Hasta Aquí No Mas / Draw the Line
It was a multi-year project, funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate. This project was a part of the phase two Draw-the-Line / Tracons-Les-Limites initiative.
Empower Youth Latinas in Toronto was a three-year project funded by the Status of Women. The project promoted and supported an active analysis and discussion around issues that affect Latina youth, including, bullying, body image, healthy relationships and gender-based violence. Factors such as lack of communication, trust, racialized beauty standards, isolation and desperation lead these youth to early pregnancy, single motherhood, increased high school dropout rates and poverty. The project supported expressive art workshops at MUJER’s Summer Camp, all-day retreats for Latin-American girls, a multimedia video campaign and a community meeting to enable a healthier dialogue between girls and their parents and the community at large.
Your Voice Counts / Tu Voz Cuenta Media Campaign (November 2011):
This media campaign was aimed to empower Latina youth to de-mystify issues of body image, healthy relationships and sexual choices and to create a larger network of support. A committee of four youth Latinas helped with the development of the scripts and three youth Latinas from the local community were selected to be the ‘actors.’ The three Public Service Announcement videos created were focused on body image, healthy relationships and sexual orientation.
The videos received national attention and MUJER was invited to present them at the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s National Skills Institute to an audience of 500 youth and adults representing organizations from across Canada that work to empower youth. Each of the videos has over 1500 views on YouTube and numerous presentations have been made in public education workshops and seminars.
Youth Retreat (March 2012):
A safe and respectful space for young girls to have open discussions on subjects they wanted to talk about. An expressive art therapist facilitated the group in expressing feelings of thoughts regarding their self-esteem, body image and confidence through quilting (Arpilleras). The art therapist explained that quilting was an old tradition for individuals to express themselves without being punished. Practicing this old art form with each individual was enriching, challenging and eye-opening. At the end of the retreat, each girl presented her quilt.
Tu Voz es Tu Fortaleza / Your Voice is your Strength:
A series of 6 workshops that confronted and verbalize issues including gender equality, self-esteem, the importance of volunteerism and violence prevention, which provided 30 participants with the tools to be leaders in their communities. Many of the participants had experienced trauma, persecution and/or violence, and a lot of them lacked the language that they need to help ease the transition into Canadian society. The lack of language skills has resulted in a lack of information about resources, rights, opportunities and employment- all of which were addressed in the workshop series.
The final stage of the project had the participants work with the Project Coordinator, Elsa Rodriguez and put on an event so that they could implement the tools and skills learned in the workshops. The Brunch & Salsa Fundraiser was a tremendous success that took place at Lula Lounge with over 100 attendees, where each of the thirty women were recognized and celebrated for their achievements.
This project was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Manual for Leadership Training in Human Rights & Gender Equality for Young Latinas. Financed by the City of Toronto, 2009 Access, Equity and Human Rights (AEHR) – Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP).
MUJER co-sponsored a course on Latina Feminisms in conjunction with the Women’s Studies Department at OISE. This project was extremely successful and incredibly exciting. For the first time, a theory-based course was offered to young women regardless of their academic background. The committee that was involved in the project was comprised of two Doctoral students responsible for the content and delivery of the course and two young women who had been part of MUJER who took the lead in facilitating the seminar part of the course. Young women applied for the course by submitting a letter of interest. After an extensive selection process, we ended up with 15 participants in the course. The participants were from very diverse backgrounds, from nationalities, to sexual orientation, to educational backgrounds. Discussions were passionate and participants were challenged on their worldviews while striving to respect and validate everyone’s experience. Not every session went smoothly but we believe that the young women who participated found that the discussions were always useful.
One of the most marvellous things, was that the participants made presentations using the knowledge acquired in the course, but chose very different mediums to convey it: poetry, a video of a community focus groups discussing feminism, a formal PowerPoint presentation on women leaders, essays and personal testimony. This course is one of the first experiments in providing a feminist free university for women who are interested in solidifying their feminist praxis.
Evaluation of the Young Latinas Leadership Project: In-depth research on the emotional, social and political impact of the leadership training.
MUJER is invited by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving immigrants (OCASI) to share the innovative project of our leadership training.
MUJER is awarded the Mayor’s Community Safety Award by the City of Toronto.
Second Community Forum:
Let’s construct a positive environment: Let’s talk about equality.
MUJER organized a number of mini-fora. They visited 11 schools, including seven from the TCDSB. About 186 youth, predominantly young women, attended these fora.
First Community Forum:
Let’s construct a positive environment: Let’s talk about equality. About 150 youth participated in this forum, in addition to educators, journalists, police representatives and City Counsellors.
Promoting Healthy and Equal Relationships among Youth:
Young Latinas on Leadership Training – MUJER engaged in a major leadership program aimed at young Latin-American women. The project encompassed three training sessions composed of a series of eight, four-hour workshops on violence against women in a cultural context, violence in intimate relationships, self-esteem and self-worth, sexuality and reproductive rights, addressing changes in society and young Lain American women as agents of change. 15 young women participated in each of the sessions. MUJER was also honoured
On January 5 of 2002 “MUJER” was officially established, with a Steering Committee of 8 members that worked intensively for 5 years in the development of the organizations’ philosophy, mandate, mission, and general objectives.
Violence against LA & Caribbean Women in the New Millenium:
A series of four full-day training seminars directed to front-line workers and volunteers providing legal, housing, crisis, mental health, and social services. The objective of the training was to develop skills and appropriate attitudes to enhance workers’ ability to provide cultural and sensitive services on violence. Funding provided by United Way under Freedom from Violence Grants
The Sexual Exploitation of Latin American Women:
A research study focused on exploring the issues and developing recommendations for legal, social and health support needs of women on working permits employed in the adult entertainment arena. Funding provided by the CAW- Social Justice Fund.
In Partnership with the Lighthouse Family House, the Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples and Centro Esperanza Peru, LACEV organized a fundraising campaign in support of a literacy project for women in Chiclayo, Peru.
In partnership with Women Abuse Council and Education Wife Assault, we developed a full-day training on the effects of secondary trauma for frontline workers on the legal, social, health and housing arenas.
A series of consultations with LACEV membership, supporters and LA women in the community was held. The last consultation was held in November 2001 to gather information about the needs and expectations of a women’s organization.
A collaboration between Women’s Health Centre, SJHC, Mental Health Clinic of Toronto Western Hospital, Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and the Centre for Spanish-speaking Peoples. More than 30 front-line workers in the health, counselling, legal and social service areas participated in a full-day discussion and training on issues related to secondary trauma (vicarious trauma).
Media Campaign Stop Violence in the LA & Caribbean Community which included the production of a brochure in Spanish. In addition, we conducted two workshops for women who are leaving abusive situations focused on gender inequalities and self-esteem and the impact on children who witness violence. Funding provided by the Ontario Women’s Directorate.
No (WO)men’s Land:
A research study focused on exploring and documenting the impact of violence on Latin- American women who are sponsored by a partner and find themselves in an abusive situation and without immigration status. Funding was provided by the CAW- Social Justice Fund.
Advocacy on Violence:
A video and training Manual on issues faced by women victims of violence for volunteers escorting women through the courts and justice system. In collaboration lead by Women Abuse Council, the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Working Women Community Centre, 519 Community Centre, Thornhill Community Centre, and Gypsy Production. Funding provided by City of Toronto, Breaking the Cycle of Violence Program.
Pregnancy and Abuse Project:
A series of educational workshops directed to women and teenagers, using the video “ A Beginning Without Violence” as a central educational tool in opening the discussion about these issues. Funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate.
HIV and Latin American Women:
LACEV work together with the above-mentioned partnership, in a 30 Minutes video on HIV positive on women in our community.
¿Estás Embarazada? (Are you Pregnant?):
A collaboration for the development of a brochure to raise awareness on issues of pregnancy and abuse. This pamphlet was later translated into 6 different languages, including English, French, Portuguese, Tamil, Polish and Mandarin.
The MUJERES Post-Encounter:
A follow-up review on many of the recommendations from the Encounter (see above) with the participation of 120 women and 45 children. Funding from the Ontario Women’s Directorate, the Minister of Health and the City of Toronto, Breaking the Cycle of Violence Program.
A one-hour video called Un Comienzo Sin Violencia (A Beginning without Violence) in Spanish with English sub-titles produced by Partnership Against Abuse, in a collaborative between LACEV, St. Joseph’s Women’s Health Centre, Working Women Community Centre, Centre for Spanish-speaking Peoples. The project was directed to educating the community on pregnancy and abuse. The video was aired on Rogers Cable. Funding through Partnership against Abuse, Ministry of Citizenship.
Linking Poverty and Violence:
A two-day seminar with leaders of women’s groups and members of the Latin-American community. The project included two workshops on economic development where 50 Latin American women learned about the connection between poverty and violence and ways to achieve prosperity in their life. Funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate.
Four members of LACEV participate in the Latin-American Feminist Encounter held in El Salvador.
Psychological Effects of Violence on Us:
A retreat for health professionals and social service providers. It increased knowledge and skills on the psychological impact of WASA on women’s lives and on front-line workers themselves. Funding provided by the Ministry of Health.
Organized First Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Encounter:
A province-wide event held on June 16-18 in Toronto. Six hundred and fifty (650) women and 150 children attended a wide range of activities including educational workshops, self-help workshops, forums, discussion groups, panels, art exhibits, cultural and artistic presentations. Funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate, Women’s Health Bureau, MOH and the City of Toronto Breaking the Cycle of Violence Program. Some of the most important concerns for women at the Encounter and post Encounter were: Isolation, immigration issues, lack of sensitivity in the issues of violence, lack of access and opportunities in jobs and career, not access to daycare for children not adequate support by front-line workers.***
Listening to the Voices of Our Women:
Fifteen workshops were provided for women connected to member agencies of LACEV. Funding provided by the Ministry of Citizenship.
Presentation at the United Nations Human Rights Commission, held in Vienna, Austria. The Tribunal on Violence against Women heard LACEV’s delegate in the deputation to denounce the case of Graciela Montans.
Educational Campaign on Violence in LA community:
Two community forums to raise awareness and change attitudes and responses towards issues of violence. Strategies for further improvement of services, response and intervention were also developed. Funding provided by the Ministry of Citizenship. “Wife Assault and Sexual Assault Prevention Initiatives” Consultation on issues of access, accountability, approach and coordination of the initiatives. Funded by Ontario Women’s Directorate.
Between 1993 and 1995 LACEV lead and collaborated with several organizations in the defence and prosecution of the ex-husband Graciela Montans. Ms Montans was an Uruguayan mother of three brutally assassinated by her estranged husband. He was convicted to 8 years in prison with the possibility for parole at 2 1/2 years, under the allegations of provocation. The Coalition actively participated in denunciating the existent gaps in the protection, justice and health systems in failing to provide appropriate support to Ms Montans and her three children. As a result, several changes to the legislation were recommended in using provocation as grounds to reduce the sentence.
Publication of the training manual "Myths and Realities of Violence Against Women and Children":
Training Workshops for Prevention based on the contents and methodology used during the training.
Working towards the eradication of Violence in the LA Community:
Three training workshops, LACEV’s Logo and a Directory of Services, organizations and member agencies was produced. Funded by Ministry of Social Services.
Myths and Realities of Violence Against Women and Children:
A series of four full-day training workshops directed to front-line workers, volunteers and victims of violence working with and for the community in the legal, housing, health and social services. Funding provided by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.