girl smiling with peace signs

Bridging the gap—how Adelante Mujeres’ grassroots efforts are transforming communities

Adelante Mujeres works to provide education and empowerment opportunities to Latine women and their families to ensure full participation and active leadership in the community. Since 2022, the organization has worked to serve the needs of more than 15,000 people with a wide range of programs, including:

  • Adult and early childhood education
  • A youth development program for 3rd through 12th grade and in college
  • The impact of generational trauma: education, awareness, and healing
  • Small business development
  • Immigrant solidarity and civic leaders training
  • Regenerative agriculture
  • Forest Grove and Cornelius farmers markets

Participants in this program are mostly from low-income families. Most will identify as female, and up to 91% of them are first-generation immigrants.

Anyone that needs help can reach out to the program to inquire about support, and there are no specific requirements for services.

A true grassroots program.

The majority of staff members at Adelante Mujeres have spent their lives dealing with diverse forms of systemic oppression. This is an important internal racial equality acknowledgment, and the recognition is extended through the responsibility given to and leadership shown by staff in guiding the creation of best practices to support necessary change.

About the staff:

  • 97% of staff identify as Latine.
  • 92% identify as women of color.
  • 100% of the direct program staff are bilingual.
  • 8 out of 9 Senior Management Team members are Latine.
  • 76% of the board identifies as Latine.

It is a true grassroots program led by those who best represent their community.

Helping Latine women achieve their goals.

Adelante Mujeres offers resources for Latine women and their families to help build strong communities. They work to identify the supportive services each person needs for a tailored program.

A participant’s success story.

Maria Dolores is one of many success stories for Adelante Mujeres.

woman-holding-up-a-signAlways one to accomplish her goals, Maria arrived in the U.S. 25 years ago with her partner, daughter and just a few suitcases, determined to find a way to support her family. However, she found the process of getting help complex, especially given an unfamiliar language. Though she had studied business in Mexico, her inability to communicate easily due to the language barrier forced her to take any job that was available.

She went door-to-door, offering housekeeping services. She sold tamales on the side from home, and then worked as a fast-food employee. Through hard work, she was able to buy her first home, which inspired her to pursue a career in real estate. She managed to interview for a loan officer position in Spanish, and with the help of supportive employers, she launched her career.

And then came the day she was introduced to Washington County Civic Leaders training, which she calls a “parting of the waters” for her. She wanted to serve others and her community, saying, “I knew I could give more to my community; I just didn’t know where to start.” She found that working with Adelante Mujeres opened the door for her to create a fulfilling future. She later became part of the Leadership & Advocacy Department, which helps Latine community members lead the immigrant rights movement locally.

A profound experience working within the organization.

Perhaps most notable is the diversity of backgrounds and experiences of the employees. Each brings a unique perspective, and they work together towards a common goal, using their personal skills while learning new ones along the way. Many note that the organization’s efforts are very much a team effort. Every person working for the company is committed to making a difference with the goal of empowering Latine women in a holistic manner.

Employees have described working for Adelante Mujeres as an incredibly meaningful experience. They feel as though they are working towards a greater cause by promoting equality for Latine women and their families.

Bridging the gap during a shortage of mental health services.

Data from the Mental Health American 2022 survey found that Oregon ranks 49th in mental illness in adults and 45th in youth. Yet, there remains a significant and impactful shortage of mental health services. This is worsened in culturally specific and linguistically responsive mental health services that support the Latine community. Adelante Mujeres is working on expanding in this area with the goal of providing access to holistic and community-centered approaches.

The pandemic highlighted the inequalities that have existed for generations in the area but have been unaddressed for a long time, including how racism impacts access to care. Adelante Mujeres offers a culturally specific mental health access and education project that works to address access to mental health and community healing. This is one of the most important initiatives the organization is prioritizing now with available funding to expand its access.

How can people volunteer or donate to the organization?

Getting involved at Adelante Mujeres is possible in various ways. The organization is working to build a more just society. To do that, they need to have a village behind them. They have various volunteer opportunities available. These allow individuals to use their skills and passions to support the people they serve, including in areas of education, enterprise, leadership, and health service. Online donations, such as our monthly giving program La Lucha (the fight), are also welcome. Through supporting Adelante Mujeres, you help Latine women become empowered in their life.

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