Wise Latina summit empowers local Latinas through multiple events this weekend; Conference kicks off with dire salary stats for El Paso Hispanic women

A weekend long series of women-focused writing workshops, art events, films and prominent local and national Latina speakers, kicks into gear today and tomorrow in the Downtown Art District and El Paso Museum of Art. Organized by the national non profit group Wise Latina International, the two-day summit kicked off earlier this week with an eye-popping study that found El Paso area Latinas earn between 44 to 47 cent on the dollar or 30 cents less than what white women earn nationally and 10 cents less than Latinas earn nationally. The study was done in conjunction with the group MerKadoTeknia Research and Consulting with participation by faculty from UTEP and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. The study also notes that the female poverty rate in Texas is higher than it is for the entire state of Texas and that 71 percent of jobs in El Paso pay less than $36,000 per year, “which cannot sustain a single mom with one child,” according to a press release. Wise Latina Founder and President Liz Chavez said the purpose of the study and summit, which focuses this year on the theme of “strength, power and influence in media,” is to “educate, raise awareness and empower our women.” The organization, she said, seeks to “promote and encourage economic, educational, health and socio/political emplowerment for the betterment of Latinas, women, family and community by utilizing and developing leaders while encouraging professional and personal development.”

In addition to events geared toward young Latinas, the summit includes writing workshops by local Latina authors Josefina Lopez, Maria M. Maloney and Denise Chavez.

Girls build to win in Lego League robotics challenge

EL PASO – As schools work to encourage more women to enter science and tech fields, a recent Lego League championship at UT El Paso saw progress when the all-girl Loretto Angel Bots Blue team won the competition. “It was the most exciting thing that has ever happened in my life,” said Samantha Perez, a member of the Loretto Angel Bots Blue team. “At first i wasn’t expecting to win anything, but this was a nice surprise.” More than 100 students from El Paso elementary and middle schools spent the day building with Legos and participating in dancing and cheering exercises as part of the high-energy competition in the 7th annual FIRST Lego League (FLL) and Jr. FLL Championships Feb. 7 in the Memorial Gym at the University of Texas at El Paso.

LGBT advocates push for broader nondiscrimination law

By Wesley Juhl – SHFWire.com
WASHINGTON – A new report by the Center for American Progress prompted renewed calls for legislation to protect the LGBT community from discrimination. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., the lead sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the Senate, spoke Dec. 10 at the progressive think tank’s headquarters about the importance of such legislation. Sarah McBride, the lead author of the CAP report, said that progress made by the LGBT community in the last 10 years highlights the issues it still faces. “A lot of Americans think that LGBT discrimination is a relic of the past,” she said.

Does stripping for money empower or demean women?


The almighty dollars wait to be scooped up from the floors of Dreams… Jaguars, Tequila Sunrise or any strip club The bills are usually wet from the sweaty hands of the men, eager to touch the women. Up on the poles, the women hang on a fine line that moves from humility to humiliation, from objectification to empowerment. In the instant it takes to kneel down and pick up the bill, an array of emotions and thoughts web through the stripper’s mind. Having once been employed by local strip clubs, I know that feeling and I recall the stigmas that are born from such a life. I decided to dive back into the world of strip clubs for a class project and look again into the tangled universe of a stripper’s thoughts.