Latinos take on many of the grueling jobs to help support their families in need. Traditionally, family men work while women stay at home. Oftentimes, due to the model of the old-world Latino immigrant family, the male’s place in the workforce leaves Latinas shortchanged. This prototype goes back decades, limiting the resources they have access to while caring for the family at home. Situations like these can prove to be a huge disadvantage all over the US. However, an organization in Oregon, Adelante Mujeres, is changing the game.
Bridge Cooke, Sister Barbara Raymond, and 15 Latina moms found a void to fill, helping a group that every non-profit in Oregon overlooks. Adelante Mujeres was founded in 2002 to empower low-income Latinas that the community had written off. The lack of programs to advance women’s skills was missing, but this program changed the landscape.
The women’s team put together an initiative that included training and activities that would draw out the women alienated in their homes. The long time underrepresentation of this population was due in part to legislation and policies that directly affect the women’s lives but don’t benefit them.
In 2020, US immigrants and their American-born children amounted to a little over 25% of the population. The 2020 Current Population Survey (CPS) estimated this number to be 85.7 million people. This is not a small number, yet immigrants are somehow marginalized and made to feel like outcasts in our society.
Undoubtedly, our country is stronger because of the work that immigrants do. Many of them work in the food production, processing, distribution, and food retail space. Immigrants also have the largest showing in farming, doing the labor that plenty of American citizens don’t necessarily want to perform.
This organization’s mission, vision, and values all tie into ideals around enabling Latinas to thrive. Everyone needs a community, a tribe that will support them in a variety of ways. The programs offered by Adelante Mujeres include Adult Education, Early Childhood Education, Chicas Youth Development, Washington County Civic Leaders Project, Beyond Trauma, Empresas Small Business Development, Immigrant Solidarity, Nourish the Community and Regenerative Agriculture curriculum. The valuable skills learned will help women build themselves up to take their power back as women, mothers, and community members.
Millions of women suffer significant trauma, sexual and domestic abuse, sexism, racism, domestic violence, economic inequality, and repression. Fortunately, many of the stories do not end there because organizations like Adelante Mujeres look to be leaders and supporters. Women have incredible strength, and when we unite, the power is multiplied. This organization has created a space of empowerment for Latinas. It is reported that help has been provided to 9,000 Latinas, and 80% of the staff identifies as the same.
When one woman thrives, we all win! Having the resources and support to make these fantastic opportunities happen is vital to everyone’s growth. Let’s celebrate Adelante Mujeres for the tremendous strides they are making in and around the Washington area.