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La Liga de Las Americas

Mujeres Unidas: Una Familia, Una Comunidad DDLM sends a message of Unity


Under the theme “MUJERES UNIDAS: Una familia, Una Comunidad, Un Mundo,” several hundred Latinas are expected to congregate at the 13th annual Día de la Mujer Conference on Saturday, February 25 at the Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center.

2006 DDLM is posthumously dedicated to Señora Vicenta “Cindy” Velásquez.


Her son Baldemar Velásquez, president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) is routinely credited as the founder of the Toledo, Ohio-based union. But he has said that his efforts would not have succeeded without the support of his mother Cindy Velásquez and her “circle of friends,” who helped recruit early members and enhanced his own credibility.


“… There’s a new sense of vitality to come together now, when so many issues loom over us…,” says Ms. Roxanne Franco, this years Chair for the conference. The many issues Ms. Franco refers to will be addressed on a series of 30 workshops under Education, Health, Culture and Community Affairs as well as by the two guest speakers Rosemary Valladolid and Lupe Lara.


Both, Ms Valladolid and Lara are nationally known motivational speakers that focus on community and personal empowerment using Latina/o culture and traditions as a base of strength.


A native of El Paso, Texas, Ms. Valladolid presently teaches psychiatric nursing at the University of Texas at El Paso. Ms. Valladolid has been elected and appointed to executive boards of many national and regional business and civic organizations.


Among her many honors are: the National Training Lab Award as one of the ten best trainers in the country, the El Paso Women’s Commission Civic Leadership Award, the State of Texas Piper Professor Award, and the National Adelante Mujer Award.


Ms. Lara is a native of San Antonio, Texas, who has made Detroit her second home She has worked over the last 25 years in the Children’s Hospital of Michigan where currently serves as the Manager for Community Relations and is also responsible for the Conflict and Mediation Program, Volunteer Department and Diversity Initiatives.


Ms. Lara has been a community activist for the improvement of services to the Detroit multi-cultural community and co-founder of many organizations, and served on many community agency boards.  She has been appointed by four different Michigan governors to serve and lead state commissions and boards. 


“…The power and experience these two guest speakers bring into DDLM will bring clarity and vision to what our role is as Latinas …” added Ms Franco, an MSU Senior student of Political Science and Chicano and Latino Studies. The element of vision expressed by Roxanne is something she developed early on when she attended DDLM conference for the first time in 1995 when she was in fifth Grade.


“…My mom brought me along and I knew then what I needed to do to help myself and my community….”


The program planned for this year’s Día de la Mujer conference may produce more talent and leadership among Latinas than ever before.







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