FIDEL T. RODRIGUEZ
FIDEL T. RODRIGUEZ for nearly 20 years has been raising consciousness and awareness through the aphorism "Know Thy Self.” His life’s work has been built upon the three pillars; knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Through these pillars he has developed a mindful pragmatism rooted in indigenous cultural paradigms and beliefs that has enabled him to share practical tools that assist youth and adults on their journey to develop character and grit. His trainings focus on meditation, personal transformation, indigenous spirituality and writing ones personal narrative to heal from trauma and further develop ones self-worth. Furthermore, trainings assist participants on their journey towards self-mastery based on universal principles and knowledge. The ultimate goal is to create paradigm shifts in thinking with youth and young adults affected by the Juvenile and Criminal Justice System.
Fidel is a Human Relations Consultant and Violence Prevention Specialist for the County of Los Angeles’ Human Relation Commission where he facilitates and coordinates “Spreading Seeds: Body, Mind, Spirit” a rites of passage program which began at Homeboy Industries in 2008. Recently, Fidel created the Spreading Seeds Healing Network, a support Network for regional community-based service providers in LA County. The support and training's focus on providing a safe space to heal from trauma, developing more meaningful working relationships with each other, and developing and nurturing spiritual practices, guiding principles and methods to create personal change. Weekly, Fidel can be found in numerous high schools in Los Angeles leading Spreading Seeds leadership and wellness trainings with students focused on meditation, personal transformation, building character, and contextualizing history and culture.
In addition, Fidel created and facilitated the nationally recognized Breaking the Cycle with Dignity: Overcoming Insurmountable Obstacles, a 30 hour state-certified Conflict Resolution and Human Relations training that was held at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar, California (STC Certification Number: 0015-034720). In addition to his professional expertise, Mr. Rodriguez's personal experience of being incarcerated in juvenile hall, sentenced to probation between the ages of seven and twenty-six years of age, as well as being deemed a "high risk" and special education child has also given him a unique and inside perspective into the inner workings of the juvenile detention system. Since 1997, Mr. Rodriguez has conducted numerous workshops and cultural events for incarcerated youth at Los Angeles County Challengers Memorial Youth Center, Camp Scott, Scudder, Mendenhall, Rockey and Central, Los Padrinos and Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall.sAs a result of his many years of service and dedication to those youth and families impacted by the juvenile justice system, the Los Angeles Probation Department awarded Mr. Rodriguez with the "Keys to Camps Scott and Scudder”.
Professionally, since 1995 Fidel has been producing and hosting radio shows, tv segments, and concerts with entertainers and thought provoking guests for youth and young adults through the culture of Hip Hop. From 1995 – 2001 Fidel was the long-time co-producer for Street Science with Dominque Diprima, the award-winning, number one Arbitron rated talk show for its time slot on Clear Channel’s 92.3 FM The Beat, for which he also produced live radio broadcasts and programs throughout Los Angeles on a wide range of social and entertaining issues featuring entertainers, community activist, politicians, and hip hop artists coming together to engage in dialogue. For 6 years he was also heavily involved in the production of the 92.3 The Beat Summer Jam Concerts. He then moved on to host and produce his own radio show at The Beat, award-winning and number one Arbitron rated hip hop show in his time slot Seditious Beats.
While at The Beat, you could also hear Fidel sharing bits of knowledge weekly on Julio G’s Westside Radio and the World Famous Wake Up Show with Sway and King Tech to their 17 million listeners. At times, when critical events concerning community issues occurred, afternoon drive time host Theo would bring him in to share information and his analysis on the issues. In 2002, Fidel would move to Southern California’s 90.7 FM KPFK part of the National Pacifica Network to host Seditious Beats which evolved into Hip Hop radio show Divine Forces Radio (dfr). While at KPFK Fidel also hosted and produced numerous nationally syndicated radio programs for Pacifica Radio. Divine Forces Radio is a conscious hip hop radio show that has received numerous community, United States Senate and Congressional awards and LA City Mayoral recognitions for raising awareness and consciousness over the radio air waves through Hip Hop in Los Angeles.
Fidel also hosts and produces a bi-yearly speaking event for youth in the Los Angeles County Central Juvenile Hall entitled Respect 101 with notable entertainers such as Big Boy, Xzibit, Danny Trejo, Immortal Technique, Laura Diez (CBS) and world champion boxing trainer Freddie Roach. Fidel hosted numerous television interviews for international Hip Hop concert Rock The Bells with artists such as Ice Cube, Cee-Lo, Goodie Mob, Big Boy of Outcast, KRS-One, RZA, Cypress Hill, and Dilated Peoples to name a few. In 2014, he completed the production of a Hip Hop album with youth hip hop band The Bricks entitled This Land with Grammy Award Winning Producers DJ Khalil (Eminem, Dr. Dre), KC Porter (Santana), JB Eckle (Santana, En Vogue), and Money Mark (Beastie Boys). He Executive Produced and coordinated the album through a program called Project One: One Love, One Mic, One Song, a youth music program located at the Los Angeles Music Academy in collaboration with the LA County Human Relations Commission (HRC) and non-profit Oneness, which collaborated to promote social awareness and Hip Hop music with youth in Los Angeles County.
After many years of dealing with problematic issues in school and with the criminal justice system as a youth and young adult a pivotal change occurred. At twenty-three years old Fidel was given The Autobiography of Malcolm X, through Malcolm's personal narrative he began to understand for the first time in his life the complexities and the historical context of his own culture and life experiences. For him this experience established a life changing paradigm shift in thinking that would set a solid foundation on his long journey to de-colonizing his mind and heal. His over 20 years of professional and personal life experiences combined with his travels through the United States, Native American reservations, Mexico, Korea, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Netherlands, Spain, Basque, and France, he has learned the significance of how universal principles build the foundation of a persons character and dignity. He has developed an engaging and passionate speaking style that synthesizes his past as a so-called “juvenile delinquent” juxtaposed with an evolved more mature adult and principled based ideology that is rooted in his African and Native American culture. His story engages, motivates, provokes thought and models resilience and hope.
Mr. Rodriguez is a 1998 graduate of the University of Southern California (Mc Nair Scholar) with degrees in both Chicano/Latino Studies and African American Studies. While attending USC, he lived in Zimbabwe studying African spiritual traditions, colonialism, neoliberalism and the methodology of decolonizing the mind. Influenced by his education and cultural training in Southern Africa he then went through two initiations as a Shaman in the Ifa religion, an indigenous, earth centered African spiritual tradition which was conceptualized by the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa. He is of Chumash and Mexican ancestry and works as a motivational speaker, cultural facilitator and mentor with youth and adults in Los Angeles and is a certified trainer of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens for Franklin Convey and lectures semesterly at USC School of Social Work on trauma, wellness and the power of the narrative. Mr. Rodriguez is a Philosopher, initiated Shaman and speaks and lectures at high schools, colleges, and universities on the topics of culture, history, trauma, healing, colonization, decolonization, spiritualism, cultural wellness, racism, the heroes journey, personal narrative and healing. Fidel credits his loving mother, sister, children and partner for their support, love and for setting positive and gritty life examples to strive towards and gives gratitude for the past and current mentors who have shared with him their knowledge and wisdom.