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February 15-17, 2023

Celebrate with Us February 15-17, 2023

To commemorate our 40th anniversary, Esperanza United is hosting ¡Adelante!: A virtual celebration of Latin@-led advocacy.

Free to attend, ¡Adelante! is a series of engaging events for Latin@ advocates to go deeper on prescient issues related to their work and well-being.


Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros

Poet, writer

Rita Abadi

Rita Abadi

Operations Manager and Clinician at the Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention (SAVI) Program

Kim Camacho

Kim Camacho

Training and Technical Assistance Program Specialist at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV)

Dr. Maria Corona

Dr. Maria Corona

Executive Director of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) (she/her/ella)

Elvira de la Cruz

Elvira de la Cruz

CEO/ Senior Advocate at Latinos in Virginia

Elizabeth Delgado<br />

Elizabeth Delgado

CEO and Co-Founder of Colectiva Wellness & Healing (she/they)

Eva Fiallos Diaz

Maricarmen Garza

Chief of Programs at Tahirih (she/her/hers)

Eva Fiallos Diaz

Paula Gomez Stordy

Senior Director of National Training and Technical at Esperanza United (she/her/ella)

Eva Fiallos Diaz

Margarita Guzmán

Executive Director at Violence Intervention Program, Inc. (VIP) (she/ella/they/elle)

Eva Fiallos Diaz

Vivian Huelgo

Chief Programs Officer at Esperanza United (she/her/ella)

Rosie Hidalgo

María Limón

Independent Consultant

Rosie Hidalgo

Stephanie G, Lopez

Program Director at Latinas Represent

Ines Negrete

Founder of CasaLuz

Ivonne Ortiz

Director of Training and Technical Assistance at National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (she/her/hers)

Marién A. Peña

Artist and educator at HEART Centered

Mónica Ramírez

Artist and educator at HEART Centered

Damary Rodriguez

Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator at Esperanza United (she/her/ella)

Sonia I. Rodriguez

Clinician at the Mount Sinai Hospital Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention (SAVI) Program

Hanncel Sanchez

Founder of Mujeres in Action (MiA)

Patti Tototzintle

President and CEO of Esperanza United

Laura Villarreal

Health and Violence Prevention Specialist at Esperanza United (she/they)

Melissa Cano Zelaya

Executive Director for Latinas Unidas por Un Nuevo Amanecer (L.U.N.A.)


Day one: February 15

Register now to catch the following day-one sessions.

10:45 – 12:00 CST

Welcome and Introduction: A Celebration of Latin@ Leadership

Speakers: Stephanie G. Lopez, Patti Tototzintle, y más

Esperanza United’s President and CEO Patti Tototzintle will kick-off ¡Adelante! by introducing our objectives, structure, and highlights. She will be joined by special guests to discuss the challenges, successes, and way forward for Latin@ leadership in this movement.

2:00 – 3:00 CST

Break Out Session: Polyvictimization as a Risk Factor for Commercial Sexual Exploitation/Human Trafficking

Speakers: Rita Abadi and Sonia I. Rodriguez

Polyvictimization refers to having experienced multiple forms of victimizations over the course of a person’s lifetime. Exposure to one form of trauma often makes immigrant survivors vulnerable to experiencing other traumatic experiences as well. Moreover, the harms caused by the trauma(s) can also be passed on from one generation to another. In addition to Childhood Adverse Experiences, immigrant survivors often experience violence in the immigration process and loss of protective factors after migrating. Many professionals/organizations working with immigrant trauma survivors do not feel equipped to assess and work with their poly-victimized clientele and often work in compartmentalized approaches. However, their clients’ lives and experiences are not compartmentalized. This workshop will help participants gain an understanding of polyvictimization, the impact it has on the lives of immigrant survivors, their varied service needs, and how to best meet those needs. The workshop will also present the dynamics of working intersectionally across barriers such as language and culture. It is our hope that by empowering ourselves with emerging research, experiences, and approaches, we can become better stewards of addressing and ending sexual and other forms of violence.

2:00 – 3:00 CST

Break Out Session: The Power of Our Story: Strength of Immigrant Families Despite Legal Violence

Speaker: Dr. Maria Corona

Dr. Maria Corona will share a brief overview of the policies that have shaped the current anti-immigrant socio-political environment in the United States and Iowa and its impact on the health and well-being of children. In this session, Dr. Corona will highlight findings from her academic research and uplift the strengths and strategies of the Latin@ immigrant families that participated. There will be opportunities to discuss practice implications and brainstorm ideas for disseminating this knowledge broadly.

3:15 – 4:15 CST

Community Connections: Working in Rural Communities

Speakers: Maria Limon

Frequently, Latin@ populations reside in rural and semi-rural settings in the US. Given the unique characteristics and needs of Latin@ survivors and rural domestic violence organizations, examining the intersection of service provision for Latin@ survivors in rural areas warrants further exploration. During this conversation, we will share best practices that support rural dual/multi-service advocacy programs to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to family violence and sexual assault survivors making services for all rural survivors more inclusive and accessible.


Day two: February 16

Register now to catch the following day-two sessions.

10:45 – 12:00 CST

Featured Plenary: A Conversation with Sandra Cisneros

Speakers: Patti Tototzintle and Sandra Cisneros

Esperanza United’s President and CEO Patti Tototzintle speaks with celebrated poet, author, and activist Sandra Cisneros. Cisneros will read from 2022’s Woman Without Shame, her first poetry collection in nearly thirty years, and her other works, sharing her wisdom about rejecting sexism, loving herself, and leveraging the power of art.

2:00 – 3:00 CST

Break Out Session: Promotora Leadership

Speaker: Laura Villarreal

Promotoras or community health workers bring health education to the community in Spanish. Esperanza United’s Laura Villarreal will discuss how increased awareness, capacity, and partnerships with promotora programs along with culturally responsive organizational practices can increase mainstream organizations’ reach among the Latin@ community and provide preventative health services to Latin@ survivors to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by sharing information about health and safety.

2:00 – 3:00 CST

Break Out Session: The Magic of Virtual Facilitation

Speakers:  Ivonne Ortiz and Kim Camacho

For many domestic violence organizations, the pandemic has led to shifting how advocacy supports are delivered. That is, many supports are now being offered virtually to accommodate the pandemic quarantine and in-person restrictions. Support groups, a cornerstone of domestic violence advocacy, have historically been one way to cultivate social connectedness for survivors. With the move to virtual platforms, we know that effective facilitation is critical to engagement, peer support, and even healing in a support group space. The same principles can be applied to listening sessions, focus groups, and other groups across our organizations. In this follow-up to Transformative Facilitation: Building Virtual Communities, we will discuss lessons learned in the shift to virtual facilitation and explore ways to navigate challenges that emerge.

3:15 – 4:15 CST

Community Connections: Economic Empowerment of Latin@s

Speakers: Elvira de la Cruz, Hanncel Sanchez, and Melissa Cano Zelaya

Panelists will highlight the importance of identifying strategies for increasing the overall well-being of Latina IPV survivors through their economic empowerment interventions. These include entrepreneurship, developing culturally responsive transitional housing programs, and the importance of language access for community members to navigate social service systems.


Day three: February 17

Register now to catch the following day-two sessions.

10:45 – 12:00 CST

Plenary: How to Survive the Nonprofit Sector as Latin@/POC Executive

Speakers: Ines Negrete, Maricarmen Garza, and Margarita Guzman

Latin@s are the fastest-growing population in the United States and will be one in six individuals by 2050. Despite this increase, Latin@s remain absent from board rooms, executives’ offices, and many leadership positions in the nonprofit sector that are in charge of making decisions that directly impact our communities. Panelists will share their experiences as nonprofit leaders, the importance of mentorship, and strategies for organizations to create a culture that embraces Latin@ leadership.

2:00 – 3:00 CST

Plenary: Healing from Our Ancestry: Expressive Arts and Nature Therapy

Speaker: Marién A. Peña

This is an experiential presentation where participants will feel the healing capabilities of the expressive arts and nature connectors. The intermodal expressive arts process includes guided meditation, visual art, movement, creative writing, music, sound, drama, and reflection. Nature connectors are sensory-based activities to help us ground and reconnect with the environment and others. We will tap into our creativity and ancestral wisdom to lead us to discoveries and help us recognize emotional barriers.

3:15 – 4:15 CST

Community Connections: Celebrating the Power and Wisdom of Latin@ Leadership through Culturally Responsive Healing Practices

Speaker: Elizabeth Delgado

During this session, participants will have an opportunity to engage in culturally resilient practices through movement, body-drumming, inquiry, mindfulness, and critical self-reflection.


About Us

From a humble but mighty beginning as an emergency shelter created by a small group of persevering Latinas, Esperanza United has grown into the largest, most-respected Latin@ organization in the country focused on ending gender-based violence.

Formerly “Casa de Esperanza: the National Latin@ Network,” we are celebrating 40 years of strengths-based service. We are one of eight federally designated cultural resource centers on domestic violence and the only one serving Latin@ communities.

Our national work is fed by our roots in Minnesota; powered by our belief in the strength of women within the context of family and community; and includes research, public policy, training, and communications.

Why Do You Use “@”?

Esperanza United has chosen to use “@” in place of the masculine “o” when referring to people or groups that are gender neutral or both masculine and feminine. This decision reflects our commitment to gender inclusion and recognizes the important contributions that women, men, and gender-nonconforming people make to our communities.

About Our Supporters

This project was supported by Grant No. 2016-TA-AX-K039 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

This project is also generously supported by The Allstate Foundation.

The First ¡Adelante!

¡Adelante! 2020 was a great success. Twenty-plus amazing Latinas shared their wisdom, including the first Latinas to be elected to each US House of Government, journalist and author Maria Hinojosa, President of The TransLatin@ Coalition Bamby Salcedo, one of the founders of the farmworker women’s movement Mily Treviño-Saucedo, and many more. Watch the event’s sessions, see the full speaker list, and check out the 2020 agenda below.

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