Nuestras voces/Our Voices: Wise Latinas en la lucha


Nuestras Voces


latino advocate conference logo

November 1-2, 2011
Isla Grand Beach Resort
South Padre Island, TX

On November 1 & 2, 2011 Latin@ victim advocates, prevention specialists, promotor@s, survivors, and allies met in South Padre Island to promote the engagement of Latin@s as agents of change in addressing gender-based violence.

latino advocate conference hotel

The conference welcome was offered by Friendship of Women Executive Director; Lillie Champion. Holding the Nuestras Voces conference
in South Texas for the first time; Arte Sana was honored to include representatives from all three victim assistance agencies as planning partners including Family Crisis Center in Harlingen and Mujeres Unidas in McAllen.

Lillie Champion, Executive Director of Friendship of Women in Brownsville offers the conference bienvenida (welcome).

Sister Rosemary Welsh of Casa de Misericordia and Mercy Ministries in Laredo, and Estella de Anda of Mujeres Unidas in McAllen address the need for victim advocacy
SIN fronteras (without borders).

As is customary with Arte Sana conferences, the Nuestras Voces conference included a complete track of workshops presented
in Spanish including:

Promotoras alcanzando y educando a su propia comunidad sobre violencia y VIH/SIDA

Todos somos una familia: dialogando sobre las intersecciones de la homofobia, el heterosexismo y el racismo en la comunidad Latina

Féminas: De Comadres a Activistas: fortaleciendo el liderazgo de base y defendiendo los derechos de nuestra comunidad

El estupro en los estados multiculturales de los EEUU

¡No calles mas!

Conozca sus Derechos

Transformando el dolor y el coraje en abogacía

Given the current anti-immigrant and “English-only” political climate, it was especially rewarding to see so may advocates and promotor@s attend the sessions offered in Spanish. Many attendees commented on the need to learn about how to discuss and present on sexual assault issues in Spanish. Most of the conference scholarships awarded went to promotoras or community health workers who work in some of the most impoverished regions of the south Texas-Mexico border.

According to the general evaluation forms collected at the end of the conference, workshop expectations were met for 95% of the attendees on both days. On November 1, 98% of the attendees reported gaining something useful to share (at work or in the community) from the morning sessions and 97% did so from the afternoon sessions. On the last day of the conference, 98% of the attendees felt that they gained useful information to share. The need to collaborate and pool resources and talents to address hate-based policies that contribute to the revictimization of Spanish-speaking survivors of violence, was an ongoing theme throughout the conference.

The complete list of workshops can be accessed here:

Speaker Bios can be found here:

The National Spanish Language Outreach Timeline

For a second year in a row, a document that was created through Latina online victim activism was showcased during the Nuestras Voces conference. The “National Spanish Language Outreach Timeline,” that includes sexual violence survivor assistance and prevention efforts in Spanish throughout the United States, was published in the conference booklet given to attendees.  

The timeline lists Spanish language outreach efforts beginning with the bilingual “East Los Angeles Rape and Battering Hotline” established in 1976, through the accomplishment in 2011 of the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands in Columbia; that became the first rape crisis center in South Carolina to offer website content in Spanish.

This effort to chronicle and promote “firsts” across the nation is an initiative of Arte Sana and the recently established Aliad@s National Network for the elimination of sexual and domestic violence against Latin@s. With entries from 14 states, the timeline will continue to be a work-in-progress.  

Download the National Spanish Language Outreach Timeline

Submit verifiable contributions to

A collective altar installation was on display throughout the conference in honor of Día de los Muertos.

Scroll your mouse across the altar to see close-up images of specific areas of the altar.

The evening of November 1, also included a very special cultural gathering and poet's hour.

Noche de las Almas” cultural gathering:

Group photo after the "Noche de las Almas" Cultural Gathering
Learn more about the incredible poetas del Valle who shared their powerful words with conference attendees.

2011 Nuestras Voces National Bilingual
Sexual Assault Conference Comments:

“Amazing conference!! (This was) one of the best that I've attended.”

“All my learning experiences have been from Mainstream perspectives – learning from the Latina point of view and equipping to better serve
Latinas has been refreshing. Thank you.”

“Every session I attended was educational for me. My heart has been touched deep inside. It is awesome to see so many advocates/activists from across the US all working together, reaching out and helping those who are crying out… Thank you.”

“Well done, presented, and prepared. Gracias Arte Sana
por tan muy bien hecha conferencia.”

“Disfruté todo. Me sentí muy identificada con todo y cada una de las presentadoras. Me voy con la idea de yo querer presentar para
el próximo año.”

“Que grupo de mujeres más inspiradoras, fuertes, y con ganas de
crear un mundo mejor! Gracias”

“Escuchar como están trabajando las agencias en los diferentes
estados con la comunidad latina fue muy alentador.”

Comments from Past Nuestras Voces Conference Attendees:

"It is so amazing to see Latinas, women who
look like me at the podium and not feel like
I'm being talked at." (2010)

"This has been the only meaningful
multilingual and multicultural conference I
have ever attended. This conference was put
together with heart and soul; it really
showed." (2010)

"Most conferences have 1-2 workshops on
Latino issues. It is great to attend a diverse
Latina conference which covers gender.
Good job!" (2008)

"Wonderful conference – in all the
conferences I have attended in my 9 years in
victim services this one made me feel
positive, hopeful, supported – to believe 'yes
we can.' Thank you!" (2005)

Past Nuestras Voces conferences:

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