The 8th Annual Women's Conference: A Safe Space to Learn, Share Experiences, and Build Relationships
For eight years, the Ventanilla de Salud Austin’s commitment to hosting the Annual Women's Conference has remained strong--whether in person or online, as we did during the pandemic. This year, with the collaboration of the Mexican Consulate in Austin, Migrant Clinicians Network, and community leaders, we had the honor of hosting it in person for 58 women, along with countless streaming online via Zoom. Together, we offered a safe space to learn, share experiences, and build relationships, all centered around finances and their impact on mental health, with the goal of understanding our response mechanisms and fostering a healthy approach to well-being.
Participants had the opportunity to hear from incredible women leaders, such as Liliana Beverido from Amhiga Hispana, who engaged the audience, explaining the concept of money and the history behind our economic beliefs and systems, particularly for women. She encouraged women to reflect on the role money plays at every stage of their lives and its effects on their mental health.
Although the relationship with finances can be a weighty topic, Ana María Rojas, EdD, PhD, from Austin Community College, followed up with an essential focus on mental health and self-esteem. She reminded the audience of the importance of self-care and reflection, providing women with tips for emotional, mental, physical, and social well-being. Ana emphasized the significance of accepting ourselves as we are while striving to be better for ourselves.
Maintaining the theme of acceptance and self-improvement, Alejandra 'Terry' Alanis, MEd from Yoltic De Austin, through her presentation, reminded us that today is all we have. She guided the audience to embrace the power of the present, sharing ways to focus on our strengths and potential. Terry reminded the audience about the importance of taking a brief pause in our fast-paced lives and encouraged participants to acknowledge their own value and talents.
Drawing on her wealth of experience in financial education, Carmen Perea, the founder of Entre Hispanos, delivered essential insights to the audience. As the host of the radio show "Don Dinero" on a Spanish-language radio station in the Austin, Texas area, and author of the book "Women Who Dare and Overcome Limits," Carmen shared five essential truths that all women should understand with the audience.
Following a delicious lunch courtesy of Pastrana y Garcia Lawyer´s Firm, MCN’s very own Deliana Garcia, Chief Program Officer for International and Emerging Issues, joined forces with Carmen Valdez, PhD, a psychologist and researcher at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and the Dell School of Medicine at the University of Texas at Austin, for a collaborative session. Together, their objective was to engage the audience and immerse them in an investigative research talk titled, "Women United for Community Well-Being." In this session, women had the chance to collaborate and enhance the utilization of research in the Latinx community.
The event concluded with powerful testimonials shared by women from diverse backgrounds, all echoing the same empowering message: "You too can do it!" For more information on these testimonials, you can find them here.
Once again, The Annual Women’s Leadership Conference has proven that it is more than just a conference; it is a platform that empowers women to take on active roles in their communities and their health. Through this gathering of women, we fostered collaborative networks, amplifying the impact of our efforts to empower women and advocate for health justice and equity.
Special thanks to all the volunteers whose dedication made this event possible. We would also like to express our gratitude to The Source and Blue Cross and Blue Shield for their presence and the information they provided to those who attended the conference. Special thanks to all the volunteers whose dedication made this event possible. A heartfelt appreciation to Pastrana y Garcia and Mexicanas en Austin. Gratitude as well to Marizza Patiño, Mirtala Barrón, Jessica Calderon, Jannette Nuñez, the MCN team who helped make this event happen.
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