On October 12 & 13, Fijate Bien offered Bay Area service providers and community activists a two-day pilot version of MPact’s Speaking Out Toolkit entitled Alzando La Voz: Capacitacion para activismo comunitario. This community advocacy training was developed in collaboration with Trucha at Clinica de La Raza in Oakland and El Ambiente/AGUILAS in San Francisco as part of activities leading up to the 2019 National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD).
Fijate Bien is MPact’s program working to address the HIV Crisis Impacting Latinx Gay and Bisexual Men and other Men Who Have Sex with Men in the United States and Puerto Rico. In the coming year, we will continue our participation and contribution to the national discourse on effectively and strategically addressing this crisis.
We are excited to announce that the second year of Fijate Bien’s programming will include introducing MPact’s curriculums and toolkits as trainings and capacity building opportunities for local and regional audiences of Latinx gay and bisexual men in the United States and Puerto Rico. First developed nearly a decade ago, MPact’s Speaking Out Toolkit has served as a catalyst to mobilize coalitions of gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men around issues of HIV, sexual health and human rights around the globe, and we are so glad to be adapting it for our Latinx community here in the US for the first time.
Even in resource rich area like the Bay Area, Spanish-language trainings are available on a limited basis. At the request of our community partners, the training was offered exclusively in Spanish. Participants from Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties were represented, and included a mixture of representatives from CBOs, public health departments community volunteers, and leaders from the queer and Translatinx community in the Bay Area.
Through feedback from our community partners, an agenda was created that honored the advocacy skills presented through the Speaking Out Toolkit and included discussions on community empowerment, comprehensive sexual health, HIV stigma and discrimination, immigrant rights, and language access. Discussions also highlighted the global work of MPact, the United States National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the implications of the US’ “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiative.
As is customary at the end of MPact workshops, participants were given time to develop action plans addressing pressing needs in their communities based on the skills they had learned and the tools they had been given throughout the training. The Fijate Bien program will provide follow up for technical assistance and capacity building to ensure the continuation of their projects.
Here’s what the first group of Alzando La Voz participants had to say:
“Me gusto la cantidad de practicas.” – I liked the amount of hands-on activities
“Gracias, primer entrenamiento en español. Súper productivo para nuestra comunidad.” – Thank you, first training in Spanish. Super productive for our community
“Demasiado motivado para poner en practica ciertos proyectos que están en puerta y me gustaría mas información.” – Greatly motivated to implement projects that are pending for me and I would like more information.
“Un equipo muy productivo y mucha información interesante para nuestra comunidad.” – A very productive team and lots of interesting information for our community.
“Excelente taller, con información en pantallas e invitado para también darnos información.”- Excellent workshop, with power point presentations and invited guests to give us information.
Fijate Bien looks forward to continuing and deepening our relationship with grass roots organizations, CBOs, community clinics, immigrant rights organizations, social and economic justice organizations, researchers and policy makers in the Bay Area and across the United States. We will soon be providing similar workshops in the coming year in the Central Valley of California, the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Mayaguez/Ponce in Puerto Rico.
And we will always continue to ¡Alzar La Voz!
For more information contact Angel Fabian, FijateBien Advocacy Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.mpactglobal.org/fijate-bien