Chicas Latinas de Sacramento: 5 Year Anniversary Speech by Angela Rosas

On May 18th, we celebrated the five year anniversary of my nonprofit organization, Chicas Latinas de Sacramento. Today I was inspired to share the speech I gave (also known as “my novel”), as I needed a reminder as to why I do, what I do.

Today, Chicas Latinas is underfunded. In fact, we’re not funded at all. Now that we have over five solid years of service and our 501(c)3 status, I’m ready for this to change.

I believe in what we’re doing. Here’s why: 

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento: 5 Years Later

– Speech by Angela Rosas, Founder & CEO Chicas Latinas de Sacramento

 May 18, 2014, Sacramento – Welcome and thank you for joining us at Chicas Latinas de Sacramento’s 5 year Anniversary Dinner. Five Years ago 15 women met here at Zocalo for happy hour. I had a simple idea to unite Latinas for two reasons; to inspire volunteerism in the community and explore our Latin cultures (something that was missing in my own life).

What happened was something unexpected, here we are five years later with a 501(c)3 nonprofit status, a board of directors, 200 volunteers, various committees, and amazing community support. The truth is, I didn’t mean for this to happen. I had no intention of founding a nonprofit.

I’m often asked, “What exactly does your organization do?” For me this is a very hard question to answer — I started without a mission, without a plan, without a destination — I saw a void and I filled it. We did what needed to be done and we did a lot! I even struggled with whom my organization was serving. We were serving through volunteer cultivation, giving in a very grassroots manner, supporting business which supported our culture, and spreading culturally diverse opportunities and experiences to the community. But on the other hand, I saw the women who joined Chicas Latinas; I witnessed their personal transformations, growth and literally saw women turn into leaders. Imagine how hard it was to form a mission statement for Chicas Latinas de Sacramento.

Today… Our mission is to make a positive impact in both the Latin and Sacramento community by improving, connecting and embracing our culture and the community in which we call our home. (By… giving back, utilizing our people and our culture to educate, inspire, and lead.)

This mission is long, and despite being on point, it’s also very vague and it doesn’t come close to capturing all we truly do for the community. Our true mission, in my opinion, is to love. What I’ve learned along this journey is that Latinas = Love and in Love is great power and strength.

I gave an interview not too long ago, I was asked who my “LADY MENTOR was GROWING UP?” My response: “I come from a family of strong women. Women, who were dealt some tough cards, never folded, but instead learned card tricks, and taught me that I too can be a magician.”

You’ll never read about my great-grandmother, grandmother, or mother in history books… but these women were and are powerful forces. Even on the days we had nothing, we seemed to have everything. Show them an obstacle, they’ll show you 10 different ways around it.

When Latinas give out of love, obstacles do not exist. We LOVE our community. We LOVE our culture — even more so, we LOVE our families and the future of our families — this is why Chicas Latinas de Sacramento is still here five years later without staff or funding, obstacles do not exist for us, they do not exist for me. We are working to build a healthy community and cultural identity that will support our families. In doing so, we’re also building healthy families which will further support a healthy community and culture for generations to come.

As I watch the next generation of Latinos mature, I see them struggle with similar growing-pains and identity-crises my generation struggled from. Our youth continue to be split into 2 major directions: incarceration and military, as the words “higher-education” remain luxury words for many. Unfortunately, we live in a time when policy criminalizes poverty and over generations this has become not only normalized, but a culture within itself.

This simply needs to change. I try my best to steer away from political discussions, especially when concerning Chicas Latinas – red tape and I do not go well together, as I have a history of taking matters into my own hands. The system as it is does not support me, my family, or our future – for this reason, I feel civic engagement is worth mentioning here.

There is something amazing Chicas Latinas helped me discover about philanthropy and volunteer cultivation. When people get involved in their community and serve, awareness happens. Awareness to the issues and challenges in our community and the awareness of the power just ONE individual can have. This is why volunteering is so important, yes we’re helping, but we’re inspiring awareness and civic engagement within our members and their families. We’re proving how powerful and valuable every individual can be – regardless of ethnicity, gender, class, or education level. Chicas Latinas members are aware, they’re leaders, they’re leading out of love, and they’re inspiring others in their own communities and families to give and to discover their value and role in our community.

Philanthropy leads to civic engagement. This is where change happens. It happens with us: Chicas Latinas of Sacramento, as we feed the homeless, volunteer at women’s shelters, tuck-in children for their naps at crisis shelters, rebuild homes for vets, counsel victims of assault, work with the youth… work with each other.

I want to personally thank my members and supporters for continuing to inspire me. I’m here before you, five years later, we didn’t have much then — we don’t have much now, yet each one of you have contributed something amazing that has kept me and this organization going. I often say that passion can only get us so far, but I continue down this path, because I know Latinas are magicians. We love our community, we’ve discovered our voice and our power, and we’re learning new magic tricks every day.

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento, for this I thank you; you give me hope that change is possible and we’re possible. Here’s to another five years of inspiring, leading, and magic tricks.

(PDF of Speech: CL 5 YR ARosas)

 

 

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Cien Amigos, Cinco de Mayo, una Dolores Huerta, muchos ciclistas, y los Gigantes!

This last week (or so) has been full speed, nonstop, and packed with goodness in Sacramento… with a brief trip to Los Angeles.

(Mexican) Family Stuffmore please! 

California – Mexico Advocacy Day, with Consulado de Mexico en Sacramento 

Cinco de Mayo with John Quiñones (what would I do? I took a picture!) 

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John Quiñones #cincodemayo #sacramento

A post shared by Angela Rosas (@angelarunsamuck) on

Women’s Business: Las Juntas Patrióticas de Señoras and Latina Women in Public Life in California

I’m a member of Cien Amigos now!!! (Pin of honor)

Dolores Huerta at Latino Community Foundation’s CaliforniaLatino Agenda, Sacramento Summit ❤️

#Network4Cause with Eric Ratinoff — supporting HDSA Awareness 

AMGEN Tour of California 

Watched my beloved SF Giants lose to LA Dodgers… in Los Angeles. Ouch.

Sunday I rested, spent the day with my family (yay Mother’s Day!) and the Giants won.

Back to the grind… and catching up on emails. I’m behind in life. Speaking of being behind in life, Chicas Latinas de Sacramento’s 5 Year Anniversary dinner is this Sunday! Wowzas.

Low Tire Pressure: Dresses and Skirts are the Leading Cause of Sexual Assaults

Low Tire Pressure and Sexual Assault Awareness: 

Weird headline, right? Hear me out on this one…

Last week an indicator light lit up in my car to inform me that my car’s tire pressure was low. My first two thoughts, my car is a nag and I really dislike putting air in my tires. So I ignored it.

The other day I had a friend in my car and I explained why the light is still on and why it will stay on until I get my car serviced. It’s not because I prefer to be waited on like a princess (although that would be OK). It’s not because I don’t know how to check the air in my tires or put air in them, I know how – and I don’t mind doing it. What I don’t like is being vulnerable, for that long, at a gas station, by myself, as a female.

My dad used to give me grief for not spending more time at the gas station, tending to the delicate needs of my ride; checking the water, oil, filters, and tires. One day I told him that when he becomes a 20-something year old, female, alone at a gas station… then he can give me grief. Until that moment, he hadn’t realized sexual harassment was real to me or that my fear was real. He doesn’t know that I walk to my car and home with a key in-between the knuckles of my hand. He doesn’t know, because he’s a “him” and not a “her.”

Discussing unwanted crude cat-calls, threats, or stranger gropings isn’t a regular topic around the family dinner table. And disclosures might lead to the suggestion of wearing a potato-sack when leaving the  house… because everyone knows that dresses and skirts are the leading cause of assaults.

In the United States, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime and nearly 1 in 2 women have experienced other forms of sexual violence at some point in their lives. Many Victims do not Disclose Sexual Violence. Statistics underestimate the problem because many victims do not tell the police, family, or friends about the violence. http://www.cdc.gov/features/sexualviolence/

This is why I’m against putting air in my tires (by myself) and why I’m a huge fan of WEAVE Inc.’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes annual event, held during April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

Even if you don’t feel up to the challenge of literally walking a mile in high-heels, take a moment to acknowledge that the fear of SA is a part of my life, and probably a part of the lives of the women around you, learn about the issues, be an advocate for the women in your life and please support great organizations like WEAVE Inc.

WEAVE is committed to breaking the cycle of violence by educating the community to better understand the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, and spearheads campaigns, events, and activities for Sacramento County for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April and Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. These awareness month campaigns include activities like Jeans for Justice Day and Women Take Back the Night. Learn more: http://www.weaveinc.org/prevention-education

Side-note: I’m so happy that Kershaw, Cutter, & Ratinoff is participating in #WAM2014 on Sunday, April 27.

Check out Eric Ratinoff’s 2011 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes video below, and learn about the event: http://weaveinc.donorpages.com/WalkaMile2014/EricRatinoff/

March in Sacramento: Women’s History Month & Brain Injury Awareness Month

What’s up Sacramento? Everything? No kidding!!!

First up, it’s Women’s History Month. I am honored to be listed as a Sacramento “Unsung She-ro” by Girls on the Grid‘s SACRAMENTO WOMEN MAKING HISTORY 2014! It came as a complete surprise and I truly appreciate the recognition. View the article and be sure to check out the other profiles… Sacramento is a city full of movers and shakers!!! So proud of our women.

girls on the grid: Angela Rosas

March is also Brain Injury Awareness Month – and this is of great significance to me. I work for Eric Ratinoff, a local brain injury lawyer who also serves on the board of BIACAL. Naturally our upcoming #Network4Cause event on March 13th at Mayahuel will support Brain Injury Association of California and it’s upcoming 2014 Walk For Brain Injury. I will also be participating in the Sacramento walk event on March 30th, the rest of our staff will be volunteering! (Look for us if you’re there, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff!)

But wait there’s more – I have a personal connection to brain injury. Some of you may recall a close friend of mine who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) a couple of years ago from an accident. After a 2 month coma, he had a 2% chance of living and a 5% chance of walking… it is a miracle and a blessing he is alive and walking! It has been a long road to recovery and the journey continues.

Walk for Brain Injury Sacramento

Networking and charity/cause events are nothing new to me, but it’s always a little different when it’s a cause I have a personal connection with. Dear people of the world: Wear your helmet! And join me at #Network4Cause benefiting BIACAL’s 7th Annual Walk for Brain Injury – Sacramento on March 13th at Mayahuel.

#Network4Cause by Right Light Images Suzanne Hambleton. #Network4Cause by Right Light Images Suzanne Hambleton.

More #Network4Cause pictures: http://www.rightlightimages.com/p1070447736#h507055b

Follow up Blog Post: Walk for Brain Injury Sacramento, Full Circle with TBI

Angela Turned 30 and is *crawling* Amuck

I’m still running (crawling) amuck or amok, whichever you’d prefer. My days have been swamped working for Eric Ratinoff, implementing his re-branding, running the #Network4Cause event series (apply here), taking care of Chicas Latinas de Sacramento 501©3 admin work (the IRS is tons o’ fun), preparing to open up our Board of Directors, and getting ready for OUR FIRST community meeting!!!

Needless to say, I’ve fallen short and behind in some things – the overall running of my organization and our community communications have been better. I’m only one person, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that we are now a 501©3, have a board of directors, have resources coming in… Therefore, it is no longer a one (wo)man show. I trust all will work out accordingly.

Hence the purpose of our first Chicas Latinas de Sacramento Community Informational Meeting – we need help! Male, female, Latino or not, we need dedicated and experienced individuals to help further our mission. We’ll have applications for our Board of Directors, Committees, and Volunteering, something for everyone at the February 27th meeting. I completed my presentation today and am ready to inspire the next generation of Chicas Latinas leaders. It’ll be great to have an inspired and capable leadership team as we approach our 5-year-Anniversary in April!!! <– Speaking of, I really hope I’ll be able to pull off some kind of anniversary event, yikes.

***Want to learn more? I was recently featured in Vida en el Valle: OUR PEOPLE/NUESTRA GENTE: Ángela Rosas is leading the way for ‘Chicas’, Cynthia Moreno did a great job capturing my journey and mission.

Oh yea, in the midst of all this good stuff – I turned 30!!! and celebrated with family, some Chicas Latinas members, and friends!

Thank you to all who helped me celebrate ❤ xoxo ❤

#Network4Cause Sacramento Series at Mayahuel – Perk, Sol Collective Sweatshirt!

Last night was Eric Ratinoff’s #Network4Cause befitting Sol Collective in Sacramento! Although I wasn’t feeling very well the event turned out great. It was a wonderful night of food, cocktails, networking, and fundraising for Sol Collective.

Sol Collective is a community based partnership whose unique mission is to use art, education, and technology as a didactic medium to create mobilization and community empowerment. Sol Collective a 3,200 square foot community space located in Sacramento hosting art exhibitions, multimedia workshops,apprentice/mentorship programs, and community forums. In addition, the space is available for local organizations that provide service and advocacy within the fields of social justice and youth development. Learn more: solcollective.org

I even got this great Sol Collective sweatshirt – perfect for a casual Friday at the office.

*Pictured with my iPhone. Last night I was taking pictures at the event and couldn’t figure out why people were laughing at me… I get it now 😉 

Pictures from #Network4Cause Sacramento January Mixer benefiting Sol Collective

Eric’s next #Network4Cause event will be on February 6, 2014 befitting California Food Literacy Center — a great friend and supporter of the Chicas Latinas de Sacramento! They provide the healthy and fun menus for our Sacramento Crisis Nursery volunteer and donation visits.

Register here: #Network4Cause Sacramento Event Benefiting @CalFoodLiteracy #FoodLiteracy

Holiday Care Packages for Sacramento Homeless – Join Chicas Latinas!

Join me (us)!!!

The lovely Ms. Estella is allowing me to host Chicas Latinas de Sacramento‘s Holiday Care Package for the Homeless: Donation Drive / Gift Wrapping! at Sol Collective.

care package

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento Blog

On Dec. 25th Chicas Latinas de Sacramento will be distributing food, clothing, and toiletries to the homeless with C.A.F.F.E.as well as a gift to open on Christmas Day! 

We’re asking Chicas Latinas members and the Sacramento community to donate a (or a few) Holiday Care Packages to those who are less fortunate.

How to help: 

  • Donate a Holiday Care Package (or a few!)
  • Donate items we can add to Holiday Care Packages
  • Donate holiday wrapping paper and supplies

*Drop-off donations between December 12-14 at Sol Collective

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento volunteers will be at Sol Collective on 12/14 from 12-4pm to wrap your Holiday Care Package.We will give collected packages to the homeless on Dec. 25th at Cesar Chavez Park at 8am (volunteers are welcomed to join us).

Be sure to stick around at Sol Collective on December 14th, from 12-6pm they’ll have a live DJ…

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