Cesar E. Chavez granddaugher Crhistina Chanez was keynote speaker of the 2nd annual Latina Empowerment Confernce. The conference opened up with Oakland University Student Affairs Vice President welcoming a audience of Latinas of all ages and economic backgrounds. Oakland University has been the host of this annual event.
Christine Chavez, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez continues to carry out her grandfather’s legacy with a career in the areas of civil rights. In her role she has continued to work with latino farmworkers offering them a conference that provides them with tools to build their farming business. Teenage Latinos and Latinas from high schools throught Southeat Michigan were engaged with her keynote and several took time to speak with her and get her autograph. “It is a historical moment to meet her in person” commented a high school student. Engineering Career Panleist Carmen Thomas from GM wore a Cesar Chavez t-shirt from a march she had participated in.
Marichi Fememil managed by Maria Cantu, debuted their music and announced their program encouraging young Latinas to learn to play traditional Mexican instuments.
The event included several workshops presented in both English and Spanish. Topics consisted of“About Diabetes and Latinos” “ Diabetes y Latinos” that included a hands on testing, brining awareness on the large amount of sugar that softdrinks contain.
Event sponsor Comerica Bank, presented “Financial Empowerment” “Fortalecer en Finanazas”. Attendees learned about how to prepare their finances in order purchase a home, what are credit ratings and tips to protect from identification theft.
Michigan Immigration Rights presented information on requirements and applications for DACA and DAPA. Providing tips on what legal rights that immigrants may not be aware off if they are threatened to be deported. The preseneter also enrouaged the attendees to be careful of agencies that are not certified or experienced to help, but instead only want to their money.
Terry Beltran, business owner of Beltran Media announced the addition of the Latina Business Connection to the social portal website, www.AsktheLatina.comand presented a worshop on “Tips on Starting a Business” “Consejos para Comercios”. Bilingual handouts were available on starting a small businesss.
Career Panels included both college students and professionals in the areas of Nursing, Engineering, Law and Finance. Students learned from the journey of these Latinas and were encouraged to pursue these fields that are low in Latina/Latino representation.
Attendees left the 2nd annual conference with much enthusiasm and knowledge. College studetns from Wayne State, Oakland University and Oakland Community College attended the conference embracing the opportunity to network with Latina leaders. They commented, “I learned a lot and made valuable new connections”. Two teachers brought their students from Pontiac High School and International Technology Academy. “We plan to bring more students in 2017 because this is exactly what our Latina/Latino students need in order to be encouraged to pursue college. Latina professionals and mom’s that attended said ”The best conference I have attended for the value of the ticket.”