Cierra Bland

Cierra is passionate about the arts and social issues within the African-American community. Cierra helped initiate a project in her former inner-city neighborhood to observe if a change in physical environment can provoke positive social change. She also volunteers as a tutor at her former elementary school. Cierra volunteers at the Library of Virginia in the early childhood literacy department where she operates under the alias "Rocket", the mascot for childhood literacy in the state of Virginia . She has also worked as a VCUArts Camp counselor and has had artwork chosen to be in area literary journals and well as local art shows. Her goals for the year are to develop fluency in Spanish, to learn how to tell a good story, and to learn how to explore.


Showing Up and All That Arrives.

This post is from the beginning of April. It is 4:50pm, April 8, Quito time. I am writing this on a large van, not a bus, on my way to Quito. This morning I left my host family in Sayausi, Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador. Leaving was not hard, but saying goodbye hurt more than I thought…

14 May, 2015


My country leader said something that stuck with me. She said that the stories that we tell the most, are the stories we will remember best. Something that myself and my counterparts worry about that people back home just do not seem to understand, is the great responsibility we all feel to be honest when…

14 May, 2015


“I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears, and the dragons of home, under ones’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.”  

14 May, 2015

Cherry Tomatoes and the New Year.

This storyis from January. My friend’s family are the heads of an organic farmer’s association. I lived at her house for 8 days and I learned some things, not only about farming, but about myself as well. The main thing that I learned is that I am not cut out to be a farmer. I…

14 May, 2015

On the Beach, Lost Things, and Moving On

This is your mantra- do you hear it in the orchestra of your wrist? you are not drowning, it says. These are the shallows; wade through. -Victoria ( *** My name is Cierra Correen. I am 18 years old. I am currently living in Cuenca, Ecuador. I want to share something that I have learned…

06 January, 2015

On Walking, Sharing Space, and Our Mother‰’s Garden

Virginia Woolf wrote further, speaking of course not of our Phillis [Wheatly], that ‰ÛÏany woman born with a great gift in the sixteenth century [insert ‰ÛÏeighteenth century,‰Û insert ‰ÛÏblack woman,‰Û insert ‰ÛÏborn or made a slave‰Û] would certainly have gone crazed, shot herself, or ended her days in some lonely cottage outside the village…a highly…

06 January, 2015

On Maya Angelou, loneliness, and being the boss

I sat in my cap and gown for the first time- full honor chords, stoles and all- as my friend leaned in from behind to tell me that Maya Angelou had died. Right there in the middle of my Senior Awards Ceremony, stunned by the emotion of the news I had just received, I could…

01 August, 2014

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Cierra Bland