This evening I get a chance to talk with Latinas United For Political Action, the smart and beautiful women of LUPE. They organized in 2003 by a small group of women with 20 years of experience in education, law, public policy and small business to promote the political power of Latinas in New Jersey. Fierce women who saw a need for leadership and went to task. LUPE has helped hundreds of Latinas through their advocacy.
The power of friendship and networking is real. LUPE is a great example!
Two of my favorite chapters in my book are the chapters on friendship, "Talk Circles-The Power of Latina Friendship" and "Finding Professional Success: The Get Ahead Guide for the Nueva Latina," a chapter where I explore the life of the professional Latina. I will be tapping into those two subjects this evening.
My career, health, spirit--every last bit of me has been enhanced and enriched by a tight circle of sister girlfriends. It's the modern day version of the ancient form of comadrismo that I experienced as a child. My mother has a two comadres and compadres for each of her five children. And throughout our lives she has maintained a tight bond with these men and women who by Christian tradition made an agreement to care and guide us. They take care of each other, as compadres and their kids. But this is the thing, beyond the church, where my parents and padrino's and madrina's ritual took place, this covenant is embedded in the souls of our DNA - to care for the young. The idea that the community is responsible for all the children, not just your biological ones. By extension, we are too responsible for the care of each other-- the concept of my you are your sister and brother's keeper.
Comadrismo is an ideal concept that is challenged my modern day dog eat dog world of politics and business, hello DC! But, as they saying goes, peace starts with me. And you. Uno a uno, una a una...If you can get past that mentality -- the, 'I'm get my mine, destroy whomever in the process..' -- the power of that human connection can be transformative.
I don't have traditional comadres and compadres in the way my mother has, but even without the religious covenant before the priest, I have deep bonds with sister friends in my life and my kids have what we call Latin aunts. These women have helped guide me professionally, personally and spiritually. And will are there for my two boys.
If you don't have a professional group in your life, and are around Jersey City this evening, stop by LUPE's Annual Summer Meeting. You might connect with something new that can change your life and that of your family and immediate community:
7 pm to 10 pm
76 Audrey Zapp Drive