CENTRO DEL OBRERO FRONTERIZO INC via Crowdrise
April 25, 2013
These contributions will be used to support women in their efforts to overcome the lack of opportunity, discrimination and marginalization inherent to the U.S. Mexico border by empowering them with the ability to innovate community strategies designed to meet their needs.
La Mujer Obrera (the working woman) began its work a quarter of a century ago. It established a tradition of innovation in community organizing and community development. Although everyone said that women garment workers could not be organized LMO successfuly waged a campaign to improve conditions in garment factories and sweatshops. When NAFTA was passed and it devastated the local labor market, La Mujer sought accountability on the part of political leaders, asking them to act responsibly towards those workers who had lost their jobs. It should have mattered. Besides a family losing a steady income, the city and state lost thousands in tax dollars.
The loss of industries happened all over the country, and political response was generally minimal and short-sighted. El Paso, Texas was no exception. Planners scrambled to find a way to entice businesses into the area, to move displaced workers into service jobs, to hand them certificates that represented a skill they had acquired, in a trade with few job opportunities. Mujer Obrera stepped in as well. Buoyed by its idealism and an engrained tenacity, La Mujer attempted its own development projects: Mercado Mayapan, a marketplace w/small vendors, a cultural venue, and a media center, Cafe Mayapan, a women-managed restaurant reviving interest and activity around Mexican cuisine, Rayito del Sol, a childcare center and Uxmal Housing apartments.
The story of Mujer Obrera is the story of women breaking new ground and accepting responsibility for the outcome. The story of Mujer Obrera is about vision, resilience, commitment and humility. Join us as we enter the next quarter century, conscious of the lessons of the past and willing to learn those that are yet to come.
Within the next few weeks we will be publishing more of this story and we hope that you join us by expressing your faith in the capacity of women to overcome any and all odds. We still have a way to go before we can get all our widgets, plug-ins and url's straight, but when we thought about the outcome of this campaign we thought we would begin by asking each facebook friend of Mujer Obrera (there are 4212 of them) to contribute $10. That amount adds up to $42,120 an important amount of general support money that will go to all of its programs. For each of you, 10 bucks means a large frapuccino at an un-named coffee place, a movie ticket, two gallons of gas--not much to express continued solidarity, and the courage to continue to take risks along with the women of Mujer Obrera who are taking their own lives in their hands.
Please feel free to send us your comments, questions, recommendations, and yes, your complaints. Just remember what one of my organizing teachers would tell me "never create work for another that you're not willing to do yourself." Ultimately, this is how social change happens. When each individual takes up a part of the banner and carries it in whatever way makes sense for them, change is inevitable. This is the essence of community organizing.
See you on Crowdrise!!
Founder of La Mujer Obrera