Nuestras voces/Our Voices: Wise Latinas en la lucha


Nuestras Voces 2011: Presenter Bios
 

 

•  Lisa Aronson Fontes, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts

For more than twenty years, Lisa Aronson Fontes, Ph.D. has dedicated herself to improving the health, social service and criminal justice systems' response to the needs of their culturally diverse clients–particularly Latinos and Latinas. Her work with victims/survivors of sexual violence began in 1989 working with Puerto Rican clients. Since then she has continued to work with victims/survivors, authored books, conducted research, trained providers and taught on this subject. Dr. Aronson Fontes speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and has worked with Latino communities across the country as well as in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Puerto Rico. She is author of Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families and Interviewing Clients Across Cultures: A Practitioner's Guide , and has published numerous articles on cultural issues in the fields of child abuse and violence against women.

•  Elizabeth Balcarcel

Elizabeth Balcarcel ha trabajado para la Coalición de Iowa en Contra del Abuso Sexual desde abril del 2008. Como Asistente Legal del Programa para Víctimas, ella asiste a víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso sexual con asuntos legales de orden civil, VAWA y U-Visa. Elizabeth cuenta con 7 años de experiencia dando servicios directos como consejera certificada de Abuso Sexual. Ella provee asistencia técnica para trabajar con comunidades inmigrantes en los centros de crisis del estado de Iowa. También organiza y conduce entrenamientos de 20 horas en español sobre abuso sexual para voluntarios y servidores públicos.

•  Lillie Champion

Lillie Champion is the Executive Director at the Friendship of Women, Inc. and has been with the agency for 10 years. A Brownsville native who has worked with many disadvantage families in Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley over the years; Lillie believes strongly in educating and empowering women and girls to be able to improve the health and safety conditions of their lives. She also believes in educating men and young boys about taking a positive, active role in ending violence against women and girls. Lily is a strong advocate for families to become self-sufficient and she currently serves on the Cameron Family Network Board. Lily is married and has 2 sons from a previous marriage. She fulfilled her education with the University of Texas/Texas Southmost College-Brownsville with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Associate Degree in Criminal Justice, and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree from UTPA-Edinburg, Texas.

•  Estela De Anda

Estella De Anda, LCSW, has served as the Executive Director of Mujeres Unidas since 1984. She has been in the movement to end violence for over 30 years. Mujeres Unidas under her leadership has continued to grow and expand services for victims and survivors. Estella De Anda stated that her two biggest challenges over the years have been maintaining resources and increasing awareness that family violence is not just a family problem but a societal issue. Estella De Anda currently serves on the Texas Council on the Family Violence Board.

•  Robert De Leon

Robert de Leon, Program Coordinator, began his work with Migrant Health Promotion in Weslaco providing support on such campaigns as the De Hombre a Hombre program. He works closely with Community Health Workers and various local schools, churches and organizations to engage Hispanic men from border communities and colonias of South Texas (Hidalgo County) following a curriculum provided by Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN). Robert has been personally impacted by different forms of violence and as a result, he has dedicated his life's work to becoming an active community leader, a mentor and helping men become better fathers, intimate partners, and allies to both men and women to put an end to violence against women.

•  Iveth Diaz

Iveth Diaz es una inmigrante de México D.F., México, que vino a este país buscando una vida mejor para su familia sin saber que se convertiría en una sobreviviente de violencia doméstica. Iveth decidió usar su experiencia para educar a otras mujeres inmigrantes Latin@s y para abogar por el acceso a recursos e información típicamente negado a poblaciones marginadas. Iveth ha co-organizado al grupo de mujeres inmigrantes Latin@s, llamado Féminas, desde su creación; su participación ha sido vital para el desarrollo del grupo y el reclutamiento de otras mujeres.

•  Lidia Dominguez

Psicóloga, graduada en la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), facilitadora y activista por los derechos sexuales y reproductivos en su país de origen, México, participó en los movimientos de defensa para el esclarecimiento de los feminicidios cometidos en Ciudad Juárez. Después de ser Promotora, actualmente es Coordinadora de programas en Voces Latinas, trabaja conectando y empoderando mujeres latinas inmigrantes en Queens NY, con servicios que reduzcan la incidencia de VIH/SIDA y Violencia Doméstica.

•  Adriana Flores

Adriana Flores is the current Executive Director of Latinas Unidas por Un Nuevo Amanecer (L.U.N.A.) since January 2008. She received her Master's in Public Administration with an emphasis in Executive Development from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Ms. Flores has over 8 years of experience working with the Latino community, in several types of working environments providing services. She has facilitated many trainings/presentations on domestic violence, child abuse, ethics, confidentiality, diversity, prevention, and self-care.

•  Priscilla Flores

Ms. Flores is a graduate from the University of Texas-Pan American with a Bachelors Degree in Social work. She has been working with Mujeres Unidas Rape Crisis Center for the past 3 years.

•  Cindy Garcia

Cindy trabaja en la comunidad hispana de Oklahoma City como supervisora del programa contra la violencia doméstica, asalto sexual y acoso. Este programa cuenta con la certificación del fiscal del estado. Cindy vivió más de 20 años en México, donde nacieron sus 4 hijos. Ella se graduó con licenciatura en Letras Hispanas y Maestría en Terapia para Matrimonios y Familias. Cindy ha participado en la Oklahoma City Human Trafficking Task Force, una coalición comunitaria que representa agencias federales, estatales y locales desde el 2008.

•  Benoni Gaud

Benoni Gaud nació en Río Piedras, Puerto Rico. En 1986 se mudó a Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Desde el 2004 se ha dedicado a trabajar con víctimas del abuso sexual y violencia doméstica. Como sobreviviente de la violación sexual, Benoni se ha desempeñado a seguir su pasión en ayudar a otras víctimas de la violencia. En el 2009 Benoni publicó su primer libro, La Niña Adentro Del Closet .

•  Laura Gomez-Horton

Laura Gómez-Horton, LCSW is the VAWA Social Services Coordinator for TCRP. In this role, she provides counseling and support services for clients working with the VAWA program, as well as coordinates social services for the TCRP offices throughout Texas. Laura has extensive experience working with individuals, children, families, and groups in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, depression, PTSD, immigration, parenting, social and familial development, cultural identity, and grief and loss .

•  Norma N. Hernandez

Norma es una trabajadora de servicios sociales. Está a cargo de los programas Un Nuevo Mañana y De Hombre a Hombre. Norma trabaja con agencias como Mujeres Unidas para ofrecer servicios a la comunidad sobre violencia doméstica y abuso sexual .

•  Monica Hernandez Sanchez

Monica Hernandez Sanchez is a Social Worker by profession with over 10 years experience with various causes including prevention / intervention / treatment specific to substance abuse, domestic / sexual violence, mental health, and autism. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Advanced Certified Prevention Specialist, and an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist employed as the Director of Programs at the Rio Grande Valley Council, Inc .

•  Rosa Herrin

Rosa Herrin es una inmigrante de Lima, Perú. Desde su llegada a este país en diciembre del 2002, Rosa ha sido una defensora de los derechos de la comunidad inmigrante Latin@ y, por los últimos tres años, ha co-organizado a un grupo de mujeres Latinas para que tomen un papel activo en la defensa de sus derechos. Rosa obtuvo su Bachillerato en Sociología en la Univerisity of Southern Mississippi en el 2006. Actualmente, ella trabaja para Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Inc. y está estudiando la Maestría de Planeamiento Urbano y Regional en la University of New Orleans.

•  Nancy Kelly

Veteran independent filmmaker, Nancy Kelly, wrote, produced and directed a documentary trilogy about the transformative power of art. This work includes "TRUST: Second Acts In Young Lives," about Chicago's Albany Park Theater Project, a mostly Latino teen theater company dedicated to helping young people re-imagine their experiences on stage; SMITTEN, about Napa Valley art collector Rene di Rosa; and DOWNSIDE UP, about how America's largest museum of contemporary art saved her de-industrialized home town .

•  Jose Juan Lara

J.J. ha participado en el movimiento contra la violencia de género desde 1999 en Texas y ha facilitado talleres en conferencias nacionales, estatales y locales sobre la intervención en crisis, la promoción de sistemas para las víctimas de violencia familiar y sexual y las víctimas LGBT de la violencia interpersonal. Antes de llegar a Texas Advocacy Project, J.J. trabajó como Coordinador del Programa Jurídico por la Amistad de la Mujer, Inc., en Brownsville, la sentencia de administrador de Supervisor / Coordinador de Voluntarios de Defensores Especiales Designados por la Corte (CASA) de Cameron y Willacy, y el Director de Servicios Jurídicos para el Centro de Crisis Familiar, Inc. en Harlingen. Además J.J. es un consultor de la Oficina para las Víctimas del Delito Capacitación y Asistencia Técnica y es miembro de la Junta de Directores de la Asociación de Texas de Servicios a Víctimas y allgo --una organización a nivel estatal para el mejoramiento y protección de los derechos civiles de personas de color que se identifican como gay, lesbiana, bisexual y transgénero .

•  Alma Martinez

Mrs. Martinez has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minor in Religion from Southwestern Adventist University. She obtained her Masters in Community Counseling in 2006 from Andrews University in Michigan. She is a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor. She currently works as the Supportive Counseling Coordinator at Women Together Foundation Inc/Mujeres Unidas. She provides individual and group counseling, training for professionals, presentations in the community, supervises the student interns, medical accompaniment to sexual assault victims and other tasks.

•  Raquel Medina

Raquel Medina has been working as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate for 3 years at Latinas Unidas por un Nuevo Amanecer (L.U.N.A.). Her primary role is providing counseling and advocacy services, including facilitating a support group for survivors. She has presented several trainings on the topics of domestic violence, sexual assault, safety planning and vicarious trauma. She is currently enrolled in the Human Services Program at the Des Moines Area Community College.

•  Stephanie Mesones

Stephanie has a wealth of experience facilitating bilingual sexual assault and domestic violence trainings. Working with survivors of sexual assault, Stephanie has provided support during forensic exams, legal advocacy, and case management.

Stephanie currently works for East Los Angeles Women's Center, in California, as the Education Specialist on an OVW grant. While there she created a bilingual, culturally competent, curriculum for a 12-hour Promotora training about violence against women and a curriculum for professionals. Stephanie is currently implementing that program. She also works with professionals in the community to increase their awareness about violence against women, and understanding of how Latinas may perceive outside assistance, access community resources, and respond to violence. Stephanie also provides consulting services on violence against women programming and Spanish/English translations.

•  Nora Montalvo-Liendo

Dr. Nora Montalvo-Liendo is a University of Texas faculty member in Brownsville. She has extensive experience working with abused Hispanic women at shelters. Her qualitative research began in 2007 studying the process of disclosure in Mexican-American women living with abuse. She has authored an integrated study on cross-cultural factors relevant to disclosure of abuse and has recently published some of the study findings from her dissertation "Understanding Mexican Women's Experience Living with Intimate Partner Violence.” Dr. Montalvo-Liendo presents regularly to national and international audiences.

•  Tanya Moreno

Tanya Moreno, Director of Prevention at Community Against Violence, is an experienced anti-oppression trainer and capacity builder on violence prevention, community organizing, and domestic and sexual violence. Of Yaqui/Chican@ descent, she received her degree from Stanford University. The founder of PODER (youth violence prevention), MAIS (immigrant domestic/sexual violence prevention),and OLLIN (violence prevention/youth organizing.

Most importantly she is a daughter, a sister, and a mother to two young sons, Telpochtli and Tajin.

•  Jeanette Ocasio

Jeanette Ocasio is the Director of Victim Advocacy for SPARCC, Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center. She has presented on cultural competency in working with victims of domestic and sexual violence throughout the Sarasota area community. Jeanette was a panel speaker at the Sarasota Openly Addresses Racism Annual Symposium (2005) and received a letter of commendation from the Sarasota Police Department in 2004. In 2006 she was also awarded the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) Above and Beyond Award (2006) for her work with victims of domestic violence and the development of the Hispanic/Latino outreach program for SPARCC. She is the Chair of the FCADV Hispanic Latino Caucus, and the Sarasota Human Trafficking Awareness Coalition. Jeanette is member of the Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and serves on their national Ad-hoc committee on Combating Racism. In June 2011 she was a panel speaker on a workshop addressing the Anti-Immigrant Sentiment and its effect on the battered women's movement at the Annual National Conference for NOW.

•  Lumarie Orozco

Lumarie Orozco is a community psychologist and has worked as the Youth Initiatives Coordinator and Trainer at Casa de Esperanza, St. Paul, MN for six years. During that time she has been responsible for peer education initiatives—with Latin@ youth and adult Latinas (Líderes)—as well as adolescent mothers' support initiatives. Her work has included peer educator training and curriculum development, oversight of all workshops provided by peer educators, psycho-educational support group facilitation, comprehensive youth advocacy services, and coordination with partner organizations in the community. Lumarie also provides trainings and educational support at local and national levels within Latin@ communities and non-Latin@ organizations.

•  Virginia Perez-Ortega

Virginia Pérez-Ortega is an immigrant from northern Mexico and works as an independent consultant for Albuquerque S.A.N.E Collaborative, NM Coalition on Sexual Assault Programs, and the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence. At her capacity, she provides outreach activities to Spanish speaking populations on issues related to domestic violence and sexual assault. She also coordinates an LEP Project that specifically pays for the cost of interpretation and translation directly benefiting victims of crime with limited English proficiency.

•  Marisol Ramirez

Mujer líder y activista por los derechos de la comunidad LGBT en su país de origen Colombia. En su Rol de Promotora de Voces Latinas por más de 5 años, hizo alcance en su comunidad contribuyendo así a la reeducación y prevención de VIH y Violencia. Actualmente forma parte del equipo de Voces Latinas como Especialista en Alcance y continúa educando y conectando a mujeres latinas con servicios cultural y lingüísticamente apropiados .

•  Ayaciuan Madrigal-Rodriguez

Ayaciuan Alejandra Madrigal-Rodriguez is a master's student in counselor education at the University of Texas-Brownsville. She has worked as a therapist in Mexico City, working with couples, individuals, families and battered women and their perpetrators. Her research interests include counseling families, empowering first generation immigrant women, and the psychological and emotional impact of border violence. She has conducted workshops for Spanish-speaking parents at local community-based settings.

•  Gabby Santos

Gabby Santos is the Program Coordinator for Underserved Communities for the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (OCADSV). She has worked with survivors of violence in roles ranging from Inverness Jail support group facilitator to legal advocate for the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She has 16 years of advocacy and community education experience. Racial justice work, gender positive activism and criminal justice reform are at the heart of her passion. Santos provides leadership to the OCADSV Communities of Color Task Force, coordinates the Oregon DELTA Preparing and Raising Expectations for Prevention Project (DELTA PREP), participates in the Gender Positive Systems Advocacy Committee (GPSAC) and is a member of the Firearms and Domestic Violence Task Force.

•  Laura Elena Sutherland

Laura Sutherland has worked with AmeriCorps as a Vista volunteer and also with Proyecto Azteca as the Youthbuild program manager. She currently works with the South Texas Civil Rights Project (STCRP), in San Juan, TX. While at STCRP, Laura worked with the VAWA Program for two years and then coordinated family law clinics throughout South Texas for two years. Presently, Laura is a legal assistant and coordinates the Promotora Program and ADA Program.

•  Rosemary Welsh

Sister Rosemary Welsh, a Sister of Mercy in Laredo, has devoted her life to advocacy for those who are in need along the US-Mexico Border as Executive Director of Casa de Misericordia, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, and as Director of Outreach for Mercy Clinic, a primary healthcare clinic. Both ministries use education as a tool for empowering the victims to break the cycles of violence, poverty and poor health.

•  Selma d. Yznaga, Ph.D.

Selma de Leon-Yznaga is an associate professor of counselor education at The University of Texas at Brownsville. Selma has held numerous positions in state and national professional counseling organizations, and in 2007 founded the Texas Counselors for Social Justice, a division of the Texas Counseling Association. She currently serves on the American Counseling Association's Human Rights Committee. Her research interests include ethnic identity development, acculturation distress and the effects of racial discrimination, and issues surrounding Mexican immigration. Selma is an active community volunteer, providing pro bono counseling and community outreach services to those who need them the most.

•  Laura Zárate

The daughter of parents from la frontera; Laura Zárate is a Chicana, victim advocate, training specialist, artist, and co-founder of Arte Sana. With over twenty-six years of experience in violence prevention and bilingual training on sexual and intimate partner violence issues atstate, national, and international conferences and training events in Mexico and Paraguay, Laura was the principal author of many of the products developed for the Existe Ayuda Toolkit now available on the Office of Victims of Crime website. Laura is also the facilitator of ALAS, the Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual, established in 2004 as one of the first national online sexual assault Latina victim advocate resource-sharing groups. She earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and is the proud madre of two incredible young adults.

•  Pamela Zeller

Pamela Zeller is a Mexican woman who has worked in social justice movements since the mid-70s.   She is a single mother of two beautiful and strong women.   Pamela has been working in the battered women's and sexual assault movements since 1987, and is currently the Executive Director of the Sexual Violence Center in Minneapolis, MN.   She has worked as a volunteer Spanish-speaking battered women's advocate for a local criminal justice intervention project since 1992.   Pamela has a broad range of experience in grassroots organizing, program and curriculum development, fundraising, and nonprofit management.   She has 24 years of experience training advocates, attorneys, prosecutors, and others on issues affecting battered women and their children, and victims/survivors of sexual violence.   Another part of her life experience is being a formerly battered woman, and a survivor of sexual assault.

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