Issue 1 MARCH 2011

Message from the National President Vivian Ortiz
Dear NACOPRW Members,

It is an honor for me once again to be part of an organization that is dedicated to serving the Hispanic community; an association promoting the civic and cultural participation of Puerto Rican and other Latina women in their economic, social and political life in the United States and Puerto Rico.

I want to thank so many NACOPRW members who have been so giving of their time and energy.  As the New Year begins we reflect on the past year; the challenges that help us grow, the triumphs for which we are grateful and the opportunity we have to plan for the future.

As the year ensues we know you are working on exciting and valuable activities for the local Puerto Rican and Latino communities in your region.   We are proud of the work you do and thank you for upholding our mission and vision and adhering to the bylaws that guide us. 

Our 38th Annual Convention and Training Conference will hopefully be held in Puerto Rico where we hope to renew our cultural bonds and engage young Latinas and friends to strengthen the leadership ranks of women as we explore new avenues for our growing community to make lasting contributions to our society.

We hope to continue these efforts as we celebrate our 2011 Leadership & Training Conference en La Isla Del Encanto.  Please be sure to start planning your attendance to our 38th annual National Training Conference and Convention! Members and friends will once again be able to sign up for Jewels to be posted in the program as a way to support the event. We also appreciate any other ways you can help us with the planning and most of all, talk to others about coming so that we can have a significant number to engage in dialogue with our sisters in the island.  Please say “presente” as we plan the event, and check out our website for more information:
Les envía un caluroso saludo,

Vivian Ortiz, National President

NACOPRW Co-Hosts with Chapman University Reception for Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient, Sylvia Mendez
On February 15, 2011, NACOPRW celebrated the Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree, Sylvia Mendez, who on that day received that singular honor from the President of the United States.

At a reception held in the Capitol Visitors Center, we celebrated the recognition of our nation of the importance of the 1946-7 California case that for the first time desegregated schools in California, eight years before the Brown decision.

This Mendez v. Westminster, a prelude to the landmark Brown decision, was a suit brought by Sylvia’s father and mother, he a Mexican American and she (Felicitas) a Puerto Rican.  We are proud of the historical significance of this civil rights suit and have been supporting Chapman University’s efforts through Anaida Colon and Sandra Robbie who made a film on the Mendez v. Westminster case that has given saliency to this important contribution of Latinos to the civil rights movement.   Sylvia, your sisters are proud of your family’s contributions. Well deserved honor. 


National Hispanic Leadership Agenda 
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda elected as Executive Committee Members the following:

Lillian Lopez-Rodriguez re-elected to a second term as Chair.  She presides the Hispanic Federation.

Brent Wilkes, Vice Chair, is the Executive Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) “

Diana Sen, Secretary, is President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and

Al Zapanta, Treasurer, is President and CEO of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.

NACOPRW is a member of NHLA and is represented there by the National President and the President of the DC Metro Chapter.


The Advocacy Corner

NACOPRW has been very concerned with threats about repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act and consequences regarding implementation of the law.

Repeal would brake progress and make the vulnerable Hispanics lose benefits when insurers cancel or cap coverage and would make it impossible to get affordable insurance for those who are not covered.  By 2014 discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions would be gone.

We must not allow the Patient’s Bill of Rights that allows the worst abuses to end to be eviscerated.  We must not allow the doughnut hole, the gap in coverage of medicines to further threaten the health of seniors.


Indiana Immigration Bill

An Arizona-style immigration law, Senate Bill 590 would require police officers to verify the citizenship and immigration status of people stopped if they have “reasonable suspicion” the person may be in the country without authorization.

The measure also prohibits in-state tuition, scholarships and financial aid for college for undocumented immigrants.

Legislation like this is perking through various state legislatures, including Maryland.

The U.S. Justice Department has sued Arizona in federal court to stop implementation of its law and a decision is pending before the federal appeals court in San Francisco.


UN Women Agency Launched

The new agency created to promote gender equality and advance women’s rights was created on January 1.

Its goals include fostering women’s equality, reducing violence against women, empowering and providing greater opportunities for women worldwide.  The new agency will partner with Member States to develop and implement policies to promote women’s advancement.

The Executive Director of the agency is famed former President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, who indicated “This is a time of great promise.  We have a historic opportunity to accelerate the achievement of what champions of gender equality have worked towards for years.”  Right on, Michelle, we are with you.

Femicides Rampant in Puerto Rico

Newspapers in Puerto Rico have been exposing the incredible rash of violence experienced by women in Puerto Rico. In the first month of 2011 five femicides had been reported already.  Ninety-eight per cent of jailed people are men in their middle years abusive of their female partners and the Department of Corrections indicates there are 324 cases going through the tribunals which are electronically supervised.  One hundred and fourteen of those are jailed for assassinating their female partners.


Chapter News 

DC Metro Chapter 
The Chapter co-sponsored The Annual Legislative Agenda Briefing with the Md. Commissions of Women that presented an agenda for the ongoing Md. Assembly Legislative Session. Sara Manzano-Diaz was the keynote speaker at an event that convened around 400 women from across the state. It also participated in the meetings of MLAW, the group of women’s organizations that drafted an agenda to support women’s rights that was presented in the Senate of Maryland

The DC Metro Chapter is also collaborating with a coalition of women’s groups led by NOW-Md.  to coordinate grassroots support for legislation that would result in the state of Maryland enshrining a statue of Harriet Tubman in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.  Carmen Delgado Votaw spoke at a press conference organized by the sponsor of the legislation, State Assemblywoman Susan Lee.  Hearings on the legislation have been scheduled for February 23.

Indiana Chapter
The Indiana Chapter collaborated with the Puerto Rican Parade Committee in celebrating Three Kings Day.  Installation of  the new board took place on January 23rd where members welcomed the new board and held an in house raffle and jewelry sale.  The new board is planning a Solo Para ti Mujer Spa Day to be held sometime in May.


Miami Chapter 
The Chapter held its first meeting with its new board where guest speaker Dr. Jaime Padro spoke to the group regarding leadership.  Dr. Padro is the Founder & Director of JP Enterprises & JP Effective Leadership Center  and is one of the few Hispanics in the US with a Master’s Degree in Leadership Development.

Miami also participated in the 3 Kings Day event with a little twist where they also had 3 Queens represented.

On Sunday March 27th, they will holding their annual Alicia Baró Achievement Awardbanquet honoring Extraordinary Puerto Rican Women of Distinction.



Northern Illinois Chapter 
The NACOPRW Northern Illinois chapter held its Annual Three King’s Day celebration in Chicago on January 9, 2011, with two new members joining that day.  It was a delicious pot-luck buffet of food and drinks, and we enjoyed our traditional grab bag gift exchange.  Our mentorship program is growing at two schools, with youth activities and workshops being planned to help provide social opportunities, instill cultural pride, improve self-esteem, and develop leadership skills.  Some of these include: a visit to the Art Institute, bowling, a reception featuring traditional Puerto Rican dancing, our annual summer picnic, etc.  Our group is also very much looking forward to attending the NACOPRW Annual Convention in Puerto Rico this year.  In her role as National First Vice-President, our chapter president Vilma Colom is headed to Puerto Rico from March 2-8 in order to help prepare for the Conference.


Philadelphia Chapter 
November 23rd ,30th-
NACOPRW Workshop Series
Autism Workshops Collaboration with TACA (Talking About Curing Autism) Philadelphia School Board

December 2010           -
NACOPRW Workshop Series
PECO Energy Conservation Presentation 
In Collaboration with Rosales Communications
Second PECO Energizing Your Home workshop –In  Español
Norris Square Cultural Center

January 2011-Collected funds for and Sponsored Three Kings Day for Centro Musical, Philadelphia,  PA

February 3, 2011-NACOPRW Philadelphia Chapter Board Induction Ceremony 
President – Quetcy Lozada
Vice President – Amaris Hernandez
Treasurer – Vivian Ortiz
Secretary – Lourdes Hernandez
Delegate to National – Carmen Bonilla
Delegate to National – Kerensa Figueroa
Alt. Delegate – Zoraida Figueroa
Alt. Delegate – Iris Violeta Colon-Torres        


January 2011:   Three Kings Day Toy Collection Celebration Centro Musical

SoCAL Chapter  in Orange County hosted its 11th annual event “Christmas Parrandas” on December 4th in the Los Angeles County area.  This event included traditional Puerto Rican food and bomba music.  Three homes were selected to be hosts for this event. 


De Aqui y de Alla 

New Hispanic Members of  Congress
were welcomed at a reception inaugurating the 112th Congress.  The new members are:

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.)
Representative Quico Canseco (R)
Representative Bill Flores (TX-17)
Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-3)
Representative Raul Labrador (ID-1)
Representative David Rivera (FL-25)
Del. Gregorio Sablan


First Latina Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez

The 51-year old Martinez served as Doña Ana, County District Attorney,  for four terms in Albuquerque.  She hails from Las Cruces and although elected as a Republican, she used to be a Democrat and graduated from the University of Oklahoma law school in 1986.  She also served the Children, Youth and Families Department of New Mexico.  She has said she opposes Arizona-style immigration laws.  She is already being talked about as a possible Vice Presidential candidate.

National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA)
The Foundation created by Jimmy Smits, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales, Merel Julia and Felix Sanchez to support Latinos interested in careers in the entertainment and telecommunications field, addressed an open letter to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and CBS Corporation addressing the “glaring absence” of Latinos on television and in film.

They bemoaned the fact that since the Kennedy Center Honors were begun in 1978, only two Latinos have received their prestigious awards: Placido Domingo in 2000 and Chita Rivera in 2002.  In 32 years, 160 artists have been honored by lifetime achievement awards excluding outstanding artists like Rita Hayworth, Fernando Llamas, Ricardo Montalban, Celia Cruz, Anthony Quinn, Raul Julia, Fernando Bujones, Kathy Jurado, Lalo Guerrero, Jose Ferrer, Luis Bunuel and Jose Limon.

The organization submitted names of current Latino artists that could merit the award in literature, music, dance, and  acting.


Puerto Rico Has Highest Prevalence of Asthma in the World

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that tens of thousands of children in the island suffer from asthma and that Puerto Rico has one of the highest asthma prevalence rates in the world.  Children there are nearly 300 percent more likely to have the respiratory ailment than white non-Hispanic children in the continental United States.  In the United States, Puerto Ricans have also been hit hard by asthma.  Their attack rate is 2.5 times higher than for whites.

Asthma is transmitted by mites, dust and spores unleashed by heavy rains that affect the 4 million population of the island.  Despite decades of research, no one knows why Puerto Ricans are afflicted so much by this disease.


© Iris Violeta Colón Torres

Y preguntamos…

¿Cómo crear liderato?
¿Cómo adiestrar la mente humana?

Entonces realizamos nuestra responsabilidad…
Formar y crear liderato.
Nutrirlo y encabezarlo.
Y nos damos cuenta que adiestramiento es mucho más que un negocio.

Y nos entregamos a nuestra responsabilidad y nace el fruto…
Con la sabiduría reflejada en nuestra comunidad.
Excitante, como un nuevo día.
La iluminación del conocimiento hoy nos ilumina.

Es el fruto listo para la batalla… 
Y la orden se escucha.
Demanda aprendizaje y práctica.
Demanda determinación.

No te detengas, siempre hay algo nuevo que aprender.
Sigue hacia lo nuevo y lo desconocido,
pero nunca olvides tus raíces.
El pueblo tiene sed de conocimiento.
Necesita juicio, entendimiento y madurez.
Deja que tu influencia lo toque.
Déjalo trabajar contigo y trabaja tú para él.
Déjalo soñar contigo y sueña tú por él.
Edifica, crea, vive, ama y comparte.
El mundo es tuyo y tu comunidad te pertenece.