The Association of Latin Men for Action (ALMA) and Amigas Latinas collaborate once again to present their second annual Spring Salsa Dance, Baile Primavera, Friday, April 11, 7 p.m.–12:30 a.m. at Casa Puertorriqueña, 1237 N. California in the Humboldt Park community.
Entertainment will include DJ Wanda Rodriguez as she spins her own special mixes of salsa, meringues and cumbias, and the popular Latina drag king Andres de los Santos. Approximately 300 Latino/a lesbians, gays and friends and families are expected to celebrate. Proceeds will support the programs of ALMA and Amigas offered to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trasgendered Latino community.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and can be purchased at Women and Children First and Unabridged Bookstores or by calling Amigas Latinas at 312-409-5697 or ALMA at 773-929-7688. Sponsors include Windy City Times/En La Vida, Chicago Free Press, Avocado Street Designs, North Community Bank, Becker Works, Bel Stone & Tile, and Center on Halsted.
Amigas Latinas is a seven-year-old support, education and advocacy group for lesbian, bisexual and questioning women of Latina heritage and is the only organization of its kind in the Chicagoland area. Their membership has grown to 200 women representing over a dozen Latin American countries. Programming includes monthly topical discussions, legal, education and health workshops, advocacy training with community providers, support groups in Spanish and English and child-focused family activities. This summer Amigas was one of three organizations in the U.S. chosen to participate in Proyecto ¡BASTA!m a national domestic-violence capacity-building program for service providers that work with or have the potential to advocate for Latina lesbians in violent relationships.
Amigas also sponsors the Aixa Diaz Scholarship Fund, established in memory of a founding member. They have awarded four scholarships in the last three years to young, lesbian/bisexual Latina youth who are actively fighting homophobia in their high schools, and have provided financial support to high school gay-straight alliances and to the Mozart elementary school where Aixa taught first grade, served on the Local School Council and was the Chicago Teachers' Union delegate.
ALMA is a 12-year old 501(c)3 volunteer organization serving the Latino gay men's community in metropolitan Chicago. ALMA provides educational forums, advocacy, and discussion groups in both Spanish and English. These include: Amigos Apoyando Amigos (Friends Supporting Friends) and the Alvarado-Garcia Scholarship and Mentorship Program. Most recently, ALMA has been invited to host a monthly cable access show highlighting the issues of the Latino/a LGBT community. ALMA has been a pioneer in the LGBT community as the first openly gay group to march in both the Puerto Rican and Mexican Independence Day parades, a co-host of the first openly gay Latino national conference, and was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2000. For the past 10 years ALMA has hosted a biennial Noche de Gala benefit, which recognizes community leaders who contribute to the visibility of the Latino LGBT community.