From the very beginning, Esperanza United has belonged to the Latin@ community. We believe that each participant or community we work with is their own best expert; they know their reality better than any outside force. To effectively bring about change, community participation in the development, delivery, and evaluation of our work must be – and is – fully embraced. We take a lead/follow and teacher/learner approach and co-create with our participants and community, which our staff are also part of.
That’s why we work with the entire community to prevent gender-based violence, using a whole family approach. We work with youth, men, women, and gender non-conforming folks to build a culture of healthy relationships that honors Latin@ realities.
Our programs span the continuum of intervention and prevention recognizing that the lived realities and dreams of Latina women and girls, families, and communities require both. Through participation in our community engagement initiatives, 800 Latin@ youth and adults build new peer relationships, gain confidence in their roles as community leaders, and take action to promote healthy relationships and challenge social norms that perpetuate violence in its many different forms.
We also know that communities change and we need to change with them. To do so, we regularly host listening sessions with community members, developing and expanding our Fuerza Unida Amig@s and other initiatives from our learnings.
Fuerza Unida Amig@s Youth
“I started coming to Fuerza Unida because of my mom but I come back because Esperanza United has this welcoming environment, the workshops have a lot to offer, and healthy relationships are important and not taught in school. But they should be!”
- Youth participant
Youth Amig@s are Latin@ youth leaders ages 12-18. The Fuerza Unida initiative promotes the safety and well-being of young people and supports Latin@ youth in developing their own sense of agency, dignity, and self-respect. As part of this program, youth present workshops, lead community action projects, attend conferences, build their networks, and plan and lead their own annual youth leadership conference. Youth amig@s gain:
Fuerza Unida Amig@s
Fuerza Unida Amig@s are Latin@s and allies from the community who are committed to taking action that supports the mission of Esperanza United. Amig@s participate in:
How do families raise children to have healthy communications, relationships, and sexuality?
Esperanza United developed the national campaign, Decimos NO MÁS, after surveying Latin@s across the country on their thoughts and attitudes related to healthy relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault. As a result, Esperanza United created the Decimos NO MÁS toolkit to help guide parents in the often difficult conversations about relationships and healthy sexuality with their children.
Our Engaging Men and Boys Toolkit is a collection of resources and materials for individuals and organizations to increase awareness and engage Latino men and boys in preventing domestic violence. Here you will find information about programs that have been documented to work effectively, key cultural considerations, a customizable PSA campaign that organizations can use in their local area, and suggestions for how individuals can become more involved in working to end domestic violence. Visit the Te Invito toolkit now.