National Latin@ Victim
Advocate Awards
Nomination deadline: 2/14/15
Honoring Latin@ victim advocacy then and now
A decade ago, Arte Sana offered the first National Latina Victim Advocate Awards to honor Latina victim advocates *and allies* who worked to address some of the multiple barriers that Latin@/Hispanic survivors of sexual violence and gender-based violence can face when seeking victim assistance information, support services, or justice.

National Latina Victim Advocate Award Purpose & Categories 
Arte Sana created the National Latina Victim Advocate (NLVA) awards just one year after forming the Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual (ALAS). They were created in direct response to the Latina advocate turnover we witnessed from 2001 - 2005 with the loss of many key rape crisis center and coalition level Latina victim advocates. To better understand the historical context of these awards, they were offered just two years before the Women of Color Network (WOCN) issued "A Call to Response: Rally to Support the Endangered Woman of Color Advocate to address the problem of women of color being pushed out of their programs. That same year, ALAS members developed the Position statement in support of Latina victim advocates (endorsed by the WOCN and others) to draw specific attention to the alarming rates of Latinas victim advocates whom were leaving the field, and the negative working conditions experienced by some. Often over-taxed with limited bilingual resources and additional uncompensated translation and interpreter duties, these Latin@ advocates were also suffering overt and covert tokenism while attempting to fill some incredible victim services gaps on their own. 

The NLVA award categories were developed in response to the precarious state of Latin@ victim advocacy and the growing needs, especially within regions of the nation that have experienced a rapid growth of Spanish-speaking communities. 

For bilingual/bicultural victim advocates, attempting to provide direct advocacy and community outreach to address rape culture and survivor rights within anti-immigrant and 'English only' climates, can be both taxing and incredibly demoralizing. Bilingual/bicultural advocates are critical for effective Latin@ community outreach and their retention is key for meeting the multiple needs of our growing communities. The award categories were also meant to honor the role of community-led initiatives, the arts, and visionary efforts to create culturally competent programs and campaigns to end all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. 

2015 National Latin@ Victim Advocate Award Categories
For 2015, we added the arroba or @ symbol in honor of the compadres who are addressing Latino victimization and demonization, and/or engaging Latinos as partners in violence prev-ention and victim advocacy.  The 'Pagina Web' (web page) award has also been renamed in recognition of the greater role of social media and cyber advocacy. #NLVAawards

Sin Fronteras: Community Empowerment Award

Rape crisis center, domestic violence shelter, and social service agency.
Criteria: Generated awareness and contributed to bridging information and services gaps for diverse, under-served immigrant and Spanish monolingual populations through enhanced victim services availability in Spanish, bilingual community outreach programs, pláticas, and/or multidisciplinary training events, etc.

Comadre/Compadre en la Lucha - Latina Leadership Award

Eligibility: Executive directors, supervisors, victim advocates from local, state, or national entities.
Criteria: Demonstrated a measurable commitment to develop and promote Latin@ leadership through innovative positions, training opportunities, board representation, and/or budget allocations for enhanced Latin@ victim advocacy, professional development, and leadership.

Lucha - Social Change Award

Individuals (victim advocates, survivors, allied professionals, politicians, etc.) and non-VAWA/VOCA/OVC-funded agencies and programs, businesses, and universities.
Criteria: Actions have created a long-lasting impact on eliminating barriers for Latin@ victims of sexual and gender-based violence, promoting Latin@ victim rights and programs, 
and/or fostering community partnerships.

Enlace Cyberadvocacy Award

Eligibility: Rape crisis center and domestic violence shelter websites and social media pages.
Criteria: Websites that are user friendly with easy to find 'Español' tabs that include at least 2,000 (non-machine translated) words regarding victim rights, available services, and agency information in Spanish, and Spanish language social media campaigns.

Artista Activista Award

Individuals (artists, musicians, poets, survivors, victim advocates) or advocacy groups.
Criteria: Used the arts as a vehicle for victim advocacy, promoting healing, and/or building awareness. 

Past National Latin@ Victim Advocate Award Recipients

Sin Fronteras: Community Empowerment Award
Dolores Gonzalez-RamirezProgram Manager, La Vida Program, MI (2005)

Olivia Donaji-De Pablo  - Community Organizing Coordinator for Sexual Assault Services Organization (SASO) in CO (2010)

Comadre en la Lucha - Latina Leadership Award
Alva Moreno - Executive Director, East Los Angeles Women's Center, CA (2005)
Ivonne Ortiz - Immigrant Outreach Specialist, NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (2005)

Rosabel Cantu  - Assistant Program Director of The Family Place's Latina Outreach Program (2010) 

Lucha - Social Change Award
Candelaria Pérez Johnson - Executive Director & Co-Founder, La Rosa Family Services, TX (2005)

Consul General Carlos Felix Corona - the Mexican Consulate, Northern California (2010)

Pagina Web: Bilingual Web Access Award
Shamecca Bryant - Executive Director, Orange County Rape Crisis Center, NC (2010)

Artista Activista Award
Liza Rios - producer of documentary 'Big Pun: Still Not A Player' survivor of intimate partner violence (2005)

Verónica Hernández'Los Monólogos'  V-Day organizer and victim advocate, SafePlace TX (2010)

40 Years of Latin@ Victim Advocacy Efforts Honored 
For over 40 years Latin@s have played a key role in domestic and sexual violence victim outreach, yet many early efforts were discontinued to to a lack of support or formal victim assistance funding. As a means to honor Latin@ advocacy on the 20th anniversary of VAWA, ALAS members contributed to a presentation on Early Latin@ Victim Advocacy Efforts.

National Latin@ Victim Advocate Award Nomination Form
Please join us in honoring just some of the many unsung heroes who manage to do so much to eliminate access barriers for so many.

To nominate an individual or agency, make sure to email the NLVA Award nomination form to by: February 14, 2015.

The honorees will receive prior notification to the formal announcement being made on March 26, 2015 at the Nuestras Voces National Bilingual Sexual Assault Conference.