“Despite All These Things,” by Associate Dean Vanessa Gomez Brake

“Despite All These Things” by Vanessa Gomez Brake

“In January of 2020, Taal Volcano in the Philippines began to erupt. At the time, I thought that would be the scariest thing my family would ever have to endure. Of course, I was wrong. My family watched as red flames and black smoke rose overhead, sweeping away the ash as it covered their homes and the whole landscape. They were able to put distance between themselves and the volcano. Yes, the fish would rise to the top of Taal Lake, being suffocated by ash. Even their livestock would perish on the farm. But everyone got out of town safely, taking refuge at my mother’s house, 20 minutes away.

In 2020, the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice would take a bigger toll on our family.” Continue reading > > >