The second quarter of 2012 has offered a combination of incredible "firsts" along with some regrettable steps backwards. Among the firsts: the opportunity to present at a wonderful conference in Puerto Rico, the Empieza por Creer collaboration, and the first webinar offered in Spanish by a state sexual assault coalition.
Steps backward and a proposal: As of April 2010, there were 50 million Latin@s/Hispanics in the United States, making people of Hispanic origin, the nation's largest and fastest-growing ethnic or racial minority. Spanish is the second most-common language in the United States with 35.5 million U.S. residents 5-years-old and older speaking Spanish at home, according to 2010 census findings. Given the growing Latin@/Hispanic population, and in order to establish efficient outreach to the community, it is undisputable that bicultural and bilingual program staff and volunteers are necessary to provide effective services. Therefore, training workshops in Spanish are necessary to promote the ongoing professional development of bilingual and bicultural sexual assault victim advocates, prevention specialists, and other allied professionals such as promotor@s or community health workers. However, three years after the first workshops were offered in Spanish at the National Sexual Assault Conference (NSAC) the ongoing lack of national standards and procedures for soliciting, reviewing and presenting workshops in Spanish has stagnated what could be a dynamic upgrade in Latin@ outreach and inclusion efforts. Consequently, a couple of Latina advocates recently opted to remove their workshops from two separate national conferences rather than compromise the integrity of the training they had hoped to offer in Spanish.
The "ALAS Position Paper Regarding Workshops In Spanish at State and National Conferences" is not only a call to action for training in Spanish, it is also a claim to our right as Latin@ advocates to speak our language at work without being questioned or sanctioned. The position paper also asserts the right of bilingual/bicultural advocates to decide how best to use interpreter services rather than having them imposed arbitrarily, depending on where we may work or what conferences we might present at.
Arte Sana en Puerto Rico
In April, Arte Sana was honored with an invitation to present at the 8th annual sexual assault conference offered by La Coordinadora Paz para la Mujer (CPPM) in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Laura Zárate participated in a plenary panel with Dayanara Marte of Casa Atabex Ache from New York, and Glida Rodriguez, Clinical Psychologist from Puerto Rico. During the workshop "El poder del arte y la canción en el trabajo con grupos" Laura shared the following songs as possible teaching aids to: address sexuality with Spanish-speaking Latinas; define and defend sexual intimacy criteria; prevent sexual violence; and promote healthy, equitable relationships.
Las canciones del taller: "Usted Abuso" - Celia Cruz "Es Mentiroso" - Olga Tañón "Yo No Soy Aqua Pa' Tu Sed" - Osdalgia "Las Divorciadas" - Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco "Quiero Bailar" - Ivy Queen "Mírame, Rózame, Amame" - Albita "Invitame A Pecar" - Paquita La Del Barrio "Ay José" - Osdalgia "Lento" - Julieta Venegas "Me Voy" - Julieta Venegas
CPPM blog (en español) to learn more about this incredible group and the conference.
Empieza por Creer In May, the "Start by Believing" (SBB) campaign materials that Arte Sana helped translate to Spanish for End Violence Against Women (EVAW) International, were made available. Access the Empieza por Creer poster and postcard now at the SBB materials page!
Seminario web en español On the very last day of May, Arte Sana collaborated with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) to offer its very first webinar in Spanish! The webinar was offered completely in Spanish and addressed child sexual abuse prevention. In addition to Texas, over half of the 35 bilingual victim advocate and prevention specialist attendees joined the webinar from 10 other states: Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. Attendee comments validated the fundamental purpose of training provided in Spanish and confirmed the need for more language and cultural competence skill-building opportunities.
A sample of comments shared: "I was anxious about my future outreach activities and now I feel more confident. I have a better idea now on how to approach our Latino communities and I feel that I have more tools and resources on how to address these issues."
"It was helpful learning different ways to engage people in conversations about sexual abuse while being culturally respectful and responsible."
"Lo que fue de más utilidad fue que la presentadora, en algunos casos, utilizó sus experiencias con Hispanos y brindó información sobre la cultura de otros países latinoamericanos."
"It was most helpful to hear this information presented in Spanish to help me feel more comfortable sharing it with others."
We at Arte Sana look forward to future collaborations that promote the professional development of Spanish-speaking advocates.
ALAS Position Paper regarding workshops in Spanish
This position paper provides concrete recommendations for offering workshops in Spanish at national (and state) conferences from bilingual, bicultural presenters and trainers who have been in the vanguard of Spanish language training efforts for over a decade.
Congratulations to the following ALAS members presenting at national conferences in 2012: Clara Galvan-Lindstrom (WOCN 2012 National Call to Action Conference) Karen Arias (WOCN 2012 National Call to Action Institute) Gabby Santos (WOCN 2012 National Call to Action Conference & National Sexual Assault Conference) Graciela Laguna (WOCN 2012 National Call to Action Conference) Laura Zárate (Casa de Esperanza's 2012 National Latin@ Institute) Katryn Duarte (National Sexual Assault Conference - one of four talleres en español) Rose Luna (National Sexual Assault Conference)
500 on Facebook!
On June 5th, Arte Sana exceeded 500 on its bilingual Facebook page established in May 2010, thanks to victim and community advocates from North Carolina. Join the bilingual conversation now.