Women’s Empowerment Fund Announces 2017 Pick

ANNOUNCING!! [Drum Roll Please]

The Winner of the  Women’s Empowerment Fund of 2017 is:

Mujeres Appollando Mujeres – Women Supporting Women

Proposed by Charla Bregante


Low-income Latina women face a number of stressors, particularly in today’s hostile political climate. Many Latina women living in low-income housing work more than one job in addition to raising children, and face immigration challenges either for themselves or members of their family. They face the barriers of racism, language, education and class on a daily basis. They suffer disproportionately from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart problems.

Mujeres Appollando Mujeres (MAM) would include a monthly support group with an educational component as well as a weekly Zumba class in the community room of the HACSB Monteria Housing Project. The monthly meetings would give the women the opportunity to build strong community connections and peer support as well as educational opportunities from experts in nutrition and health, employment readiness and other areas of interest chosen by the group. The weekly Zumba classes would address the women’s needs for a regular exercise program in a supportive and fun environment. The Housing Authority would provide the space and support staff for both as needed, but the leadership and program planning would be provided by the five core members of MAM three of whom are monolingual Spanish speakers and two are bilingual speakers.

Response from the Selection Committee:

This project, Mujeres Appollando Mujeres, addresses the real needs of low income Latina women living in our Santa Barbara community. We are impressed with the philosophy of strengthening communities so that their members may support each other and in involving women from the outset in identifying their needs and designing a program to meet them. This aligns well with Unitarian principles and our congregation’s commitment to social justice.

The selection committee was impressed with the quality of the submissions this year and with the spirit of generosity that underlies all the projects designed to help and empower women. We are grateful to the women in our congregation who submitted their project proposals. Selecting a winner has been a difficult choice.

We remind you that there will be another opportunity to submit proposals in March of 2018, and yearly after that. Please search your minds and hearts for creative ideas to help women and girls in the Santa Barbara community.

And, should you be impressed with the value of the Women’s Empowerment Fund, please feel free to make a donation to enhance its impact in 2018.

Many thanks to all who have been involved with this project in its first year of operation and have helped us through our growing pains to make it an astounding success.

In gratitude,

Rachel Aarons