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Alianza's 2010 conference, "Healing Generations and Transforming Communities; Si se puede, yes we can", was held March 17-19th at the Newport Beachside Resort in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. More than 170 people from diverse parts of the country attended the conference.

Dolores Huerta, a strong advocate and a leading voice in the Latino community, was our featured keynote speaker. Conference attendees joined Dolores in the familiar and widely popular chant: Si se puede, yes we can! Other keynote speakers included Debra-Romero-Seeley, Special Domestic Violence Commission, 2nd District Court, NM and Dr. Carmen Inoa Vazquez, Board Certified Clinical and Forensic Clinical Psychologist-Resources for Cross-Cultural & Immigrant Mental Health, NY. Presenters from around the country provided various strategies regarding topics such as Domestic Violence and Latinos, Teen Dating Violence, LGBTQ & Latinos, Sexual Assault & Stalking, Immigration, Coordinated Response, Working with Men & Boys and Culture & Healing.

In addition to the conference, Alianza organized A Domestic Violence Bridal March along the beach on the first day. The first Brides’ March Against Domestic Violence was organized in 2001, in New York City, to remember Gladys Ricart, a young Dominican Woman, who was murdered by her former abusive boyfriend on the day she was to marry someone else.

A special thank you to the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, who made this conference possible (through Grant number 2009-TA-AX-K026). The opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed in this program are those of the organizers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Among the conference workshops and presenters were the following:

Teen Dating Violence Among Latino Youth

Debra Romero-Seely
Special DV Commissioner
Protection Hearings 2nd District Court, Albuquerque, NM
Intimate partner violence among youths includes a multitude of issues such as date rape, date drugs, media images, and technology driven issues related to the internet such as social networking, instant messaging and text messaging. This workshop discussed specific and practical ways for programs to focus on dating violence issues within their professional settings.

Working With Men & Boys

Juan Carlos Areán, PhD
Family Violence Prevention Fund, Boston, MA
Fernando Mederos, Ph.D.
DV Unit Massachusetts Department of Social Services, Boston, MA

This interactive workshop provided an overview of the many initiatives designed to engage men and boys in ending violence against women in the US, Latin-America and other parts of the world. The work shop used a social-ecological approach that included examples of working with men as influencers of boys and girls, and in the context of families, schools and communities.

Introduction to Immigration Remedies for Survivors of DV & Sexual Assault

Kara Hart, JD
Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Hartford, CT

This workshop provided an overview of several general categories of immigration status and outlind the basic roles of the federal agencies that make up the immigration bureaucracy in the United States. The workshop introduced participants to the basic legal requirements for certain immigration remedies available to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault including: VAWA Self- Petitions; Battered Spouse Waivers; U-Visas; T-Visas; and VAWA Cancellation of Removal.

Healing the Healer, HealingTrauma

Jerry Tello, Ph.D.
National Latino Fatherhood & Family Institute, Hacienda Heights, CA
Sacred Circles
Sacred Circles Center, Whittier, CA

Incorporating indigenous flute and drum music, nature sounds and traditional storytelling and meditation, the workshop guided participants through culturally based methods for healing and rebalancing. It also explored 4 important steps towards "Recovering One's Sacred Purpose."

Men in Prison, The “Safe Return Initiative”

Oliver J. Williams, Ph.D.
Institute on DV in the African American Community, St. Paul, MN

The Safe Return Initiative examines the issue of domestic violence when men are released from prison, reenter their communities, and return to their families. Each year, 650,000 men are released from prison. Many incarcerated men experienced violence themselves, whether as a child, a peer, a community member, o r a prison inmate. In addition to being a victim of violence, many formerly incarcerated men re-enter the community angry, which puts them at risk for being violent toward their families. The goal of “The Safe Return Initiative” promotes “safe returns” that allow men to return to their communities without continuing the cycle of violence, while keeping the safety of families paramount.

Intimate Partner Stalking

Special Agent Anthony Maez, MA
New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, Albuquerque, NM

Stalking is often included among types of intimate partner violence. It generally refers to harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as sending the victim unwanted presents, following and/or surveillance of the victim. The ongoing advancement of technology has provided stalkers with a highly developed selection of methods to use; they are using a variety of telephone, surveillance, and computer technologies to monitor and harass current and former intimate partners. Some abusers install global positioning systems to discover their victim's real-time location, while others use telephones to leave hundreds of messages in a single day. The workshop addressed these tools, as well as safety plans and other tools victims can use to protect themselves.

Children of Immigrant DV Survivors

Paula Gomez Stordy, MA & Elsabel Rincon, MA
Healing Abuse Working for Change, (HAWC) Salem, MA

Immigrant women and men are among the most vulnerable to domestic violence. But how are their children impacted, and how can they best be served? Too often, the child of the immigrant domestic violence survivor falls through the cultural cracks between the protective parent and the mainstream institutions charged with their safety. This presentation examined the stress of immigration and cross-cultural tensions, individually & within the family; the trauma of domestic violence for the child; the culturally specific factors of domestic violence for the child of immigrant parents; institutions of mainstream culture, and recommendations for culturally competent responses that empower and serve these children.

La Cultura Cura: Using Culture to Work with Latino Men

Fernando Mederos, Ph.D.
DV Unit Massachusetts Department of Social Services, Boston, MA

This workshop focused on how all of us can use aspects of men’s diverse cultural background (including positive aspects of male roles, visions of fatherhood and traditions) to motivate Latinos to take responsibility for abusive behavior and to move toward nurturing and respectful conduct with partners and children.

LGBT Latinas Victims of Inter-personal Violence: A Minority within A Minority

JJ Lara, MA
Texas Advocacy Project, Austin, TX

In a culture celebrated for its rich traditions, close-knit families, and strong faith, being Latina and lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is often unmentionable and often met with violence. This workshop focused on the stigmas associated with being Latina and LGBT and how negative stereotypes embraced by the Latina community regarding sexual orientation increases the likelihood for LGBT Latinas to be victims of inter-personal violence within their own families. Participants learned about how homophobia is culturally expressed within the Latina community, the types of inter-personal violent crimes LGBT Latinas are vulnerable to and barriers accessing hetero-centric social services and criminal justice systems.

Community Concerns Regarding Young Latinos

Juan Carlos Areán, Ph.D.
Family Violence Prevention Fund, Boston, MA
David Mathews, Ph.D.
Domestic Abuse Project, Minneapolis, MN

This workshop discussed topics we in the Latino community should be very concerned about and take seriously as it relates so directly to Latino Community concerns on many levels (high rates of Latina teen pregnancy, dropout rates of Latinos, gang activity, continued and generational experiences of domestic violence in families, jail related disparities for Latinos) and the specific and practical ways to handle such issues.

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