Casa de Esperanza

Casa de Esperanza to celebrate 35 years

¡Adelante Esperanza! will recognize national leaders while keeping things local

On May 31, Casa de Esperanza will mark 35 years with ¡Adelante Esperanza!, a gala celebrating transformational Latin@ leadership not only in the Twin Cities but on a national level. “We grew from a small shelter program in 1982 to now the largest Latin@ organization that is focused on violence against women and girls and focused on community engagement work in Latin@ communities,” said Casa de Esperanza CEO Patricia Tototzintle. 

The evening will include an awards presentation to honor individuals who are working to create social change, end domestic violence and sexual assault, and increase equities across communities.

One of those individuals, Mónica Ramírez, president of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, leapt to mind when Casa de Esperanza started considering award recipients. Working on behalf of Alianza to address labor, sexual assault and workplace equity issues, Tototzintle said the staff felt like Ramírez was a natural choice.

Recently, her work has been aligned with the Time’s Up movement, writing a message of solidarity that went to the Hollywood actresses who had accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual violence. “It basically said, 'We have been dealing with sexual violence, harassment, etc. most of our lives. We've been dealing with these issues, and we know what that is like, and we know what it's like to try and have a voice around it and to stand up, and so we are very proud of you for standing up and bringing voice to this,’” Tototzintle said of the letter. 

A special ¡Adelante Esperanza! award recipient will be the keynote speaker: Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, mayor of San Juan. Tototzintle felt she was an obvious choice for many reasons: “Her need to really rally her community and stand up, and she has been supportive of domestic violence and sexual violence awareness and addressing these issues in Puerto Rico. She has a really good reputation with other organizations that we work with.” Cruz Soto is expected to address these issues and more during her speech. 

Two other awards are named in honor of Sandra L. Vargas, former president of the Minneapolis Foundation, and Lupe R. Serrano, former CEO of Casa de Esperanza. Both influenced generations of local leaders, and the eponymous awards will be presented to Latin@ adults working within the community. 

In addition to the awards, ¡Adelante Esperanza! will be a celebration of all things visual with local Latin@ artists donating pieces to raise funds for Casa de Esperanza initiatives. Attendees will also be shown a trailer for a short documentary produced by local Latin@ youth. “'We Are DACA' [working title] highlights about six to seven DACA recipients and an attorney, who has been providing DACA applications. We really felt people need to see the faces of individuals, young people, who are contributing to our community and have a dream to be here, to stay here for the long-term and so they're trying to capture some of that,” said Tototzintle, who hopes that the documentary may be shown to Congress in the future. 

Of the event, Tototzintle said, “What we want is for everybody to feel like they're a stakeholder in all the work we do. We are committed to community issues, committed to community engagement and community well-being but we also have a lot to feel good about."

¡Adelante Esperanza! will take place at the Nicollet Island Pavilion on Thursday, May 31, 2018 from 6-10 p.m. For tickets and more information, click here.