How Mujeres Latinas en Acción works to help Chicago-area women break the cycle of violence
Mujeres Latinas en Acción supports Latinas who are trying to live lives free of violence. And while the Latina-led organization offers crisis intervention and healing services to trauma survivors, the nonprofit—now in its 45th year—has made it a priority to empower Latinas through economic and leadership development.
“It’s a unique and vital resource within the community,” says Fanny Cano, development and communications manager.
The Chicago-based organization’s largest programs are centered on domestic violence and sexual assault within the Latina community, offering support during the initial crisis and extending it through therapeutic services such as individual or group counseling. But it takes more than crisis intervention to escape domestic violence.
Breaking the cycle of violence
“What we found in working with clients was that we are meeting that initial need,” Cano says. “But to have that long-term effect of living their lives free of violence means they need the skills to become self-sufficient as they’re walking away from their partners, who often are the providers within their homes.”
Helping to break the cycle of dependency is Entrepreneurs of the Future (Empresarias del Futuro), a 15-week program that supports Latina entrepreneurs who have a business idea or have started a business and need the skills to take their venture to the next level.
The organization also focuses on leadership development, working to empower Latinas to become advocates for policy change and to advocate for healthier behaviors in their own homes.
A broader impact
Mujeres Latinas en Acción sees some 2,200 clients each year through direct services. To meet the needs of the community and broaden its reach, the organization recently broke ground on a new site in Brighton Park on Chicago’s southwest side. It’s also expanding the impact of its entrepreneurship program through pop-up events that give clients an opportunity to showcase their businesses.
Along the way, Huntington has supported Mujeres Latinas en Acción’s transformative work.
“Huntington has helped us open avenues for Latina survivors of trauma that will take them from healing to entrepreneurship and leadership in their communities,” Cano says.
About the organization
Name: Mujeres Latinas en Acción
Cities: Greater Chicagoland area
Phone: (773) 890-7676
Mission: Mujeres Latinas en Acción empowers Latinas through providing services, which reflect their values and culture, and being an advocate on the issues that make a difference in their lives.
How you can help
To get involved, visit the the Mujeres Latinas en Acción website.