Friday, September 23, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Mujeres Unidas y Activas

National Hispanic American Heritage Month runs from September 15th to October 15th which makes this a perfect Feel Good Friday to talk about Mujeres Unidas y Activas, United and Active Women.

Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) is “a grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women with a dual mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice.” 

It began in 1990 as a project of the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights. At that time MUA had a leadership training for women and a theater project that informed the community about AIDS, domestic violence, and immigrant and workers’ rights. Today, they have offices in San Francisco, Oakland and Union City, and offer a wide range of programs, campaigns and resources to support Latina immigrant women.

MUA support group meetings happen virtually each week and cover topics such as peer counseling, healing and wellness workshops, civic and political education workshops and Zumba classes. MUA also provides access to legal services, a support line for survivors of domestic violence, parenting programs, English classes for staff members, domestic workers and sexual assault crisis counselors, and a group specifically for the thousands of Guatemalan immigrants in the Bay Area who speak Mam

Details about all their programs can be found at this link and, for people unable to join a live meeting, there is a page on the website with resources for survivors of violence, domestic workers, immigrants and employers. 

In addition to this wide range of services, MUA also invests in campaign work to strengthen their organization, their leaders and their community power. They focus on rights for immigrant women and domestic workers, as well as language access and civic engagement.

What is the impact of MUA’s work? In response to the coronavirus pandemic, MUA shifted all of its programs to operate remotely. They set up food distribution to members who were hungry, and, through the MUA COVID19 Immigrant Families Relief Fund, they distributed over $500,000 cash relief to current and former participants who were out of work and struggling. MUA’s campaign work helped get the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights signed into law guaranteeing daily and weekly overtime for domestic workers.

If you’d like to support MUA and the people they help, you can do so by making a donation and amplifying their work on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @mujrsunidas and Instagram @mujeresunidasyactivas.


Friday, September 16, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Voting Resources

In case you don’t have your countdown clock set, there are only 52 days left until the Midterm Elections in the United States. The outcome will determine which party controls Congress and you get a chance to influence that outcome with your vote.

In preparation for these upcoming elections, I’m recapping several voting-related posts that will help you get informed, motivated and involved. Links to the organizations and to the original posts are included so you can learn more about the organization that interest you.

Get Informed

TurboVote is “a tool that helps you vote, no matter what.” Since 2012, TurboVote has helped 9 million voters keep track of voter registration, absentee, and vote-by-mail rules for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Ballot Ready provides personalized ballots and nonpartisan information to voters in all 50 states. Start by entering your address on the website’s home page and Ballot Ready displays a list of your federal, state and local representatives.

Get Motivated

EMILY's List elects pro-choice Democratic women to office. Their vision is to balance the voice of power by having the government more accurately represent the people it serves and to "elect leaders who ignite change”.

Fair Fight is leading the charge to protect voting rights. They promote fair elections around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights.

Get Involved

Vote Forward is a nonprofit organization that builds tools “to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy.” Their mission is “to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote.”

Swing Left is “building a lasting culture of grassroots participation in winning elections for the Left by making it as easy as possible for anyone to have maximum impact on the elections that determine the balance of power in our country.”

I hope the reminder about these organizations inspires you vote in November!

Friday, September 9, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Suicide Prevention Resource Center

September is Suicide Prevention Month, a perfect time to highlight the work of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, “the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is the only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the implementation of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention."

First, some statistics. In 2020, the suicide death rate in the United States was 13.5 per every 100,000 people (22 for males and 5.2 for females). Suicides consistently outnumber homicides (in 2020 13.5 vs. 7.8 per 100,000) and rates are highest among American Indian or Alaskan Natives. You can see a variety of detailed breakdowns at this page of the website: Scope of the Problem.

In addition to tracking and publishing these sobering statistics, SPRC advances suicide prevention infrastructure and capacity building through various activities. They provide consultation, training and resources to states, native settings, universities, health systems and organizations that serve populations at risk for suicide. They work with Action Alliance, to provide staffing, administrative, and logistical support, and they support Zero Suicide, an initiative that provides information, resources, and tools for safer suicide care for people within health and behavioral health care systems.

For people who work in this field, or have an interest in the topic, SPRC has a page of resources and programs. You can filter them by program type (for example training program, fact sheet or webinar), population (age, race, gender, LGBTQ, veterans, etc.), settings (school, faith communities, justice system) and more. Not only can you search for options on a national level, you can also check the prevention plans for each individual state. There are a LOT of resources here.

SPRC is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) so you’re already supporting their work with your tax dollars. If you’d like help raise awareness of SPRC, you can explore the Suicide Prevention Month Ideas for Action one pager and share what you learned on on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @SPRCtweets.