Our community exists to empower,
and we don't accomplish anything alone.
Highlighting the voices of our Parker Clay community.
Hi Lilliana! So first off, what do you do and where are you based?
L: So I'm in Los Angeles (for now), and I'm a host for E! News as well as the founder of The LV Guide.
How did you first discover your passion for journalism?
L: I definitely consider myself a lifelong storyteller – I remember being really little and always wanting to share the stories of my day with my mom. I don't think much has changed in the last 35 years!
You're actively involved in community, and especially so in the past year – have you always been drawn to activism?
L: You know, my answer actually has to be no! I've talked about this a lot; I grew up in Fort Worth in a very Mexican community, but my education took place on the other side of town in an affluent, elite private school. It was like living in two worlds and trying to bridge them (very unsuccessfully). It wasn't until I read Michelle Obama's "Becoming" that I heard the term "code-switching", which basically means that you behave differently depending on the community you happen to be in – and I did that for many years. I became really aware of that in middle and high school, where it felt like a constant effort to be the… whitest brown person you've ever met. It was an internal battle I fought daily - and one that didn't begin to resolve itself until I went to an incredibly diverse college in D.C. and learned to become comfortable in my own skin. With that comfort, I stopped feeling the need to be apologetic about who, what, or why I am, and replaced that with pride – at 40 years old, I realize that much of my success comes from that authenticity, the pride I have for my heritage and culture, not despite it.
How do you define community and the power of community?
L: A community is another word for a collective, unified voice. It's a group of people that have decided to share a collective goal or passion, regardless of how similar or different they might be outside of that community. A homogenous group is not the goal – the power of community is the ability to work towards a collective vision despite differences.
What's one way, big or small, that you work to affect positive change every day?
L: Whether it's in a pitch meeting or just on my own Instagram feed, I try to use my voice to amplify voices that otherwise would not be heard – asking E! to cover stories they normally wouldn't, finding and sharing brands that deserve support, or going directly to my audience and sharing stories with them.
What is one hope you have for the future?
Lilliana's Favorite Parker Clay:
Emma Bucket Bag