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Archive for the ‘LANs’ Category

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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Texas LAN signs

Everything is bigger in Texas, but does that include community organizing? Last week a few of us went down the Rio Grande Valley to visit our incredible activists who have been working on creating an educated and saavy group of Latin@s in colonias throughout the Valley. The Texas Rio Grande Valley is a place that is often times forgotten about by the rest of the United States. It is only recently that it has been placed on the map because of the work that our Latina Advocacy Network (LAN) has been doing around the Affordable Care Act and the destructive cuts to women’s health services in Texas – our activists are truly incredible, and right when you think they have surpassed any expectations, they do something else to raise the bar, and really push their activists to the next level.

Our leaders hold “juntas comunitarias,” (community meetings) in different colonias on a daily basis. Some of our more developed colonia leaders come to these meetings equipped with a neighbor or family member by their side to get them involved in the LAN;  a pen and paper to write down any information they have learned in the meeting, or an assignment(s) they have taken for an event; and an open heart and mind. (more…)

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NLIRH staff and WI activists pose together

NLIRH staff with JoCasta Zamarripa

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.

WI LOLA graduates holding certificates and salud, dignidad y justicia t-shirts

Wisconsin LOLA graduates!

 

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.

Three participants during a timeline exercise examine the pieces of paper along the wall

NYC LOLA participants during a timeline exercise

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!

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DSCN0108South Florida advocates joined forces to stand up for comprehensive Health Care Reform amidst the deceitful propaganda and town hall meeting distractions opposing it. The South Florida Reproductive Justice Alliance (SFL RJA) unified voices and visited Senator Bill Nelson and Representative Kendrick Meek’s offices on August 25th and 26th. Women from the community shared stories of inaccessibility to vital health care and subsequent hardships for them and their families.

During this critical time in the national health reform debate, the SFL RJA is holding its elected officials accountable for ensuring that health care reform legislation addresses the needs of women of color, low-income women and their families. We asked Sen. Nelson and Rep. Meek to ensure that health coverage include comprehensive reproductive health services; is accessible to all persons residing in the United States; and that is affordable for women of color and their families.

Staff from both offices mentioned that they are bombarded every day with faxes, letters and calls of constituents demanding that Health Care reform be exclusive, not comprehensive, not for all, and exceptionally limited for women and low income families. We need to stand up for comprehensive health reform; let’s not have our voices muffled by the noise of GREED.

The SFL RJA is an activist/community organization based group offering an open forum for meaningful and empowering conversations and actions around Reproductive Justice Issues. It is currently being coordinated by Miami International Latinas Organizing for Leadership and Advocacy (MI LOLA, Inc.). For more information, please contact SFLRJA@yahoo.com or milola.southfl@yahoo.com.

By Jersey Garcia and Erika Cordova, MI-LOLA

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Lucy Félix, from the fantastic Migrant Health Promotion, is a recipient of the Ms. Foundation’s Women of Vision Award. She will receive the award tonight at the 20th Annual Gloria Awards.

A 2007 LOLA graduate and Houston LAN member, she began her career with Migrant Health Promotion (MHP) as a promotora de salud (health promoter) in 2000. Now, she is the community organizer and lead trainer of MHP’s La Voz Latina. La Voz Latina was initiated in 2001 to address reproductive health disparities within the marginalized and highly neglected communities along the Texan border (also known as colonias) through public education, community organizing and advocacy to increase access and public funding for reproductive healthcare services.

To read more about Lucy and her work, please click here.

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