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MUA’s Post-Election Message: We Will Fight! We Are Here.

This past week brought us together at Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) in shock, fear, pain and anger. Our children too are experiencing the impact of what this election means for Latinx and immigrants in our communities and we find ourselves at a loss for words to try to explain it to them or comfort them. The racist and xenophobic messages that carried Donald Trump to the White House and that are now reflected in his political appointments; the recent announcements by the President-elect that he will deport or incarcerate 3 million undocumented immigrants; and the resurgence of an emboldened culture of hate have made it clear to us that we are entering a time of moral crisis. We recognize that the way we respond as a community will be vital to ensuring our survival and will shape who we become in the process. We refuse to respond with more hate. We envision instead a world of love, of justice, of freedom and equality, as we figure out ways to make our light shine in a moment of darkness.

First, we are clear that we must hold and protect one another. We want Latina immigrant women and their families to know they are not alone. Women who are experiencing violence or abuse at home, at their jobs or on the streets. We want these sisters to be certain that we stand by their side and should they need any kind of support, they can find refuge at MUA. We will be vigilant in our efforts to protect our community and we will be a place where Latina immigrant women can be safe.

We are also conscious that we must be kind and compassionate with each other. As we each process what this cultural shift towards racism and hate means to each of us, we must allow one another to experience the emotions that arise, without judgment or rejection. And we must model this compassion for our children, to protect their hearts from the hate others seek to plant in them.

We remain focused and certain that our struggle must continue. We will take the hate being directed at us and we will transform it into strength and determination to move us forward. We call on our fellow Latina immigrant women to join our movements for dignity and justice. We invite them each to realize the value and the importance of their voice and of their personal contribution. The leadership of Latina women is needed now more than ever. The love, the care, the courage, the resilience and the perseverance that our mothers and grandmothers taught us is needed now more than ever.

And to our brothers and sisters who are Muslim, who are Black, who are Jewish, who are gay, lesbian, trans or queer, who are disabled or who are immigrants from any part of the world, to all those vulnerable to the hate ignited by Donald Trump´s political movement, we say to you that we stand with you in solidarity and we extend our love and our political commitment to you.

Finally, we ask all of our allies to stand with us strong, to imagine the boldest acts of resistance and take them, and to do the critical work of changing hearts and minds in your families and communities.

Two days before the election, the women of MUA set-up an altar for our ancestors for Day of the Dead. It is because of them that we know our struggle for human justice and dignity is sacred. And it is because of them that we have the wisdom and the strength necessary to fight. They survived similar and worse injustices so that we could be here today to carry-on with their legacy and to teach it to our children. And so we will honor our ancestors and we will fight. We are still here!

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Andrea Lee

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