Latina LGBT Women Host 4th Annual
“Mujeres en el Movimiento” Awards & Happy Hour
April 9, 2015 • 6:30 - 8:30 p.m
Jin, 2017 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Legacy Award: Dulce Benavides
Rising Star Award: Maria Alejandra Salas-Baltuano, Many Languages One Voice (MLOV)
Rising Star Award: Joanna Cifredo, DC Rape Crisis Center
Maria Alejandra Salas-Baltuano was born in Lima, Peru and came to the United States at the age of 8, schooled in the Northern Virginia education system, both public and private. She moved to DC right after graduating college and took a position with the Latin American Youth Center AmeriCorps team. She served as a health educator in four different schools in the Columbia Heights/Petworth area and helped organize LAYC's first multilingual (Spanish, Amharic & French) health fair which included over 30 community based organizations. Having been an English Language Learner student in the US education system herself, Maria Alejandra found that there is a lack of support for immigrant students and families. Rooted in from her own experience and those of the youth she worked closely with at LAYC, Maria Alejandra has become an active participant in the fight for just education, especially with regard to bringing better support to ESL education in the District. Her passion and focus has led her to join Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) as Education Organizer and support our Student Multiethnic Action Research (SMART). She provides leadership and tangible skills to young people in DC enabling them to organize themselves to create change. Maria Alejandra uses her own experiences and identity as a queer immigrant womyn to create a safe space for all intersections of our identities. She connects queer rights, gender issues to the broken immigration and education system and to the larger social justice movement through workshops, meetings, and every day interactions with young people.
Joanna Cifredo is as a writer and the founder of FireBreathingTGirl.com and a fierce advocate for trans issues. She started her career in community service as a youth health educator in Central Florida and eventually transitioned to direct services working for The Florida Department of Health where she provided case management services to those living with HIV/AIDS. After relocating to DC three years ago, she continued her service to the community lending her time to a local LGBT community center, and providing voice to underserved populations. Joanna serves on the Board of Directors to Whitman Walker Health and is the recipient of the 2015 Visionary Voice Award by National Sexual Violence Resource Center for her work Health Equity and Trans Inclusive Healthcare. Joanna in conjunction the DC Rape Crisis Center she is launching a new city wide forum “SIS to CIS” a conversation between cis and trans women of color. Joanna is also in the process of launching “LadySCAPING, a new book club that focuses to create a shared understanding around trauma and power dynamics. Joanna is also writing her upcoming novel: A Dark Road to Peace while working on a documentary about trans healthcare. Joanna will be studying Journalism at the University of the District of Columbia this fall and works during the days to power a culture of consent at the DC Rape Crisis Center.
Dulce Benavides to recognize her long history of service to the LGBT and Latina/o communities. Since her early 20’s, Dulce has been involved with improving the lives of LGBTQ people. She started her activism in San Antonio, Texas, where she was one of the founders of the LGBT group at the University of Texas in San Antonio. It is in San Antonio, a predominately Latino/a city, where she found that intersecting issues of race/class/gender, and sexual orientation was the best and only way to achieve long lasting social change for LGBTQ people. She served as a board member and as a Co-chair of the San Antonio Lesbian Gay Assembly (SALGA) which was one of Texas’ largest LGBT organizations. SALGA was responsible for producing the yearly Pride Festival, which was attended by thousands and funded the Community Funding board that provided grants throughout the year to LGBT organizations that promoted visibility and empowerment. She continued to use her vision of social change when she moved to Washington, DC in 2002, where she became an advisory board member at the Lesbian Services Program at the Whitman Walker Clinic. As a board member of LSP, she helped develop programs and projects that impacted Lesbians and their families. With other Latinas, she helped to develop a Lesbian Latina health initiative that focused on the health and well-being of Latinas. Of the many boards and committees that she has been a member of through the years, it is these two organizations that exemplified her commitment to the Latino/a LGBTQ community. She works as a practicing Psychologist with the belief that we live our lives at the intersections. It is at those intersections of identity, where we as Latino/a LGBTQ people can make lasting social change for nuestra gente and nuestro futuro.