Women of Color Mobilize in Philadelphia for the March for Women's Lives
February 12, 2004
By Zenaida Mendez, Director, Racial Diversity Programs
One could feel the excitement, the sense of power, the sense that we needed to do something for ourselves and take control of our destiny. Everyone was feeling hopeful and joyful to be part of something big.
The occasion? A room full of Latinas and African American women getting together to take part in a historical moment. These women came to be participants in a movement that is their movement, to make sure that all voices are heard and represented, and to make sure that their perspective on life as they are living it today is reflected in the preparation and in the message of the March for Women's Lives in April.
The gathering took place recently at a community center at the heart of the Latino community in Philadelphia. Francesca Alvarado, treasurer of Philadelphia Coalition of Labor Union Women/NOW PAC, was the lead convener of the group, and is working hard to spread the word about the March for Women's Lives to high school students, senior citizens and people in Philadelphia from all different cultures and ethnicities.
The Latinas who gathered that day represented organizations that are ready to mobilize and fight to preserve their rights as well as to address the current situation of women without employment, health care, affordable housing and limited access to higher education, as well as the concern that opportunities for young women of color are scarce.
"We are going to make it happen, we are going to raise the necessary resources for our women to be there," Alvarado said.
A committee was formed to raise funds at a Valentine's Day dance to subsidize the cost for the trip to Washington D.C.
NOW and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health are collaborating in this effort to mobilize and provide support to bring the voices of Latinas to the April 25 March for Women's Lives.
March for Women's Lives
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