouth to speak, you drop everything to listen. You want to hear what she has to say as you know it's been thoughtfully and carefully processed out; she's listened intently to those around her. Honestly, her courage and understanding in our Race & Ethnic Relations class assisted me more than she probably knows. This isn't to gush over her or to try and sully up and become her roadie (ha!)… it's sharing great music with you all by a woman of character, valour, and integrity who has both walk & talk for the poor and marginalized.
You see, I found out about Ra's community outreach lifestyle first and her music second. Sometimes we get in our heads that musicians and performers pick and choose causes to care about after they've established their own work. For me, it worked backwards here. I saw Ra's passion and love for the poor around her right off. Her music came later. And you know what?
That's was draws me to her art.
Her life was offered first (her music obviously a part of it), and then her musical projects.
Listen… enjoy… support. You won't regret it. Thanks, Ra.