Toward the end of 2010, the YWCA GLA UPEC Girls Club created a Poetry Café focused on issues of violence against women. Each young lady researched poems dealing with various issues of women and violence. Leading up to the event, the girls participated in workshops learning about violence toward women and alternatives to violence.
“The girls truly enjoyed this activity - they transformed the ‘Girl’s Corner’ at UPEC by adding colored lights, a stage area, and posters,” explained Maria Elena Chavez. “There was also a focus on celebration - as we were becoming more aware and enlightened, we believe these young ladies will have a better chance of avoiding dangerous situations.”
The relaxed, organic environment of the event allowed the participants to express themselves and learn from each other. Several girls attended a Self Defense class offered by the YWCA the following day.
“We need to know how to react and defend ourselves if something were to happen to us,” shared Esther Flores, 7th grade YW Girls Club member. “I really enjoy Girls Club because it is a good resource - and I get to see my friends and make new friends.”