My name is Amanda Reyes. I am a second year Master’s student in the University of Alabama’s Women’s Studies program and an instructor of Introduction to Women’s Studies. Throughout my career as a feminist, women’s studies student, and university instructor, I have always been passionate about reproductive and sexual justice and eager to engage anyone on a discussion of these topics. Though their notion of “access” is generally limited by assumptions of affordability, legally documented immigration status, and personally-owned transportation, many individuals can understand the need for women to have access to basic preventive health services, sexually transmitted disease testing and counseling, annual well woman exams, and contraception. However, attitudes can quickly change when the topics of emergency contraception and abortion services are mentioned. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Latina RJ week of action’ Category
As women’s health advocates, we danced for joy on August 1st as we celebrated better access to many critical reproductive health services under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including well-woman visits, breastfeeding counseling & supplies, birth control and emergency contraception. While this is an important first step in eliminating many of the health disparities faced by women of color, the new policies do not help to ensure the availability or affordability of abortion care. And this means some inequities in health care will persist, if not grow. (more…)
Soy Poderosa because I’ve struggled.
I grew up in a single parent household, the only girl, surrounded by loving but macho men. My mother passed away in a car accident when I was five years old and my father worked several jobs to take care of us. My mother’s family, while very supportive, lived far away. As a result, my brothers and I all but raised ourselves. (more…)
During this Week of Action, we’ll be profiling a few true poderosas: Latinas who show their power and inspire us in their actions. Today’s Poderosa is Veronica Arreola, a fabulous blogger and feminista.
On why she is a Poderosa:
It took me while to grow into my role as a troublemaker, but once I did I have embraced it. Sadly, the label of being a troublemaker is often given to me for merely speaking up and pointing out that women are left out of an equation. Or Latinas. Or just questioning the equation itself. That is why I took to blogging instantly. My blog has been the home for my troublemaking for over five years. I hope that even when I focus on the negative aspects of an issue, people see that I want us to change that negative stuff. We have to call out the injustice before we can change the world. I an so privileged to have an audience who is engaged, so I try to use my blog to raise the voice of others. That is why I run the “Summer of Feminista” series. I am so honored that new and veteran bloggers want to share their thoughts on my blog. Latinas are known for our ability to talk, so why not use that amazing gift for good? (more…)
Every time I hear the word poderosa or powerful, a particular experience in my life strikes me immediately. The details are all incredibly vivid and I begin to remember this particular moment that completely changed my life. I was 18 years old the first time I ever felt empowered to create positive social change. At the time, I was applying for colleges and universities and immigration started to play a huge role in my life. During this time I was lucky to have 2 of my cousins go through the college application process with me since we were all the same age. It was an exciting time for us because we were all about to be the first ones in our families to go to a college or university. After years of waiting and asking others for advice on how to apply and what scholarships to look for, we were finally going to achieve one of the biggest goals we had set for ourselves: to be professionals in the United States. To my surprise, it was while filling out one of those applications that I found out that one of my cousins was undocumented. The blank after “SSN:” on an application — that I had quickly filled out and overlooked — was the only thing standing in the way of her dreams. Never mind the fact that she wanted to be a doctor and was incredibly smart, or that she was on the honor roll every quarter in high school. It felt as if her shot of going to a four-year university was shot down instantly. The day I found out about my cousin’s immigration status, I felt hopeless and disempowered because I knew that nothing I could say to her would bring the light back to her eyes when she talked about her future. (more…)
This week is about taking action and showing our PODER, and we are focusing in on our governors. As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be implemented, we must be diligent in our advocacy to make sure that its benefits get to as many people as possible. In the spirit of action, NLIRH is providing you with two very easy ways to take action. (more…)
During this Week of Action, we’ll be profiling a few true poderosas: Latinas who show their power and inspire us in their actions.
Durante esta Semana de Acción, haremos perfiles de verdaderas poderosas: Latinas que nos muestran su poder y nos inspiran en sus acciones.
I consider myself a powerful woman every time I give sexual and reproductive health education to women in a parking lot, or in a Laundromat, and see the expression on their faces – like they’ve never spoken about their own bodies before. When I, or one of the promotoras of the Lifting Latina Voices initiative, help women to discover their potential for leadership, women realize that over the years that others have had more say in their life decisions than they have had themselves – how many children to have, when and where to have them – regardless of their individual future. They then discover their power, or realize they’ve been in abusive relationships where their own pleasure has been put on hold and their partner has never cared about what they feel and want. When we’re able to work with women as they come to these conclusions for themselves, I feel powerful. I feel powerful when I see women demand Health to be able to protect themselves, Dignity to be respected for who they are and their decisions, and Justice to condemn anything they consider a personal attack. (more…)