De Mujer a Mujer to present Women’s Empowerment Conference

latino-womenDe Mujer a Mujer: Latina Assistance Program will host its fifth annual Women’s Empowerment Conference from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 2, in Room 100 of the Campus Life Building.

The annual conference hopes to inspire young women of color, specifically Latina students in college or high school, to progress in their education and accomplish their goals.

Following this year’s theme is “Embrace Your Power, Inspire Change,” participants are encouraged to build confidence, discover their voice, express themselves and make wise decisions.

The event will feature informative and inspirational workshops, guest speakers and panels led by female leaders on topics such as leadership, cultural identity, mental health/wellness and student career success.

De Mujer a Mujer executive board members have been working hard to put together an empowering conference.

“Putting this conference together has been a big learning experience for me,” said Abigail Vidal, secretary. “We have put all our efforts to make this conference a great one and one we could most certainly be proud of. It would mean the world if we could have as many women there to support, represent, and empower women of color!”

Christine Diaz Luna, lead student coordinator of the conference, said she is looking forward to “seeing ladies from all walks of life, with the same goal of advancing in their education, coming together to empower each other, and building connections with one another.”

Martha Villegas Miranda, Multicultural Outreach and Retention specialist from Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at Joliet Junior College, is this year’s keynote speaker.

De Mujer a Mujer: Latina Assistance Program logoShe is a mother, daughter, sister, unafraid educator, servant leader, social worker and speaker activist with more than 15 years of higher education and community service experience.

Miranda has been recognized for her work and has received numerous awards, such as the Willie C. Velazquez National Volunteer of the Year from USHLI, Coordinator of the Year from Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the St. Francis Xavier Partnership in Mission Award from the Diocese of Joliet for her work of more than 12 years in Bolivia.

Her life’s mission is to “educate, advocate and inspire youth, students and familias toward an educational degree and to never forget your cultural heritage and roots.”

Other guest speakers are Destiny McDonald, assistant director of NIU Student Involvement & Leadership Development, who will present on women of color and leadership; and Sara Briseño, an organizer and coordinator at the Roots to Wellness mental health collaborative in the southwest side of Chicago, who will present on women of color and self-care. Both are graduates of NIU.

The conference is free, but registration is required. Space is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis. No walk-in registrations will be accepted. Deadline to register is Friday, March 25.

For more information, call (815) 753-1986 or email lrc@niu.edu.

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