West Coast Flyness

October 2013

Pi Zeta Chapter

Bringing you the best from the West!

Yes, the earth may shake every so often, but it rarely rains in the Golden State. The City of Angels aka the entertainment capital of the world aka LaLa Land aka the originator of the Shirley Temple is home to movie stars, producers, and over 100 movie studios. It houses Chinatown, Boyle Heights, Long Beach…the list goes on. It is has been the setting of protests demanding change and recognition of Latinos. You may have heard Snoop Dogg or the Black Eyed Peas make references to “April 29, 1992”, the day that South Central made its presence known to the world.

Yes, this is LA. And it is home to the flyest West coast chapter--Pi Zeta.

Being thousands of miles away from all other regions, we hope to use this newsletter as a venue to provide La Hermandad with insight on Pi Zeta's whereabouts and upcoming events!

What's in this Newsletter?

  • La Historia - Pi Zeta Chapter's history
  • Las Mujeres - Chapter members
  • La Comunidad y Nuestra Hermandad - Upcoming events!
  • Honorary Latina - Evelina Fernández
  • Pi Chi Baby Announcement
  • Calling all So-Cal Hermanas

Y ahora, adelante!

La Historia

In 2001, Adrienne Martinez started an initiative to create an alumna‐based chapter in the Southern California region. She began conversing with other Hermanas in order to create a supportive network for members of the Sorority who lived in the area. As more Hermanas moved to the Los Angeles area for personal, educational, and marital reasons, there was a greater interest to take this initiative further. Unfortunately, Adrienne Martinez moved out of California but she continued to support Luivette Resto and Paola Gomez‐Birenbaum who kept working on making this chapter a reality.

In 2007, they branched out from Los Angeles and expanded their efforts to include all of Southern California including Marilyn Espitia from San Diego. The chapter was complete with the addition of Jazmin Cameron in 2009. These four dedicated Hermanas came together agreeing on building upon their Hermandad in order to lay a strong foundation for the organization in the west. On March 30, 2010, Pi Zeta was founded, bringing Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/ Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. to California.

Las Mujeres

In 2012, Pi Zeta welcomed two additional Hermanas. The chapter currently consists of five hermanas.

Cielo Castro

"Cause I'm a boss"
~ Kelis, "Bossy"

E-Board Position: Professional Development Advisor

Nu Chapter, Fall 2000 ~ H. Kuectliashe

Boston University '01

Kuectliashe is a SoCal native, born in East Los Angeles, and raised in the City of Norwalk. Most recently, she was in Washington, DC serving as a Special Assistant in the Office of Community Planning and Development at HUD in the Obama Administration. She continues to serve in federal government, and has advocacy experience after working with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) and the National League of Cities. Cielo and her spouse Jesse recently purchased a home in the City of Los Angeles, finally planting roots after 12 years -- and six addresses -- of moving.

Irene Rodriguez

"Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way."

~ Frank Sinatra, "My Way"

E-Board Position: Intake Coordinator

Alpha Chapter, Spring 2009 ~ H. EnyÇa'el
Cornell University '11

EnyÇa'el is a Southern California native who was born and raised in Oxnard, CA. She takes great pride in her Mexican roots and is consistently inspired by the strength of her community. EnyÇa'el is a self-proclaimed coffee addict and music lover. Balancing work life and grad school makes for one interesting and chaotic lifestyle, but on the rare occasion that she has spare time, she enjoys exploring different cuisines, volunteering, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.

Jazmin Eunice Cameron

"I am a Grand Dame Queen Beast"
~ Jillian Scott, "Womanifesto"

E-Board Position: President & Programming Chair

Alpha Chapter, Fall 2005 ~ H. A'xeÑari'q

Cornell University '08

A'xeÑari'q was born and raised in Tucson, AZ. She spends most of her time working and volunteering with organizations that focus on bridging education inequality and providing educational resources to students in undeserved areas of LA (Si se puede!). She finds Hollywood/celebrities to be overrated, superficial and strange. She loves discovering hidden gems throughout the City of Angels, which range from unique coffee shops, hole in the wall cumbia spots that remind her of México, and local businesses that provide gang members with a second chance. She loves boxing, dancehall music, and DJ Quik concerts.

Luivette Resto

"Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman / now the world is ready for you / and the wonders you can do."
~ "Wonder Woman" (Theme Song)

E-Board Position: Vice President & Community Service Chair

Alpha Chapter, Fall 1996 ~ H. Ilanisiw

Cornell University '99

Ilanisiw is the proud mom of three kids who she calls The Revolutionaries because ever since they were born they have taken over her life in the best way possible. She proudly hails from the Bronx. That is why she always says, "I live in LA, but I am from NY." One thing most people may not know about her is that she loves to bake and create menus for small dinner parties. Her second poetry collection, Ascension, just came out this past April. Check it out on Amazon ;)

Paola Gomez-Birenbaum

"No I, I could never follow

Well, I never seem to do it like anybody else

Maybe someday, someday I'm gonna settle down

If you ever want to find me I can still be found

Taking the long way"

~ Dixie Chicks, "The Long Way Around"

E-Board Position: Treasurer, Historian, Administrative Chair

Kappa Chapter, Spring 1998 ~ H. Micalia

(Chapter Founder)

Duke University '00

Micalia is a Jersey girl who settled out west to find a way to save the planet one piece at a time. To say that she marched to a drummer that only resides in her head is an understatement. She enjoys being able to show people that living outside of the status quo is just as exciting and fulfilling and sometimes even more interesting. Honestly, how many Latina Dukie Trojan Mama EcoWarrior Geologists do you know?

La Comunidad y Nuestra Hermandad

Are you in the LA area and looking for ways to get involved? Check out Pi Zeta's upcoming events. Please note that some events may only be open to active Hermanas.

AIDS Walk Los Angeles

Sunday, Oct. 13th 2013 at 8:30am

Melrose Ave

West Hollywood, CA

Hermanas will be joining thousands of walkers who support those living with HIV/AIDS. The AIDS Walk is a very important event that raises millions of dollars each year. The money goes to the AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), which provides vital services to thousands of individuals who are affected by HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles.

Please contact PiZeta@lambdapichi.org if you are interested in joining our team.

This even is open to all Hermanas (active & inactive).

Paint 'n Pour with the Pi Chis

Friday, Nov. 15th 2013 at 6:30pm

2772 Artesia Boulevard

Redondo Beach, CA

Paint ’n Pour is an art instruction studio for adults of all skill levels. Hermanas will be working out their artistic skills over a glass of wine. The featured painting of the night is "Lifeguard Station."

Hermanas can register by calling (424) 247-0336. Slots are limited. For more information, please visit http://www.paintnpourrb.com.

This even is open to all Hermanas (active & inactive).

Project Angel Food - Divine Design

Sunday, Dec. 1st 2013 at 6pm to Tuesday, Dec. 10th 2013 at 11pm

9900 Wilshire Blvd

Beverly Hills, CA

This is the 3rd year that Pi Zeta will be participating in Divine Design, a shopping event that features clothing and items from hundreds of designers. 100 percent of profits go towards purchasing meals for individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, Cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

This volunteer opportunity is open to active Hermanas only.

So-Cal Hermana Holiday Party

Saturday, Dec. 7th 2013 at 6pm

17026 Yukon Ave

Torrance, CA

Pi Zeta will be participating in LA county's Adopt-A-Family and will be collecting donations or presents at our holiday party. Please contact PiZeta@lambdapichi.org if you are interested in attending the holiday dinner.

This even is open to all Hermanas (active & inactive).

Honorary Latina: Evelina Fernández

Award-winning actress. Playwright. Chicana.

I am concerned that our stories will not be told. That they will not be passed on. That my daughter and other young Latinas will not know that their legacy is that of strong, courageous, passionate, intelligent women. I’m concerned that the absence of Latinas and Latinos in film, television and theater affects our children, not just Latino children, but all children, subconsciously...Our community self-esteem is at stake. So, I write for them, for my daughter, for my mother, for myself, for all the Latinas and Latinos who are, for the most part, invisible."

[Evelina Fernández in Contemporary Plays by Women of Color]

In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, we'd like to highlight the work of fellow Angeleno, Evelina Fernández. Evelina was born and raised in East Los Angeles and is a founding and board member of the Latino Theater Company. She made her debut in the play, Zoot Suits, which portrayed the zoot suit riots in Los Angeles in which military servicemen attacked and discriminated against African-American and Mexican-American youth during World War II. She has won various awards highlighting her acting and writing talents. Evelina expresses her love for her community by visiting local schools and community centers and offering youth and adults words of encouragement and motivation.

In an industry and a city like Los Angeles, where women are easily pressured to change their looks or alter their bodies to fit the industry's definition of "beauty," it can be difficult to come across women who have become successful while sticking to their guns. Evelina is an example of empowerment and originality and her past teaches us that as a Latina, you do not need to mold yourself into the role that society expects you to play. Evelina is not only awesome because she is Latina, but she has managed to make her mark in a male-dominated industry without losing herself or her roots.

Tell it like it is, Evelina.

Pi Chi Baby Announcement

"Another sweet smile to brighten our day, another small hand to hold on the way!"

Hermana Micalia, along with big brother Maxwell and Proud Dada Steve, would like to welcome the newest member of Casa Birenbaum. Amelia Sage was born August 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm. Welcome to the future Pi Chi!

Calling all So-Cal Hermanas!

Pi Zeta is working towards increasing our Pi Chi visibility in the So-Cal region; however, we cannot do it without the woman power. If you are an Hermana who resides in the region or has future plans on relocating to the area, we would love for you to consider becoming an active chapter member!

If you have any questions regarding dues or chapter expectations, please contact PiZeta@lambdapichi.org.

Additionally, if you are an Hermana who is visiting the Los Angeles area, please feel free to reach out to us!