MUJERES UNIDAS Y ACTIVAS Overview
Programs: MUA has created a multi-layered program that meets women where they are, addressing basic needs and dismantling the barriers ? low self-esteem, domestic violence, and economic hardship -- that could easily prevent them from recognizing their own potential to make change and participate in community life. Daily in MUA's offices Latina immigrant women take the first step toward creating this change by transforming themselves in their own eyes - from victims to skilled advocates for themselves, their families, and their community. Through group support sessions and political education workshops, MUA members find their voices, make links between personal problems and broader social and economic injustices, recognize their own strength, and build community and collective power. MUA offers members intensive job skills trainings, job placements, and workers' rights' courses that enable them to liberate themselves from domestic violence and workplace abuses and encounter economic security and justice. Comprehensive leadership and organizing trainings enable members to understand the systems that oppress and exploit them as women, workers, and immigrants, create their own vision for the world, build multi-racial alliances, and gain the tools to launch community education and organizing campaigns.
MUA has a membership of 375 Latina immigrants and offices in San Francisco's Mission District and Oakland's Fruitvale/San Antonio neighborhood. Forty percent of MUA's members have a household income of $10,000 or less, 15% have been homeless at some time, 40% have less than seven years of formal education, and many are single mothers. Most MUA members have lived in the U.S. for less than ten years and speak primarily or exclusively Spanish. MUA strives to reflect the mission of Latina empowerment in the organization's internal structure by ensuring that members develop skills to successfully lead their own organization.
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