Press Releases
May 19, 2008
Local Agencies Collaborate to Prevent Violence Against Girls
Girl Empowerment Festival to be held in El Paso, TX

EL PASO, Texas -- Today, Arte Sana (art heals) is proud to present the first Girl Empowerment Festival, a gathering for girls and young women in the El Paso community. This event will address issues such as body image, dating violence and sexual assault victim rights, media literacy, cultural identity, and teen pregnancy prevention.

This event was made possible thanks to the collaboration and support from the following entities: Health & Human Services Commission-Office of Border Affairs – El Paso, Latinitas, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition, Texas A&M University Prevention Resource Center, Head Start Program. Arte Sana would like to recognize and thank the following sponsors: Region 19, Head Start Program and the Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande.

The program includes:

STAND AGAINST VIOLENCE: Preventing Teen Dating Violence – Elizabeth L. Richeson, Ph.D., M.S. Psy.Pharm - This workshop educates young women and those that care about them regarding the risks of dating violence. It further educates and prepares them for safely leaving those relationships. Abusive relationships are defined and statistics are given that facilitate are clear understanding of the risks.

Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs: What’s Up With the Risk? – Victor Parra - This workshop will discuss the laws on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, the health consequences, signs of use and the behaviors associated with specific substances. The presentation will also highlight the role these substances in dating violence and sexual assault.

No Kidding: Straight Talk from Teen Parents – Eileen Huereque, Child Crisis Center of El Paso and Kathleen Thompson, Two Should Know - This workshop will educate young people on the right, responsibilities and realities of teen parenting through interactive presentations conducted by trained peer educators who are themselves teenage parents.

De hombre a joven; lo que es ser hombre hoy en dia/Boys to Men: What it means to be a man today – Emiliano Diaz de Leon, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (PARENT SESSION) - This workshop is intended for those who want to increase their ability to raise healthy, non-violent boys. We will explore machismo and its consequences.

Teens and Dating Violence – Maria Sanchez, Center Against Family Violence - Students will engage in workshop identifying healthy signs of a relationship and warning signs of an abusive relationship.

La Neta: Las Chavas y El Alcohol/ Getting It Straight: Girls and Alcohol - Adriana Cadena, Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition - The goals of the session are: (1) provide information regarding the effects of alcohol on health and self image; (2) provide girls with the tools to scrutinize alcohol marketing; and, (3) provide a space of "confianza" for girls to discuss how alcohol abuse can lead to violence towards women.

UR FREE 2BU (Stereotypes) – Alicia Rascon, Latinitas - Look beyond labels and stereotypes to be proud of the real you. Learn to take a stand, defy the ordinary and be yourself. Join us in this talk about being a girl, being young and being unique. Create your own powerful poetry to confront stereotypes, sexism and racism.

The Heart of Self-Esteem - Susan De La Paz and Lelia Onsurez, Women's Health Center - Thomason Hospital - This workshop will define self-esteem and how it affects our daily lives. It will also empower young girls to develop a positive self-image and facilitate a dialogue amongst participants in learning to appreciate our differences.

Attitudes Toward Differences – Diana Salaices and Adriana Molina, YWCA El Paso del Norte Region
This interactive session facilitates dialogue amongst participants to understand our judgments of individuals based on that "first look" and encourages them to look at the "big picture" before jumping to conclusions. Come challenge your assumptions and learn to appreciate and understand our attitudes toward differences.

Protegiendo a la familia de la violencia sexual – Arely Sulvarán Achenbach, Arte Sana - A través de este taller interactivo aprenderemos las diferentes formas de violencia sexual que pueden poner en peligro a nuestra familia. Juntas opinaremos y analizaremos factores culturales que contribuyen a la existencia de la violencia y actitudes hacia ella. Hablaremos sobre toda una serie de medidas preventivas de violencia que empoderen tanto a la juventud como a sus madres y finalmente proporcionaremos una lista de recomendaciones para activamente prevenir la violencia.

Chica 2 Chica – Alicia Rascon, Latinitas - Join us in a chat about real girl issues and get answers to the questions you were afraid to ask. Find out how you can offer good advice to your amigas.

Resources to prevent our children from using drugs – Susan Hernandez-Hurt, Texas A&M University–Prevention Resource Center (PARENT SESSION) - Participants will learn where to access free of charge prevention materials such as, bookmarks, posters, stickers and alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and related printed materials. 

Donors included:

• San Eli Supermarket
• Trade Secret
• Bath & Body Works
• UTEP Alumni Relations
• Center for Civic Engagement
• Girl Scouts – Rio Grande Council
• Torrid
• Origins Retail Store – Cielo Vista Mall
• Latinitas
• Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition
• Thomason Hospital

About Arte Sana

Arte Sana (art heals) is a nationwide organization dedicated to helping underserved survivors of racial and gender-based violence. As a 501(c)3 non-profit group based in Austin, TX, Arte Sana promotes healing and empowerment through the arts and community education. Founded in 2001, Arte Sana believes that violence risk reduction programs and services must be culturally competent and linguistically appropriate and are committed to the value of indigenous leadership and collaboration sin fronteras (without borders).


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