Nuestras voces/Our Voices: Wise Latinas en la lucha

Nuestras voces/Our Voices: Wise Latinas en la lucha


Workshop & Keynote Summaries

Monday, November 1

Opening Plenary Session: Latina Victim Advocacy in the US: from Tokenism to ACTION
Rosa Herring, Advocacy Program Coordinator, Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Inc. and Aline Jesus Rafi, Coordinator of SA Prevention Education and Response, Emory University

How can Latin@ victim advocates address mobilization and solidarity amidst organizational structures that allow for inequalities, oppression and overwork? Two members of the national Latina victim advocate's online working group: the Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual will address strategies and possible solutions to emphasize the importance of the Latin@ voice in building a cohesive social movement.  

Morning Workshops 10:15 - 11:45

En español: Importancia de reconocer las fortalezas de la comunidad latina para la eliminación de la violencia contra la mujer  
Virgia Perez-Ortega, Rural Project Coordinator, New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Durante este taller se explorarán las diferentes formas en que la comunidad latina encuentra soluciones al problema de la violencia en contra de la mujer. Se examinarán los supuestos problemas en la comunidad que con frecuencia son el resultado del mal uso y la incorrecta interpretación de tradiciones y valores que no promueven ni justifican la violencia. Veremos cómo podemos transformar costumbres dañinas en soluciones positivas para vivir en paz.

Culturally-Competent Educational Programming in Spanish
Sandra Molinari, Life Skills Coordinator, SafePlace

This session will provide practical tools to enhance existing programs focusing on Latin@s, including culturally competent educational programming in Spanish. It will highlight the SafePlace Life Skills Program in Austin--a unique, 16-week bilingual women's empowerment series offered since 2000.

Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs): Strategies for Success
Lisa Zapata-Maling, SART Program Coordinator,Texas Office of the Attorney General

"Our Voices,"- as a SART can make a difference in the recovery, prosecution and response to sexual violence in the community. SART models are victim centered. SARTs are a reflection of the many voices that spoke up asking for change. A coordinated community response to sexual assault is imperative to successful investigations and prosecutions. This workshop will review the process of creating and maintaining a local SART/SANE program and the role the Office of the Attorney General can play in supporting this process.

From Page to Stage: How to Write for Public Performance
Celeste Guzmán Mendoza, Independent Consultant

Collaborating with a group of women to create a performance piece about healing from and surviving sexual and physical violence can create transformative experiences not just for the collaborative artists but also for the community that experiences the performance. This workshop will provide attendees with the five most important steps to create a collaborative performance piece. How to engage area shelters and service organizations in the recruiting process for writers and in the audience development for the program will also be covered.

Lunch and Keynote Presentation

Victimization, Help-seeking, and Cultural Factors Among Latino Women: Results from the National SALAS Study
Dr. Carlos A. Cuevas, Assistant Professor, Northeastern University, and Dr. Chiara Sabina, Assistant Professor, Penn State Harrisburg

Although the problem of interpersonal violence against Latino women has recently received increased focus it still accounts for a small percentage of the research focusing on violence and victimization, leaving gaps in the information needed to better serve the Latino community. Keeping this goal in mind, the Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS) Study was developed and is one of the first national surveys focusing on the victimization of Latino women. The results of this study highlight some important issues including the prevalence of interpersonal victimization among Latino women, the likelihood of getting formal or informal help, the impact of victimization on psychological symptoms, and the role cultural factors play in the likelihood of being victimized or getting help. Based on their results, the presenters will discuss potential ways that services and outreach efforts can be improved for Latino women.

Afternoon Workshops 2:00 - 3:30

En español: Conozca sus derechos (plan de acción para enfrentar una redada de inmigración)
Elizabeth Balcarcel, Asistente Legal del Programa para Víctimas, IowaCASA

Este taller proveerá un modelo que fue adaptado en la comunidad inmigrante en el estado de Iowa, para educar a la comunidad sobre sus derechos en caso de una redada.
El taller está diseñado para proveer educación comunitaria y facilitar el proceso de apoyo emocional a los afectados durante la redada. Se examinará cómo el cliente puede preparar a su familia con un plan de acción para saber qué hacer antes de la redada y cómo implementarlo como un segundo plan de seguridad.

Combating Barriers in the Access to Justice: Latina Critical Advocacy
Roberta Villalón, Assistant Professor, St John's University

Immigrant women are extremely vulnerable to abuse. Their gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, social class and immigration status combine in such a way that multiply the effects of structural and interpersonal oppression. In this workshop we will focus on developing our Latina advocacy work practices toward combating the formal and informal barriers that prevent immigrant survivors of violence to access the rights that they deserve by law.

Grassroots Marketing: Organizing to Advance Latin@ Initiatives
Rose Luna, Training/Diversity Specialist, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

The concept of grassroots marketing is to transform communities by shifting people's attitudes from awareness to intention and beyond. Very often ideas and programs are created only to remain on the shelves of “good intentions.” In order to create change propagation of ideas must not only reach the public masses, but more importantly resonate with the audience. This interactive workshop will address grassroots marketing as a medium to promulgate our cause and advance Latin@ efforts nationwide.

LGBT Latin@s Victims of Family Violence: A Minority within a Minority
Jose Juan Lara Jr., Director of Advocacy & Training, Texas Advocacy Project

While LGBT Latin@s and their heterosexual counterparts share many of the same issues, LGBT Latin@s encounter additional barriers. LGBT Latin@s often face antigay or gender discrimination on two levels: racism and homophobia/heterosexism. As a “twice-hidden” community, LGBT Latin@s are rendered “invisible” to mainstream providers and vitally important services. How can we achieve wisdom if Latin@s are not able to embrace all members of our community? How can nuestras voces be united if within nuestras familias, we keep embracing the internal oppression of a racist, heterosexist and homophobic system?

Afternoon Workshops 3:45 - 5:15

En español: Los monólogos de la vagina
Verónica Hernández, Activista, Directora/Productora and Gabriela Lomónaco, V-Day Forth Worth

Día-V es un movimiento global cuya misión es terminar la violencia en contra de las mujeres y niñas. A través de producciones locales de teatro de la obra “Los Monólogos de la Vagina” de  Eve Ensler, voluntarias locales ayudan a crear conciencia y recaudar fondos para grupos anti-violencia que dan asistencia a víctimas y sobrevivientes de la violencia en sus propias comunidades. La producción en español es especialmente significativa para las Latinas porque ofrece un espacio para hablar sobre temas tabúes y propone la celebración de nuestros cuerpos y nuestra sexualidad. La producción de “Los Monólogos de la Vagina” es una experiencia divertida, valiosa y enriquecedora. No se requiere tener experiencia para unirse a este esfuerzo, solo muchas ganas de trabajar en grupo y el deseo de eliminar todo tipo de violencia que afecta a las mujeres. V-Day ofrece una red de apoyo para guiar a las organizadoras de voluntarias en todos los pasos de la producción.

Victim Advocacy SIN Fronteras: Promotoras Addressing Critical Border Issues - Anna Villarreal, Promotora with Un Nuevo Mañana, Migrant Health Promotion & Stephanie Mesones, East Los Angeles Women's Center
Facilitator: Laura Zárate

The Promotora model is a valuable strategy for addressing sexual assault not only in rural colonias in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and in California, but also in other regions of the nation with large or growing Spanish-speaking populations. Promotoras respect the skills, talents, and wisdom of community members with whom they work, and in doing so build the trust that is necessary to serve as successful sexual assault advocates. The Un Nuevo Mañana program, a collaboration between Migrant Health Promotion and Mujeres Unidas, uses the Promotora model to raise awareness in the colonias about sexual assault services and provide direct services to survivors, will be among the models shared.

The Joy Diet (Self-Care for Advocates)
Marta Sánchez, Artist. Speaker. Activists. Writer., Independent Consultant

This workshop is designed for advocates, counselors, and others seeking to infuse their day with joy. Creative exercises structured to relax, recharge and inspire, remind us that being a Wise Latin@ requires self-care. Filling ourselves with peace means having our best energy to put forward en la lucha. This workshop shows the power of art for self-care, outreach, education, and community building/transformation.

Latinas, Domestic Violence, & Spread of HIV/AIDS
Susan Clark, Crisis Counselor, Parkland Hospital

This workshop will explore the powerful connection between intimate partner violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS, calling special attention to the impact these two destructive forces have on the lives of Latina women and their children.

Tuesday, November 2

Morning Workshops 8:30 - 10:00

En español: Prevención primaria e intervención de bystanders
Carolina Alzuru, Latina/o Services Coordinator, Orange County Rape Crisis Center & Lynne Walter, Prevention Education Coordinator, North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Esta presentación ayudará a participantes a empoderar a l@s Latin@s en la lucha contra la violencia sexual usando estrategias de prevención primaria e intervención de bystanders. El foco de activismo comunitario ayudará a participantes a llevar la información a sus comunidades para continuar en la lucha. Este taller se va a enfocar en la prevención primaria y la intervención de bystanders y está diseñado como un taller para entrenar a futur@s entrenadores/as.

Technology, Advocacy and Safety
Clara Galván-Lindstrom, Advocate, Activist and Author, La Mariposa Enterprises

The goals for this workshop are to put technology on your radar, to discuss benefits of new technologies, to share technology risks and include them in Safety Planning, to discuss resources for victims and advocates, and to support survivors in self-determination. This workshop will address balancing the benefits and risks of using the Internet, talking to victims/survivors about their tech use, and sharing safety and privacy tips with clients.

Ensuring Meaningful Access to Services for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency
Ambar Hanson, National Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator, Casa de Esperanza

Recipients of federal funding have a legal obligation to ensure that those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP persons) have “meaningful access” to those services in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As advocates, it is important to help shape the development and implementation of public policy to address the needs and harness the strengths of our communities. This presentation will provide an overview of language access rights for individuals with limited English proficiency and strategies for expanding policy advocacy by Latin@ advocates and organizations.

Girl Empowerment Festival para Chicas Líderes
Laura Zárate, Arte Sana Founding Executive Director

Arte Sana's bilingual Girl Empowerment Festival model offers a unique inter-agency and multi-disciplinary community collaboration opportunity for a customized girl conference that addresses violence prevention through a holistic approach. Each Girl Empowerment Festival is planned in accordance with local needs and interests in mind. From 2004 to 2009, over 526 Texans have attended bilingual Girl Empowerment Festivals and in 2010, this gender-specific outreach model was implemented in Wyoming.

Morning Workshops 10:15 - 11:45

En Español: Las olvidadas: mujeres indígenas mexicanas inmigrantes (víctimas de violencia sexual en los Estados Unidos)
Graciela Laguna, Coordinadora de Servicios a Víctimas y Acceso, Wisconsin Coalition Against DV

Este taller busca ser una voz para la integración de servicios culturalmente apropiados para las mujeres que han sido olvidadas durante largo tiempo: las indígenas que huyen de sus comunidades y migran a los Estados Unidos y que son víctimas de violencia sexual. Entender y aceptar su realidad desde su propia perspectiva es sumamente importante para contribuir a su llamada por ejercer sus derechos.

Cutting Away at Emotional Pain
Renee Baker Advisory Board Member, Youth First Texas

Cutting, a type of self-mutilation, is a growing epidemic among young people, especially in the invisible population of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Understanding the complexity of this coping behavior will be discussed and analyzed by facilitators as we also engage with a panel of youth survivors who have overcome this dangerous addiction.

Cultivating Latina Victim Advocacy Leadership
Melina Castillo, Arte Sana Board President & Monica Urbaniak, Bilingual Sexual Assault Therapist, Dallas Rape Crisis Center

Latinas can become involved in victim advocacy at the leadership level in a variety of ways: by serving on the board of directors and review panels, doing consultant work, conference planning, and even non-profit development. These, along with mentoring, and the Girl Empowerment Festival model as a means to cultivate leadership early in young Latinas, will be among the topics covered.

Married to the Media: We Need You and You Need Us
Rebecca Aguilar, Freelance Multimedia Reporter

There's no doubt reporters will show up to a domestic violence scene where a woman has been killed by her husband. But how can you get reporters interested in Domestic Violence issues after the police have cleared and the crime tape has been taken down? How can you get reporters to care about the issue all the time? This media workshop will show you how to make the media listen to our voices, and give the issue of domestic violence the attention it needs to educate the community.

Lunch and Keynote Presentation

The Pornographic Mirror: Facing the Ugly Realities of Patriarchy and White Supremacy
Dr. Robert Jensen, Journalist Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Many want to believe that modern pornography is harmless sexual fantasy. In fact, the images are relentlessly cruel and degrading to women and overtly racist. An honest evaluation of this increasingly mainstream industry is part of facing up to the ways in which contemporary U.S. culture is still deeply sexist and racist.
In this lecture, Robert Jensen will offer an analysis based on two decades of research on the industry, the images it produces, and men's use of pornography.

Afternoon Workshops 2:00 - 3:30

En español: Víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso sexual en una redada de inmigración
Elizabeth Balcarcel, Asistente Legal del Programa para Víctimas, IowaCASA & Sonia Parras Konrad, Directora, ASISTA

Este taller proveerá una perspectiva de cómo asistir a las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso sexual durante una redada de inmigración. Demostrará cómo la asesora puede dar servicio efectivo y seguro, respetando los derechos de la víctima sin importar su estatus migratorio. Dará un ejemplo efectivo de cómo trabajar en conjunto con diferentes servidores públicos para responder inmediatamente en caso de una redada. Hará respetar los derechos de una víctima inmigrante.

Altars and the Healing Process
Ivonne Acero, The Creative Power

Altar-making can help people explore spiritual themes in their lives, cope with bereavement and grief, and remember their loved ones (White, 1997). Personal altars can help us to reconnect with the deeper parts of ourselves, our inner child, and start the healing process within. This hands-on workshop will focus on demonstrating the altar-making technique as an expressive template for healing, especially for people familiar with Catholicism, altars, and/or folk healing beliefs. Suggestions for creating an altar will be demonstrated through a therapy perspective, an artist's perspective will be shared.

Confronting the Economic and Sexual Exploitation of Female Low-Wage Immigrant Women
Janet Sosa, Outreach Paralegal, Southern Poverty Law Center, Immigrant Justice Project

Migrant Farmworker and Low-Wage Immigrant women are being sexually and economically exploited in the workplace, they are being sexually harassed, assaulted and raped at work. They often do not know their rights and feel powerless to exert them when they do. Latina activists have fought for the creation and enforcement of employment protections for farmworker women and other low-wage immigrant women for decades. We have made great strides in this movement to protect our communities from workplace sexual violence and economic exploitation. This session will focus on continuing this movement.

The Impact of Sexual Abuse on the Family
Diana Garza Louis, Director, Rio Grande Counseling Center

This workshop will address issues of denial, disbelief, betrayal and confusion for the non-offending parent and other family members. Working with the family as a whole will help the healing process and prepare all members for the long-term effects of sexual abuse on the victim and other family members. "Chaperon" training will be discussed as an option for families who will have future contact with the perpetrator to assist them in dealing with safety, denial, manipulation, and future concerns that family members may have regarding the abuse.


The National Latin@ Victim Advocate Awards and Closing Plenary 3:45 - 5:15
¿Y ahora qué haremos? Where do we go from here? Group Discussion
Concrete action steps for meaningful collaborations that will help present a unified voice, promote policy decisions and partnerships for funding access will be among the issues that we will address collectively in the spirit of acción para el cambio.

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