NLIRH’s signature training, Latinas Organizing for Leadership and Advocacy (LOLA), went to two new cities this past year. Our first stop was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in late September where the wonderful people from Proyecto Salud and Planned Parenthood of WI hosted us and co-sponsored the weekend-long training. We kicked off the training with a wonderful reception with keynote speaker, JoCasta Zamarripa, the first Latina to serve in the state legislature representing Assembly District 8 in Milwaukee, WI. A total of 22 participants attended the training, one of which described it to be “more than just an educational training, but a life changing experience”. The fierce women who attended our training did not wait long to organize a mini- LOLA of their own a month later, where they had 35 people attend. We are very excited to continue to see the development of our WI Latina Advocacy Network and expect nothing but more success and fierce activism.
Our second destination brought us back to our roots in NYC, where the first LOLA training was held back in 2005. We were back in NYC for the second time around in order to jumpstart our Latina Advocacy Network back into action. On an early cold December morning we had the privilege to host Part 1 of our LOLA training at Queens Pride House. We had a smaller and more intimate setting in comparison to our WI LOLA, which proved to be instrumental and brought lots of rich dialogue and shared experiences. We look forward to Part 2 of the LOLA training coming up in January to prepare our next generation of activists for our National Advocacy Weekend scheduled for March 2011.
Completing two LOLA trainings in a matter of months was both challenging and rewarding. We provided a space where women could connect with each other and learn that their experiences and voices are valuable. They saw themselves in each other and in NLIRH, creating a sense of community and solidarity for reproductive justice. Salud! Dignidad! Y Justicia!