Greetings SASP Administrators!
In my 20 years doing anti-sexual violence work, I have rarely been as inspired as I have been by the advocate/activists I interviewed for this newsletter. This issue is devoted to culturally and linguistically specific programs funded by SASP formula grant funding to provide sexual assault services. The four programs interviewed here, and a number of other programs across the nation, are organizing their communities around sexual violence from a deeply rooted cultural place, and, as a result, are implementing groundbreaking and exciting strategies that show great promise in reaching survivors never before served.
This newsletter also features two interviews with women who have demonstrated their commitment to supporting the transformational work of culturally and linguistically specific programs. The profile of SASP Administrator Kittie Smith reveals how her willingness to use her experience, listen and engage in out-of-the-box strategies are making a real difference in Wisconsin. Finally, Condencia Brade, director of the National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA), issues a call to action and practical advice for administrators.
I hope you will take time over the coming days to let these stories inspire you and to contemplate how you can be a catalyst for change and reach more deeply into diverse communities in your state.
SASP Administrator as Trailblazer Kittie Smith, the Wisconsin SASP Administrator has been quite successful in helping develop culturally-specific sexual assault services by supporting culturally-specific programs to develop a sexual assault component to their work. Read the full profile of Kittie.
HAWA The Hmong American Women's AssociationÂ (HAWA) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1993 by a group of thirteen women who had a strong passion to advocate, organize and share concerns reflected by women in the larger Hmong community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Read the full interview with HAWA.
M.U.J.E.R. M.U.J.E.R., the Spanish word for woman, is a culturally-specific organization in Homestead, Florida serving the Latino immigrant community of this rural agricultural area of south Florida between Miami and the Keys. M.U.J.E.R., which stands for "Men and Women United in Justice, Education and Reform," was founded by Susan Rubio Rivera 16 years ago. Read the full interview with Susan.
United Somali Women of Maine In the small twin city area of Lewiston and Auburn Maine, with a total population of about 80,000 people, several thousands of Somali refugees settled beginning in 2001 after fleeing civil war in their own country and sometimes settling in other places in the United States first. In 2001, United Somali Women of Maine (USWM) was formed to support Somali refugees settling in Lewiston. Read the full article on USWM.
Monsoon Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa (referred to as Monsoon or MUAWI) was formed in 2003 as a culturally specific advocacy group under the aegis of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA). The group aims to provide services to ethnic Asian and Pacific Islander (API) victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in Iowa. Read the full interview with Monsoon.
Call to Action from SCESA Condencia Brade is the founder and director of the National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA). SCESA was born out of a desire for Women of Color in the anti-sexual assault movement across the country to reclaim their leadership and ensure inclusion of their experiences in ending sexual assault. SCESA also focuses on supporting culturally and linguistically specific organizations that are addressing sexual assault in their communities. She frames her best advice for administrators seeking to fund culturally-specific work in their states with SASP formula funding as a call to action rather than a "how to." Read the full interview with Condencia.
I hope you will stay in touch with me and share your successes and challenges. I'm at (515) 401-8984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terri Poore, MSW
SASP Technical Assistance Specialist
The Resource Sharing Project and this newsletter are supported by Grant No. 2009-TA-AX-K037 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.