Posted in Families, Motherhood, Youth, tagged allies, ally, education, families, family, mom, motherhood, nlirh, rj, teen mom, teen parent, young mom, young mothers, youth on September 4, 2013 |
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When I first starting working with young mothers I found myself trying to validate my ally-ness. If anyone asked me why I was involved, or if I had children of my own, instead of simply saying “no”, I would feel the need to defend my involvement.
I would often respond with:
“No I don’t have any children, but my mother was a young mother”
“No but I have many friends who are young parents”
I asked myself, “as an undocumented immigrant, what do I want from allies?” Then it hit me, I can be an ally without an explanation or defending my involvement. “I’m not a racist, my friend is black” isn’t cool so why would “I don’t have children but my friend is a young mom” be considered okay? I started reminding myself that I can be an ally, just because. I can be an ally because I believe in the importance of young mother’s voices being heard without tokenizing those around me. I can be an ally because our liberations are tied together. I can be an ally because no one is free, while others are oppressed.
Even though being an ally can be tricky. We should all be willing to learn and be called out. We are allies to each other. Here are some things I’ve learned throughout my involvement with young mothers:
1. It’s so much easier to sit back and judge young families. Young mothers already face a bunch of judgement everywhere. Don’t judge. Educate yourself.
2. Always step back and look at the bigger picture. This isn’t about you, remember?
3. Families are different. Don’t assume every family is compiled of a mother, father and one child.
4. Always engage the children and think of their needs/wants.
5. Be an ally just because. Don’t try to prove something to others or to yourself. Believing in the people you’re working with and the cause you’re working towards is sufficient.
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Posted in civic engagement, Reproductive Justice, Take Action, tagged families, life, love, teen parent, teen parenting, teen parents, teen pregnancy, teenage, teenage families, young mom, young mothers on June 27, 2013 |
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By: Gloria Malone
Teenage families need support and encouragement to succeed, sadly a lot to teenage families do not receive this from the adults in there lives or society in general.
The NYC Teenage Families event seeks to change this by placing both teenage families or organizations that support them in the same space for a day long event catered to the unique needs of New York Cities teenage families.
This event is ONLY for TEENAGE PARENTS. FREE childcare, raffle prizes, and food are provided.
You MUST RSVP! Even if you are a “maybe” still RSVP because security will NOT let you in if they do not have your name! Please RSVP Here
Come meet other teenage families in NYC, organizations and programs for teenage families, and leave with a renewed sense of empowerment and determination.
When: Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 11:00am until 4:00pm
Where: 4 Times Square/Condè Nast Building New York, New York
RSVP HERE AND AT THE EVENTBRITE PAGE to ensure your spot!
No Stigma No Shame Event
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Posted in Events, tagged abortion, aca, cir, families, health, health care, immigration, immigration reform, latina institute, national advocacy, national advocacy weekend, national latina institute for reproductive health, naw, naw 2013, new york, nlirh, women's health on April 1, 2013 |
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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
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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