Things That Matter

Lady Gaga Pledged To Fund 162 Classrooms In Dayton, El Paso And Gilroy Following Horrific Mass Shootings

Our community is still reeling after the recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, Gilroy, California and El Paso, Texas. In these assaults, far-right fanatics aimed their hate at places where migrants and Latinx folk gathered in a direct attack on our public safety. After these violations, public anxieties have been put on high alert. With attacks happening at stores, festivals and out in the streets, it seems like no place is safe anymore. This anxiety is only made worse with the upcoming return to school for millions of children across the nation. 

The communities of Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy especially have reason to be unnerved but there is some good news coming their way thanks to the generosity of one of the world’s biggest stars.  

Lady Gaga has announced that her charitable foundation will “fully fund” 162 classrooms in the three assaulted communities. 

Facebook / Lady Gaga

On August 9th, the Oscar winner made a post to her Facebook account to share her generous plan. In the post, Gaga states that her Born This Way Foundation will partner with DonorsChoose.org in order to fully fund essentials for classrooms in the three impacted communities. Thanks to the help of these foundations, 14 classrooms in Dayton, 125 classrooms in El Paso, and 23 classrooms in Gilroy will get the help and support they need to welcome students back for the 2019/2020 school year. 

Gaga shared her sympathies for the affected communities. In the note addressed to Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy, the artist wrote:

“My heart goes out to those who were taken from us too soon and to their families, loved ones, and communities who are left to grieve. Everyone has the right to laws that make them feel safe in their communities. In this moment, I want to channel my confusion, frustration, and fury into hope. Hope that we are there for each other and for ourselves.”

The signer also spoke to what will be needed to recover from these tragedies. 

Twitter / @thehill

Lady Gaga has long been an advocate for mental health awareness. In her 2019 Grammy’s acceptance speech, the singer spoke candidly about recognizing when someone needs help and getting that help without worrying about the stigma associated with mental illness. So, it makes sense that she would include a focus on mental health in her statement. 

“Surviving and recovering from these tragedies also means prioritizing your mental health and checking in on your loved ones,” the pop star wrote. “If you’re struggling, please be brave and tell a trusted someone. Don’t be scared to ask for help, I beg you. If you see a loved one struggling, please be brave and reach out, remind them it’s ok to not be ok, and listen to them. We cannot turn away from ourselves. We cannot turn away from our loved ones. We need each other. Don’t turn away.”

Mental illness is not a trigger for these tragedies but they are a result. Survivors of mass shootings are inflicted with anxiety and depression. Survivor’s guilt has also been credited for suicides after these assaults. As Gaga says in her post, we have to take care of ourselves and each other in the aftermath of these catastrophes. 

Though hearts are still heavy, El Paso citizens were uplifted by this news. 

Facebook / Lady Gaga

As a comment pointed out, a return to school is a return to normalcy for these students, teachers, and administrators. Being able to return back to class may seem like a small act but it is a reminder to these citizens that life goes on after tragedy and they will move on past this pain. Acts of kindness like the one offered by Lady Gaga will help the community get back to normal after such a life-altering event and that means a lot. 

While responses to Gaga’s philanthropy have generally been positive, many expressed frustration over the government’s lack of help in the communities impacted by mass shootings.

Twitter / @jonbaltz @TPhantom84

There’s a lot of frustration aimed at the government after these tragedies. The failure to pass comprehensive gun reform is only one reason why the public criticizes their representative after these tragedies. Another is the lack of support that these communities see the following mass shootings.

Many families have to resort to Go Fund Me’s in order to bury or cremate their lost family members. The mental impact of these assaults is also ignored by the government. If the people who represent us do nothing to solve gun violence, the least they can do is to do something to clean up after these violent attacks. Either way, something has to happen and — though it’s much appreciated — it shouldn’t be handled solely by the generosity of celebrities. 

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Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Photo via selenagomez/Instagram

Good news, Selenators! Word on the street is that Selena Gomez will soon be dropping her first-ever Spanish language album. The rumors started after Gomez dropped a surprising (and beautiful!) new Spanish-language single, “De Una Vez”.

Soon after the single dropped, rumors of a full Spanish-language studio album began to swirl when murals promoting “De Una Vez” and a yet-unreleased single “Baila Conmigo” popped up across, Mexico.

To make matters even better, Selena already dropped “De Una Vez”‘s music video.

The lush and imaginative video has been garnering praise for its inclusion of Latin American visuals and symbols. Gomez hired Tania Verduzco and Adrian Perez to direct her video–a husband and wife team who hail from Mexico and Spain, respectively and go by the moniker Los Pérez.

Of hiring Spanish speakers to direct her video, Gomez revealed to Vogue online that the decision was intentional. “If I was going to completely immerse myself into a project inspired by Latin culture, I wanted to work with native Spanish speaking creators,” she said.

And indeed, Verduzco and Perez tried to infuse as much Latin spirit into the video’s conception as possible.

“Magical realism has always been part of the Latin culture, whether it be in art or telenovelas,” Gomez told Vogue. “I wanted [to capture] that sense of a supernatural world.”

They accomplished this sense of magical realism by utilizing motifs from Mexican folk art, like Milagro, which is symbolized by the glowing heart that is beating within Gomez’s chest throughout the video.

“We wanted to play with powerful language and images. We designed the heart—we call it the Milagro in Mexican culture—and its light to be a metaphor for the healing throughout the story,” Verduzco told Vogue.

Selena Gomez fans are especially excited about this project because Gomez has long hinted at her desire to release a Spanish-language album.

Back in 2011, Gomez tweeted about her plans to eventually record an entire album in Spanish. “Can’t wait for y’all to hear the Spanish record;) it’s sounding so cool,” she wrote.

She retweeted the sentiment on Thursday with the comment: “I think it will be worth the wait”–which many fans took as confirmation that a full studio album is on its way.

It’s worth noting that Gomez has already dipped her toe into the Latin music scene with 2010’s “Un Año Sin Lluvia” and 2018’s DJ Snake, Ozuna and Cardi B collab, “Taki Taki”.

As for the difficulty of recording songs in a second language, Gomez said that it was a practice that came naturally.

“I actually think I sing better in Spanish. That was something I discovered,” she said in an interview for Apple Music. “It was a lot of work, and look, you cannot mispronounce anything. It is something that needed to be precise, and needed to be respected by the audience I’m going to release this for.”

She continued: “Of course I want everyone to enjoy the music, but I am targeting my fan base. I’m targeting my heritage, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

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Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Bad Bunny is on top of the world. Or, at least, that’s how it appears to all of us on the outside enjoying his record-breaking year. Not only did he release three albums in 2020 but he also landed his debut acting role in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico and from his Instagram stories, he seems to be in a happy, contentful relationship.

But like so many others, Bad Bunny has his experience with mental health issues, of which he recently opened up about in an interview with El País.

Bad Bunny recently spoke up about his struggle with depression.

Despite his immense success that’s catapulted him to, arguably, the world’s biggest superstar, Bad Bunny admits that sometimes he still feels like the young man who bagged groceries in a supermarket.

The reggaetonero revealed in an interview with El País that right as his career really started to take off, he was not happy. “You asked me before how I hadn’t gone crazy. Well, I think that was the moment that was going to determine if I was going to go crazy or not. From 2016 to 2018 I disappeared, I was stuck in a capsule, without knowing anything. The world saw me, but I was missing,” he said.

Although no doctor diagnosed him, he is sure of what was happening. it only did he feel lost and empty but he had stopped doing many of the things that brought him joy, like watching movies and boxing. Without realizing it, he had also fallen out of contact with much of his family, with whom he was typically very close.

“And that’s when I said: who am I? What’s going on?” he told El País. When he returned home to Puerto Rico from spending time in Argentina, he was able to get back into the right state of mind and remember who he was.

Despite his success, Bad Bunny still worries he’s in financial trouble.

Although today, he is the number one Latin artist on Spotify and the awards for his music keep coming, there are times when Bad Bunny still thinks that he has financial problems.

“Not long ago, I was 100% clear in my head what I have achieved, maybe a year or six months ago; but until then, many times I forgot, I felt that I was the kid from the supermarket. He would happen something and say: “Hell!” And then: “Ah, no, wait, if I have here,” he said, touching his pocket.

Much like Bad Bunny, J Balvin has also been candid about his own mental health struggles.

Bad Bunny is just the most recent to speak to the emotional havoc he experiences despite being a global superstar. And, thankfully, like many other celebrities, he’s been able to find refuge in a reality that allows him to keep his feet on the ground so that he too can enjoy the achievements of his career.

Much like El Conejo, J Balvin is known for the brightness of his style and mentality. But he’s long addressed the importance of caring for one’s mental health. During his Arcoíris Tour, he encouraged people to not be ashamed of seeking professional help, and let the audience know they are not alone.   

“Las enfermedades de salud mental son una realidad. Yo he sufrido de depresión y he sufrido de ansiedad, así que tengo que aceptarlo. Y eso me hace más humano, me hace entender que la vida tiene pruebas,” Balvin said. “Pero si alguien está pasando una situación difícil, no están solos, siempre llega la luz. Tarde o temprano llega la luz.”  

“Mental health illnesses are a reality. I have suffered from depression and anxiety, so I have to accept it. And this makes me more human. It makes me understand that life has challenges,” Balvin said in Spanish. “But if someone is going through a difficult time, they are not alone, light always comes. Sooner or later, the light comes.”  

We need more men like Benito and J Balvin to speak up about their mental health struggles, to help destroy the stigma that exists within our community.

And in the same interview, he also spoke about why he works to elevate the Spanish language.

As for the possibility of singing in English, the answer remains the same: a resounding no.

“You have to break this view that the gringos are Gods…No, papi,” he told El País. And, although he’s collaborated with artists like Drake, Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez, he has always sang in Spanish and with his famous accent.

“I am very proud to reach the level where we are speaking in Spanish, and not only in Spanish, but in the Spanish that we speak in Puerto Rico. Without changing the accent,” he said.

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