St. Lukes Church
525 E. 7th St. Long Beach, CA 90813
The “Celebrando La Vida” Latina Women’s Conference is a one-day event which is scheduled on the day that corresponds with Mexican Independence Day, September 16th.
September is also Hispanic Heritage month and our target population is Latina Women. This date was selected to celebrate but also empower our Latina community to find their voice, purpose, and calling. Latinos are the largest growing demographic population but the reality is that Latina women are the least likely to access services and ask for help, so our goal is to provide them with a “one stop shop” where we will bring all the services to them so they can have immediate access to the services they need.
The theme “Celebrando La Vida” was selected to honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Long Beach Detective Kimberly Maddox and our women leaders that have paved the way for other women who will follow in their footsteps and keep their legacy going. We live in a country where our ancestors came as immigrants searching for a better life, to flee from being persecuted, some for religious purposes and others in the search for equality especially if they are women. This country offered a safe heaven but we have taken steps back to the day women were oppressed and their value was less than men.
Women have the opportunity to work at the same level as men but also to earn as much as a man, we intend to empower women to make changes in her own life, to celebrate their travels and journeys and work for a brighter future for them and for their children. For women to look at their own qualities and plan for their future, should they have no one to care for them as they get older? The rate of domestic violence is one of the highest for the Latina population and that’s only going by what’s reported because even in this day and age Latina women do not report domestic violence for fear of retaliation by their spouse and or threats of deportation and it is even worse for the Latina transsexual community for the same reasons but also fear of being outed.
This vulnerable population has so many strikes against them and we must use this conference to educate and empower. The graduation numbers are the lowest in the Latina population and it is time to break the cycle and create a new generation of strong, confident and intelligent Latinas that will pass it on from generation to generation.
Latina women are stereotyped as being passive, lazy, uneducated, close minded, taking advantage of the welfare system, sexual objects, seductive and promiscuous and we intend to shatter that stigma. Latina women and their families are living on edge and fear leaving their homes because of the current Administration’s immigration policies and the recent recission of the DACA Program. The goal of the “Celebrando La Vida” Latina Women’s Conference is to shed light on the many issues that surround and affect Latina Women and offer onsite resources and services that focus on the Latina mind, body and spirit so that they can achieve a well-balanced state of being.
It is our belief that empowerment starts at home, which then becomes the foundation of how you live your life and pass it on to your children, Hence, if the foundation is weak everything will crumble. On this day, We will celebrate life and our lives journeys and the many reasons why we should celebrate now and not wait until we die to know we are loved and relevant to our family and our community.
We will address many issues including those that are considered taboo, such as LGBTQ Latinas, Sex, and Sexuality, Religion/Spirituality, Domestic Violence, Education, Communicating with your children, Health & Exercise, Stress & Time Management, Becoming Entrepreneurs, Immigration, Sanctuary Cities, Community Service, Mentoring, Self Esteem. The women will hear inspirational stories and get insight about the various topics from the keynote speakers, including State Senator Ricardo Lara, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, Immigration attorney Evelyn Herrera, City Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, and many other inspirational speakers.
Some lucky women will receive a free makeup palette or a free professional makeover by Ruby Vargas, makeup artist to the stars! Admission, which includes breakfast, lunch and child care is only $25. Some women qualify for free admission. For more information, you can call Angel Macias at 562-900-8686, or register online, simply go to http://mycff.org/registration-page/
Raised in East Los Angeles, Senator Ricardo Lara is the product of strict, supportive and fair Mexican immigrants, Dolores and Venustiano Lara. He made history in 2012 by becoming the first openly gay person of color elected to the California Senate.
Senator Lara is chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and was first elected to the Legislature in 2010. He represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 33, which includes Long Beach and the Southeast Los Angeles cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, South Gate, and much of Los Angeles.
Mayor Garcia immigrated to Southern California from Peru at the age of 5. In 2009, he not only became the youngest mayor in Long Beach history, he is also the first gay, person of color to be elected to the Long Beach City Council.
Mayor Garcia works hard to make the city of Long Beach the best in economic development and technology. In addition to being the mayor, he is a Board Member of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Mayor Garcia is out to make a change and be the helping hand for diversity in the Long Beach community.
On November 22, 2014, Robert Luna was sworn in as the 26th Police Chief for the City of Long Beach. Chief Luna began his law enforcement career with the Long Beach Police Department in August 1985 as a Reserve Officer.
He entered the Basic Police Academy as a Recruit in April of 1987, and has since promoted through every rank within the Department, having worked a variety of assignments. He has extensive experience in the areas of disaster and emergency preparedness, terrorism and critical incident management, and serves on several law enforcement and community based boards.
Chief Luna actively promotes the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, policing in a smart, focused and effective manner, and treating people with dignity and respect. He embraces the concepts presented in the U.S. President’s 21st Century Policing Report, which provides key elements that help strengthen community policing and trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. He has been instrumental in helping to build and maintain productive and trustworthy relationships with the community, and has received many awards from several community organizations for his civic leadership.
Chief Luna strongly believes in the importance of higher education and made a
significant investment in his own education. He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Executive Institute, the FBI National Academy, the
Harvard University Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program and
holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from California State University, Long Beach.
Chief Luna is committed to ensuring a safe city for all people, through sound principles, practices, and partnerships.
Lena Gonzalez currently serves as the District Deputy to Vice Mayor Robert Garcia in the First Council District in Long Beach, CA. This district includes much of downtown and the central part of the city, with a portion of the Westside.
In this role, she oversees all community improvement
projects and is the lead office liaison to all First District constituents.
She works with local neighborhood associations, businesses (large and
small) and city staff to improve the living and working conditions of
residents in the First District. Lena is also the main contact for any
Public Safety related concerns and attends regular community meetings to
listen to resident concerns. She also fully administers the Public Works
and Parks budgets in the office, related to improved infrastructure and
park programming in the First District. In addition, Lena supports the Vice Mayor’s new role as CA Coastal Commissioner, handling all of his
communications, agendas and coordination with Sacramento staff.
Lena has formerly worked in a variety of private sector positions,
including sales and marketing for Bank of America (formerly MBNA) and both international and domestic sales/customer service for Uline, Inc. and Norsat International, where she traveled frequently to Vancouver, B.C.
Flor De Maria Chavarria, formerly Flor Madera was born in Matagalpa Nicaragua on November 14th. She attended El Instituto Nacional Eliseo Picado. Flor’s Mother passed away when she was 12 years old and after a few…
…years of taking on her mother’s role Flor decided to move to the United States in 1985 to fulfill her dream of becoming a famous stylist.
Flor attended Millikan High School and then took ROP courses in cosmetology and received her license and is now the proud owner of Broadway Hair Studio.
Flor gives back to her community by volunteering at the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, NAACP’s Youth Program and is now an avid volunteer with California Families in Focus.
One of Flor’s passions is to offer support to women in domestic violence shelters where she provides free makeovers and refers the women to agencies and organizations that will help build their confidence and self esteem so they can be encouraged to live a happy and healthy life free of abuse and domestic violence.
Flor also provides free makeovers, haircuts and other services to Senior Citizens, Homeless adults and underprivileged youth to get them ready to attend prom or graduation; she also works with friends and families to help provide prom dresses for High School Seniors who can’t afford them.
My family moved to this country from El Salvador when I was eight years old. I eventually graduated from California State University Los Angeles, and later earned a law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law.
I began working in 1994 as the only legal aid attorney in Kings County, 50 miles south of Fresno, CA. While there I worked on a great variety of cases, including employment rights of farm workers. Following this, I worked as a staff attorney for Legal Assistance for Seniors (LAS) for three years. I also worked on cases involving housing and landlord/tenant disputes, elder abuse, and government benefits.
Since 1998 I have worked principally on family law disputes: divorce, custody and visitation issues, guardianship, and adoption. Currently, my law practice is located in Berkeley. I handle immigration cases as well as family law, and mediation.
I speak Spanish fluently and participate in many community efforts towards peaceful conflict resolution.
Angel Macias is the CEO and founder of California Families in Focus, which is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop and provide positive and innovative events and social service programs for youth and…
…their families to achieve empowerment and purpose.
Angel works as a consultant developing youth mentoring programs for businesses and organizations. Her focus is on developing anti violence, empowerment, health and leadership programs for at risk youth and on her spare time she is an ordained minister who enjoys presiding over wedding ceremonies for loving couples who are ready to make that commitment.
Angel has held many great jobs within the city of Long Beach which include the 37th Congressional District, The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, 6th District City Council, St. Mary’s Medical Center and the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services.
Angel has traveled nationwide delivering motivational, empowerment speeches and through her travels she has worked with diverse groups developing programs ranging from mentoring out of school youth, to preparing adult men and women recovering from drug and alcohol abuse to build employment skills, to visiting prisons in California to talk about race relations and on occasions was called upon to diffuse race riots.
For the past 25 years Angels has made it her mission to assist youth and their families in becoming strong, confident, informed, optimistic and productive members of society by providing them with the educational tools needed to access social and community friendly services.
Angel believes that through community collaboration, youth and their families will be able to achieve their full potential and live a healthy and meaningful life where they feel a sense of responsibility, pride, belonging and purpose.
Giovanna has worked with survivors of intimate partner violence since 2001 and specializes in helping individuals heal from unhealthy relationships . She accomplishes this through education, intervention and empowerment of how healthy and unhealthy relationships can…
…affect her client’s lives. Prior to becoming the Domestic Violence Services Manager at The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach in 2015, Giovanna spent 14 years as a Youth Services Coordinator for a local Long Beach Domestic Violence Outreach and Emergency Shelter program.
She has helped developed a variety of support groups and individual counseling geared toward young people. She built a rapport with local area schools and educated students on healthy relationships. In 2005, Giovanna was selected to be a team member of the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART). DART worked in conjunction with detectives from the LBPD Domestic Violence Detail and provided crisis counseling and emergency shelter services to survivors at area hospitals, private residences or safe locations.
She also served on two local Long Beach Boards, End Abuse Long Beach and Long Beach Pride Inc. In 2013 she was nominated to be the Los Angeles Domestic Violence Council Co-Chair of their LGBT Sub-Committee.
After 16 years of service, and empowering clients to have healthy relationships. Giovanna’s passion for service continues to grow. She is currently returning to college to pursue her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Dr. Elisa Nicholas has served as Chief Executive Officer of The Children’s Clinic, “Serving Children and Their Families” (TCC) for over 28 years. Dr. Nicholas has taken what was once a small, mostly volunteer-run clinic serving only…
…children in Long Beach, California to an innovative and progressive system of eleven community health centers and a mobile clinic that provide comprehensive health care services to all ages throughout Long Beach and the South Bay. The Clinic not only addresses individual health issues of patients, but also the social determinants of health.
Dr. Nicholas has a history of commitment to helping children and their families lead healthier and happier lives and experience success and has driven pioneering work in chronic disease management, such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, and most recently toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Dr. Nicholas oversaw the Everychild Bright Beginnings Initiative incorporated throughout clinic sites to identify and address the effects of toxic stress and exposure to violence on infants, toddlers, and pregnant mothers.
She has implemented and participated in numerous collaboratives that involve active participation of the communities including LBAFF, LBACA, and Partnership for Public Health. She recognizes the wisdom, resiliency, and strength of children and their families and is honored and humbled to be their partner.
A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, Dr. Nicholas completed a pediatric residency at the Yale University School of Medicine, and preventative medicine residency while a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Fellow at the UCLA School of Medicine. She earned her Master’s of Science in Public Health from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and has received numerous awards for her work.
Concepcion Garcia was born in Los Mochis Sinaloa, Mexico. She is the mother of 3 gentlemen Eli, Javier Ulises and Matthew Tapia. She came to the USA about 30 years ago, most of these have been spent living in…
….the city of Long Beach.
She has volunteered at various organizations in the city of Long Beach as a health promoter.
Work in the last 9 years with NCLR / CSULB Center For Latino Community Health and Health Center Culture as a Community Services Specialist (Community Services Specialist)
She currently works with Building Healthy Communities Long Beach, LBACA, PCori and some other agencies.
She collaborates with vision and commitment as part of the Los Angeles area central committee and as Los Angeles Area Coordinator by scheduling workshops, forums and training for promoters.
Very early in life, Bamby experienced numerous challenges. Growing up in a poor home with a single working mother in Guadalajara, Mexico, she was drawn to the companionship and lessons of several hardships in life like childhood sexual abuse by an abusive stepfather,…
…the use of drugs and surviving in the hard streets of Guadalajara Mexico as a child. Maneuvering her uneasy way through separate worlds of family, school, gangs, and LGBTQ friends, she fell into a deep cycle of drugs, crime, juvenile institutions and later, after immigrating to the US, prisons and constant street violence. Repeatedly facing her mortality, and amid many reversals, she committed herself to treatment for her addiction to work on herself and learn the root cause of what was leading the life she was living.
She then slowly began to experience, build and imagine a different and better life for herself. But Bamby’s improbable survival also inspired within her a sense of duty to help others as she recovered her life. One by one, she began to transform each challenge and each issue of her early life into the substance, basis and gravitas for her current extraordinary work, activism and life. Even now, she is always ready to credit others who assisted her transcendent rise. Bamby often speaks of herself as a “Community Investment”.
Bamby’s work has been recognized and awarded locally and nationally by diverse organizations.
After receiving an award for her continued fight for justice for Trans Latina community, Bamby reflected a humble and authentic gratitude for just being alive and having somehow been given an improbable second chance in life.
Her unassuming warmth, transparency and playful character coexist with the seriousness of her determined commitment. Bamby is fortunate and grateful to be alive; this is expressed in her life through her wide and unique smile. Her work and in her signature dance moves that are always ready to spontaneously erupt.
Nancy Valencia is the Executive Director of DAYS Long Beach. As a Long Beach native, she attended local elementary and middle schools, graduated from Long Beach Jordan High School, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Long Beach.
Nancy worked as a counselor with Harbor Area Halfway House, where she worked on reuniting female offenders with their families and providing resources for employment, housing, drug counseling, and parenting classes. She later taught elementary school in Long Beach Unified School District and Norwalk/La Mirada School District. In 2003, she joined the DAYS Long Beach as a board member and in 2004 she became the Executive Director. Nancy is passionately committed to issues surrounding children, their families, and related social justice issues. She is on the advisory board for Comunidades Con Poder Para El Cambio (CPC), a member of Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Parent Organizing Work Group, and Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition (LBIRC) board member.
Lisbeth Coiman is a bilingual writer wandering the immigration path from Venezuela to Canada, to the US. As an immigrant, she has performed any available job from maid to college administrator. She currently works for the National Alliance…
…for Mental Illness, LA County chapter, fighting the stigma against the mentally ill through the In Our Own Voice program.
A few of her essays and poems have been published in HipMama, YAY LA, Nailed, and the Literary Kitchen. Her short story “Tell Me When it Stops Raining” won honorary mention in the Unchaste Readers / Hip Mama fiction contest. She was featured in the Listen to Your Mother Show, Orange County, in 2015. In her bilingual blog lisbethcoiman.com, Lisbeth muses about living with a serious mental disorder, and about issues of immigration, and identity.
Her self-published memoir, I Asked the Blue Heron, to be launched early this fall, celebrates friendship among women and draws attention on child abuse and mental illness. She lives in Torrance, CA where she writes, hikes, and drinks wine by the gallon. On Saturday nights, she can be found in Los Angeles dancing salsa to beat depression.
Originally from Brazil, Jannay Lima made Long Beach her home away from home. Voted as one of the most influential Lesbian Latina’s in Los Angeles County, she has been an active member of the LGBT community as a LGBT advocate,
the Co-Producer of Long Beach Festival Gay Latino, and member Long Beach Pride Parade Committee. She also served on several non-profit organizations board such as; AIDS Food Store Long Beach and few others. Jannay recently was elected Ms. Long Beach Gay Pride 2016 by the International Imperial Court of Long Beach for raising money for non-profit organizations around the city. Last year alone, she raised over $35,000 for causes such as; LGBT Youth, Immigration, and AIDS support. As she would say, her hobby is to help others and she has made that her mission in life.
Professionally, Jannay is the Chief Strategy Officer for iZone Marketing and Technology Solutions. Jannay is a Senior IT Professional with extensive experience in digital marketing, IT projects, operations, and process management. She utilizes senior level management experience gained as an employee of several T1 companies followed by many years of consulting experience to help clients successfully meet the challenges of today’s fast-paced and demanding IT environment.
Ruby Vargas is a young woman with many dreams to fulfill since her arrival in Los Angeles CA. At 12 years old from El Aguacatito Guerrero, Vargas never limited herself, attending school to continue with her studies to…
…learn the English language. At 15 years old her first child was born. That gave her more strength to fight for that gift that God sent her, Ruby finished her high school in adult night school. Her family supported her by taking care of her babies while she finished basic education. At the age of 18, Vargas moved to the city of Chicago, Illinois, escaped from an unhealthy relationship with domestic violence by the father of her two sons. Vargas started her life as a single mother with two children to protect. She wants to be an example of struggle and improvement. She started working as an employee cleaning hotels. Vargas achieved not only being an excellent employee but also became the assistant of operations management at the Hilton Garden Inn in Chicago, Illinois. Vargas , with her present husband, started a business of ice cream sales and soon began her makeup career where she is now one of the recognized makeup artists and her studio being one of the centers of makeup with intense growth in the area of Los Angeles and working in collaboration with artists such as Amanda Miguel, Maribel Guardia, Ana Barbara, Niurka Marcos, Maria Conchita Alonzo, Mariana Seoane, the girls of Horoscopes of Durango and currently the personal makeup artist in charge of Carmen Jara among many more. Ruby, at the same time, is invited to different TV stations to give beauty advice. Also an entrepreneur, Ruby created her line of makeup with its own palettes of shades and flushes known in the market as RV Cosmetics. Vargas thanks God for so many blessings and has, even more, plans in mind that you can keep up with by following her on her social media.
Welcome Alicia Carrera
Comunidades con Poder para el Cambio
Opening prayer Minister, Angel Macias
Long Beach Chief of Police Robert Luna
Senator Ricardo Lara
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia
Conference Overview Angel Macias California Families in Focus
Jose Luis Sin Censura
Community Organizer, Nancy Valencia
Legacy Award Concepcion Garcia
Spirit Award Alexys Solorzano
Makeup Artist to the Stars, Ruby Vargas
Dr. Elisa Nicholas
Author, Lisbeth Coiman
Wall of Honor Purple Heart Activity
Lunch Aztec Dance/Blessing Ceremony Entertainment
Immigration Attorney, Evelyn Herrera
Community Activist, Jannay Lima
Entrepreneur, Flor de Maria Chavarria
LGBTQHuman Rights Activists, Bamby Salcedo
The Center LB, Giovanna Martinez
1st District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez
Close of Event