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Published On: Thu, Apr 12th, 2007

“Latinas4Life”

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Bronx native Caridad De La Luz aka La Bruja will bring her campaign "Latinas4Life" to New York City Schools starting next week. 

The kick off date takes place on Wednesday, April 11th at Murray Bergtraum High School. 

Caridad De La Luz aka La Bruja

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Apr 11 – Murray Bergtraum – Manhattan
Apr 12 – James Baldwin – Manhattan
Apr 13 – Bronx Prep – The Bronx
Apr 17 – Math and Science – Spanish Harlem
Apr 30 – TASS – Manhattan
May 2 – Dewitt Clinton – The Bronx
May 8 – Marta Valle Secondary School – Manhattan
May 9 – Jane Adams – The Bronx
May 16 – Citizens Advice Bureau – After School Program – The Bronx

A Call For Action:

LATINAS FOR LIFE is an initiative being led by Bronx-born Poet/Actress/Hip-Hop MC/Activist Caridad “La Bruja” De La Luz. The aim of the program is to engage artists, activists, media personalities and successful Latina role models from the business world in a dialogue with the alarming population of Latina’s who are most at-risk for dropping out of High School. Teaming up with other organizations in the New York City area including, SISTAS ON THE RISE and ASPIRA, the goal of LATINAS FOR LIFE in 2007 is to produce 10 events at New York City-Area Junior and High Schools. The events will serve to unite powerful communities within the music, art, media and business worlds in an all-out effort to inspire and educate young Latinas. The call is to “stay in school” and break the cycle we are seeing amongst Latinas; and also create a call to awareness towards a cultural and societal system that often neglects their needs.

In addition, it is a hope for La Bruja that through her example, the messages created by artists in the music community will become more informed, enlightened, and balanced as they reach young impressionable minds.

Young Latinas face cultural taboos and religious restrictions that prevent them from openly discussing sex, contraception, planned parenthood or choosing abortion if they get pregnant. Subsequently, young Latinas are at greater risk of not only getting pregnant but also of becoming infected with the AIDS virus and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The events will serve several purposes:
1.    To bring media attention to this growing problem and to the organizations which already exist to assist these young women.
2.    To inspire young Latina women to seek alternatives and avert negative situations in their lives; breaking the cycle.
3.    To encourage and inspire the music community, many of who also come from single parent homes, to change their ways and the content of their messages.

LATINAS FOR LIFE events will inspire and educate young minds by addressing these issues and also work to encourage the breaking of cultural barriers by sparking a dialogue between the younger generation of Latinas and the older generation. L4L will seek to engage the social services sector vigorously to facilitate communication through education and understanding.

LATINAS FOR LIFE has long-term goals of hosting these events annually and will continue to host them and eventually branch out similar styled events across the United States and Puerto Rico.

"After doing community work for well over ten years now, I’ve seen the growing need for help, communication, inspiration and truth. The truth is that as a Latina, I have struggled with the discipline of the traditional old school values vs. the lifestyle taught on the streets and media; I have survived, with minimal information, the pressures of teen sex, stds and pregnancy; I am a survivor of rape, depression and suicidal temptations; I have taught myself to heal through self-expression and art; the truth is… I still have much to learn. But as I’ve learned, I have also taught through outreach and have connected with those that are so much like me with the hopes of finding the answers that can help us achieve a full and happy life. The statistics prove that a healthy, fulfilling life for women of color, especially Latinas, are slim. We are falling through the cracks of society, with little chance of breaking the ongoing cycles that plague us. Life is at stake and this has inspired me to lead the Latinas 4 Life program. Through this program, it is my intention to work in over 20 NYC schools in 2007, and facilitate workshops, assisted by a powerful alliance from within our community, that will inform our young women on how to survive the realities and issues that they will inevitably face throughout their lifetime.

I cannot do this alone, many of you have already reached out to me expressing interest and camaraderie in this movement, affirming that this is a step in the right direction for us all. I am grateful and acknowledge all of you for your vision and courage.

What is the next step?

If you are in the NYC area, and would like to volunteer, or assist in this effort, please click on the link below.  If you are in another area and would like to work with us on bringing the program to your neck of the woods, please indicate this and we will work on making it happen.  If you are not able to participate, but feel inspired to share your experience or express concerns that need to be addressed, I would love to read your words and am sure they could uplift others that share your struggle. Go to www.myspace.com/latinasparalavida, go to the BLOG section, share your story and help me create a community filled with compassion and positivity. I need it, you need it, our children need it… together we can make a difference."

– CARIDAD “LA BRUJA” DE LA LUZ –

HERE’S THE LINK TO VOLUNTEER OR HELP BRING THE PROGRAM TO YOUR AREA:

http://latinas4life.wufoo.com/forms/contact-list/

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TODAY’S YOUNG LATINA bridges the rich cultural traditions of her heritage and the exciting life
opportunities available to her as a 21st-century American girl. While she deserves the best of both worlds, the statistics reflect a darker reality: Caught between conflicting cultures and generations, overlooked and underserved, she is at greater risk of attempting suicide, leaving school and becoming a teenage mother, than her peers.*

*"Young Latinas and A Cry For Help."
The New York Times, July 21, 2006 El Diario, December 2006

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WE ALREADY HAVE the ability to help today’s young Latina: We can reach out to her in school, educate her about safe sex, drugs, and the consequences of teen pregnancy, and help her develop the tools to express her emotions in healthy ways – through art and open communication. We can be positive role models and share our honest experiences, so she knows she’s not alone, and we can contribute our talents and time.
Let’s do it! Join me in Latinas4Life.

Caridad "La Bruja" De La Luz.

“Latinas4Life”