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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

“I’ll count to 10 and you hide!”
“That’s not fair, I WAN TO COUNT!”
“I’ll count and you can count next time?”
“Ok!”
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10! Ready or not, here I come!”

The kids ran around the conference room looking for each other, oblivious to the fact that their mom’s and dad’s were in the other room getting information and building on their skills in order to raise healthier families and better futures.

Playing hide and seek in a conference room

Playing hide and seek in a conference room

However, it wasn’t all rainbow colored ponies. As I took a small break from the conference and made my way to the bathroom, I caught a conversation between two of the guards on the floor. Both were annoyed at the children. The screaming, laughing, jumping and overall awesomeness was too much for them. Complaints were exchanged about several things. Both agreed that the work environment was being disrupted because of the presence of children (I’ll mention that it was Saturday).

Some of the young families and their supporters

Some of the young families and their supporters

Were the kids really bothering anyone? No.

They were simply being kids. How do moms and dads get work done while raising a kid? Easy. They’re super heroes.

Maybe, if you opened up your mind and watched these kids laughing and playing you wouldn’t be so quick to complain. I had a headache from all the screaming but was able to function perfectly fine. Maybe, a notice should have been put up in the hallway that there was going to be kids on the floor that day. Maybe, if event spaces and public spaces were as welcoming to families as they are to food and drinks, organizers wouldn’t have to get creative and turn offices into day cares. Unsafe spaces shouldn’t have to transform into play areas only because most spaces are dominated by patriarchy. Bringing a child to a conference or event is not wrong. And feeding your child at an event or public space is not wrong. C’mon. In a country where women exhibit breasts on almost all ads, is breastfeeding really that disgusting?

Octavia and her son Tracy

Octavia and her son Tracy

Maybe, if resources were made available to young mom organizers and supporters, spaces where families are welcome would be accessible. If everyone just stopped for a moment and opened our minds and hearts to something new. To all the haters, keep in mind that young family gatherings are not about you but about the future of the kids in front of you.

photo 1

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By: Dian Alarcon

Mil gracias por todo el apoyo y enseñanzas en esta semana de abogacía. Realmente fue una experiencia enriquecedora. No importa cuántas veces la hagas siempre es una experiencia nueva que te enseña el poder que tiene tu voz. Aunque solo seas uno, es como el cardumen de peces, si esta solo es más fácil que un depredador se lo pueda comer pero cuando está acompañado por miles o cientos de peces, los depredadores piensan que eres un animal demasiado grande y poderoso para atacarlo y desisten de comerlos.
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Para mí la mayor reflexión esta semana es que cuando trabajamos ordenadamente en equipo, con pasión y todas con el mismo enfoque logramos llevar nuestro mensaje de Salud, Dignidad y Justicia más allá de nuestras fronteras.

NLIRH hizo un ejemplo de trabajo en equipo, muy ordenadas y cada una sabiendo cual era su roll en esta semana. Soy muy observadora y de todo me gusta aprender así que de cada instante que pasamos tantas mujeres poderosas juntas aprendí algo. Cada una tiene sus talentos y hay que saber descubrirlos y ponerlos a trabajar a favor de nuestras metas.

De los medíos de comunicación aprendí el gran poder que tiene y que es importante aprender a manipularlos para nuestra conveniencia. Aprendí que también tenemos que cuidar nuestro mensaje para que no lo editen en nuestra contra.

Trabajar en equipo con todas las organizaciones nos hace más fuertes.

Un Abrazo para tod@s y gracias por todos sus cuidados.


More reflections of our 2013 National Advocacy Weekend

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By: Leydi Bautista

My experience during National Advocacy Weekend was excellent! For is the first time I was invited to something to important. It was an honor to be with so many women and men who shared their stories and fight for the same goal as me.

After the training, I wish to educate myself more about how to contact my Senators and Congress members. I also want to educate everyone on what the real needs in my community are.

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I attended NAW without any fear and received so much information. It was so helpful because it will help me train myself to speak properly and to control my nerves.

Thank you National Latina institute for this opportunity to share with everyone. I realized that I have a lot of potential even if I am a women, young mother or student. I’m an unafraid immigrant!

Here in New York we will be having a open house for other young mothers like me, please come and get more information. Your voice matters!

FINALopenhouse


More reflections of our 2013 National Advocacy Weekend

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We mobilized over 50 activists from all around the country for our 2013 National Advocacy Weekend which took place from March 15-March 19 in Washington DC. Below is a video that highlights our experiences at NAW 2013.

Here is a reflection from one of the NAW participants:

I’m Christina from Boston, Massachusetts. I want to start off and say Thank You to everyone at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health for giving me the opportunity to attend the 2013 National Advocacy Weekend for the first time. Thank you for allowing me to have a first-hand account on what real lobbying is like.

Prior to lobbying on March 18, 2013 for Immigrant Women’s Healthcare, Immigration Reform and Affordable Abortion Access, I had only participated in drop off visits. I never fully experienced lobbying for a cause that is dear to me. I felt very excited to be there, even if at times my energy was a bit off. I want to thank everyone in the Massachusetts and New York lobbying group as well. They helped me speak to the Senators and helped me feel less nervous.

Photo taken by Selena Torrado

Photo taken by Selena Torrado


The rally prior to lobbying impacted me too. I’ve been to a march, but not a rally. I loved the way all the organizations fighting for immigrant women’s healthcare access and equal rights were helping each other.

During National Advocacy Weekend, I got to meet so many passionate and strong men and women from across the country who are fighting for reproductive rights, immigrant rights and LGBTQ’s rights. I was the only person from Massachusetts and the Texas group took me under their wing. I’m very grateful for being in an environment which taught me that I can do things even if it takes time.

During National Advocacy Weekend, Laura Esquivel, NLIRH board member, shared her story with us. It hit close to home. She spoke about attending community college and that there were people along the way to help her finish.

The Camino Media Academy, where we participated in mock interviews helped me get a taste of how the media works and how to deliver my message better. I also remember the Intercultural Productions workshop that taught me that you can create your own film via a smart phone. Lucy Felix’s presentation on how to start a group in your state helped a lot. Even though it was in Spanish, I could understand it and translate it. I loved the wall of victory we created as a community.

Wall of Victory at NAW

The victory I shared was that I’m learning how to balance health with my other responsibilities. I have been going back and forth on how to balance my Celiac Disease with my passion for reproductive rights for a while. But, now I know that I can combine both when it comes to the food and environmental injustice we face. All women regardless of income, disability, age, race, gender, orientation, religion, should be able to have good quality food and a holistic nutrition. We should all be able to control our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Again, I want to thank you to everyone and of course to NLIRH for allowing me to be part of my first NAW weekend :)!


Si Se Puede!

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Miami LOLA 2007 GraduatesFrom July 13-15th, NLIRH’s Community Mobilization team will be heading down to Charlotte, NC, to host its first Southeast Regional Latinas Organizing for Leadership and Advocacy (LOLA) training in Charlotte, NC.  We will be convening activists for a weekend of intentional conversations and networking around reproductive justice.

With attacks and attempts by the government to intrude on the private lives of women, this is an especially critical moment to make sure that the voices of Latinas are heard loud and clear, and to ensure that the issues affecting us at the intersections of our identities are not forgotten about. The work we do at NLIRH utilizes an intersectional human rights and social justice framework, incorporating various aspects and issues, including those faced by immigrant and/or LGBT-identified individuals, to get a comprehensive look at the barriers Latinas face when it comes to our reproductive rights, because every part of our identity must be addressed when it comes to reproductive justice. (more…)

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A red umbrella (symbol of sex workers' rights) and text underneath saying "International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers"

Today is the seventh annual Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, and NLIRH would like to invite you to a free event we have co-sponsored with the Sex Workers’ Outreach Project of New York City and other fabulous organizations to commemorate the day.  Please join us to hear fabulous speakers, join a community speak-out, and remember those we have lost:

7:30-9:30pm

Metropolitan Community Church of New York

446 W 36th st (between 9th & 10th aves), New York, NY  10018

Ending violence against sex workers in particular, and sex workers’ rights in general, are matters of reproductive justice.  Some sex workers have specific health care needs that often go unmet because of the clandestine nature of their work, or the stigma faced at doctors’ offices; some are forced to work in unsuitable or unsafe conditions; and others work in environments where they are unable to organize for adequate wages.   Though much violence against sex workers is perpetuated by clients, it is important to recognize that the most common perpetrators of violence against sex workers are not clients at all, but governments:

Although the purported mission of governments who criminalize sex work is to abolish the industry, sometimes with overtones of rescue, in reality the laws punish sex workers and make their lives harder.

In fact, the criminalization of sex work disproportionately affects low-income women, women of color, immigrants and gender non-conforming persons, putting them at increased risk of deportation and violence within the criminal justice system.  And though much is said about women who are victims of sex trafficking, much less often is the issue of trafficking talked about as a matter of immigrant’s rights and global economic justice – the lack of which is the real problem behind all human trafficking.  Violence against sex workers is as much – if not more – about criminalization of sex work and oppression at the hands of the state as it is about violent clients.  The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is proud to support the rights and well-being of sex workers, and we hope you can join us at tonight’s event!

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By Stephanie Rodriguez, Policy Intern

What is activism in the Age of Obama? I was recently asked that question, and it recalled for me one of the messages that the President left us with after the election. He told us that change is now in our hands. He called us to action, he told us that as activists we have to continue doing our part.

During these first years of the Obama administration many of our expectations have fallen short. The recent failure of the DREAM Act is one of those disappointments. We need to reinvigorate our activist spirits within ourselves and move forward the agenda that we seek. From the One Nation team:

We face serious challenges, including: a deepening jobs crisis caused in part by a bubble economy of low wages and exploitative credit. We continue to struggle with a broken immigration system; crumbling infrastructure; too many failing public schools that help some, but not all, children; increased levels of division and discrimination; economic and energy peril; and environmental catastrophe. And, in this time of crisis, too many voices offer only a choice between doing nothing, and turning against one another.

Nevertheless, it is up to us to continue the struggle and mobilization necessary to enact the changes that we yearn for. How can you be part of this movement you might be asking yourself? Well, One Nation is offering you a concrete way..

On Saturday, October 2, 2010, they are organizing a march. One Nation Working Together is a national coalition of over 300 progressive organizations headed by the NAACP, National Council of La Raza, and the AFL-CIO. They are bringing thousands of people out to demand the change that we voted for in 2008. National Latina Institute will also be present at the march in coalition with NCIWR, advocating for justice and distributing information about our efforts.

One Nation believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. So on the 2nd, we march for secure jobs and a safe work environment, a living wage, immigration reform, access to affordable health care, quality education and an environmentally just world built and sustained by renewable energy.

I highly encourage all the change makers at heart to attend, and have your voices heard. Join up and learn more here.

By Stephanie Rodriguez, Policy Intern

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