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.
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.