Celebrating Community #14: La Unidad

February 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM

La UnidadA part of campus life for more than 20 years, La Unidad is an organization where self-identifying Latinas and their allies can express their identities through cultural, educational, and social activities. Through these activities, the organization heightens awareness of the presence of Latin culture on campus and in the community at large.

Julissa Sargoza ’14 is one of the many alumnae who found support and familiarity in the group during her time at Mount Holyoke:

“Being a member of La Unidad and the co-chair impacted my life while at MHC in many ways. I was a non-traditional student, a 35-year old Chicana that found myself in a place where I was a mentor for the young Latinas in La Unidad, and I learned the most from them. It was a home away from home, a place where we shared stories and encouraged each other through our academic lives and personal lives. We understood the importance of feeling empowered across campus, but at the Ortega House we shared struggles as women of color—like the fact that some of us spoke Spanish while others didn't. When I missed my family the most, all I had to do was go to the Ortega house and spend time with mis hermanas. As the co-chair, I was able to support and be supported as we made our cultures more visible through different events and worked with the Latina community outside of campus.

La Unidad empowered the activist in me, the need to work with and for communities. I currently work at Shearman & Sterling LLP as the Pro Bono Specialist. My role is to connect our corporate attorneys with non-profits & providers who work with communities that can't afford an attorney for matters such as immigration, LGBT rights, housing, and so on. I also create events in New York City in which I empower all women, and focus on Latina women in the process. I am very proud of being an FP, as well as an alumna of La Unidad, Mecha, Community-Based Learning, and all the places I learned to be a woman of my community. I am a woman who wants to encourage and empower others.”

Based at the Eliana Ortega Cultural Center on campus, La Unidad remains a source of support and fellowship for students, as well as a source for education and learning for the wider community. Its members host and attend many events each semester, like spoken word poetry performances, local cultural gatherings, a yearly “Fiesta Latina” co-hosted with the student org MECHA, undocumented artist mic nights, and performances.

Visit La Unidad's website

#MHCimpact  #FebruMary


Written by palme22c