Celebrating Love with Equality

equalitylove_blog_1_30Author: Emiliano Diaz De Leon

Soon we will celebrate Valentine’s Day, a day in which we express our love for our significant others.  What will you get your sweetheart?

  • A card .…$2.49
  • A stuffed animal ….$4.97
  • A box of chocolates .…$10.99
  • A dozen roses….$35.00
  • A diamond pendant ….$450.00
  • A healthy, nonviolent relationship ….Priceless

Too often we succumb to the traditions of the holiday by racing frantically to the store to pick up a heart-shaped box filled with candy or an over-sized gorilla that sings “Wild Thing” in order to present it to our significant other … Full Article

An Open Letter to HEB


Dear HEB,

First let me say, that I have been a big fan of your grocery store since I first moved to Austin back in 1986. That’s a lot of years of me singing your praises, HEB. So, as a fan, let me express my extreme disappointment in this product.

My first reaction, as a woman, was that I enjoy all of the nuts in this mix. Did nature not intend for me to eat these nuts? Or, is it that this particular blend of nuts should be exclusively marketed towards men because … Full Article

A Statewide Latina Victim Outreach Project

LVO logo.002Written by Laura E. Zárate, Arte Sana Founding Executive Director

Texas has a long and proud history of victim advocacy and innovative program models that have been replicated across the nation. Texas is also among the leading states to formalize training programs for the promotor/and or community health worker who everyday helps connect residents in rural communities in particular, with vital health services. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census, nearly 3.8 million people live in rural areas throughout Texas. Since 2001, over 50% of Arte Sana’s bilingual training and presentations on sexual assault issues have … Full Article

Conversations that Almost Never Happened

Over the last 5 weeks, as part of TAASA’s curriculum development project, I have had the opportunity to work twice a week with a group of thirty-two 8th grade boys. I, along with fellow preventioneer Maya Pilgrim, facilitated Maya’s 10 session curriculum designed to increase positive peer influences among young males. We had the good fortune of partnering with Austin’s KIPP Academy to deliver the curriculum and gather data on the impact the curriculum had on the participants.

If I am being honest, I was not at all confident that Maya and I would be well received. I found myself stewing in all of my pre-conceived notions I had about 8th grade boys (they don’t care, they are hard to … Full Article

Men Can Be Part of the Solution


It is difficult to argue with the facts. 90% of people who commit violent physical assault are men. Males perpetrate 95% of all serious domestic violence. 99.8% of the people in prison convicted of rape are men. 81% of men who beat their wives watched their fathers beat their mother or were abused themselves. Men are the problem, but they can also be the solution.

In 1991, in an effort to persuade men to speak out against violence against women, a small group of men in Canada decided to wear a white ribbon as a symbol of men’s … Full Article

What Does Racism Have to Do With It?

2951808770_0baf179ea1_zFirst let me acknowledge that I don’t know if I am writing this blog for myself, my family and friends, or for people in general. I do know some people will see this title and not bring themselves to read it. The recent shooting of an unarmed black teen by a police officer in Ferguson Missouri and both the peaceful and the volatile aftermath of that shooting has impacted me. What did or didn’t happen in this particular case isn’t my point, other than being a catalyst for my own self-reflection.
Two things come to my mind about the … Full Article

Listen up, the both of you!

A catchy song fills my car almost every time I’m in it.  One of hope which quickly turns to defiance as a young man asks an “old-fashioned” father “to have his daughter for the rest of his life” and is rudely informed that dear dad won’t give his blessing “until the day [he] dies”.

It’s a song that inspired one father’s now viral response.

Crisis on the Border: Young Lives in the Balance

4199689846_2a872f579d_oIllegal Immigration Crisis, Humanitarian Crisis, Refugee Crisis? All may be true but how we frame this will largely determine how we chose to address this crisis. What we can all agree on is more than 60,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the border into the United States from Central America in the past 12 months. This number has been swelling dramatically in the past couple of years. Most of these children are coming into the US through the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. Everyone also seems to acknowledge that our current system is ill-prepared and ill-equipped to handle this influx … Full Article

Celebrating Fathers (and ALL Father Figures)

The TAASA Mobilizing Men’s Task Force would like to celebrate the fathers and father figures in Texas, especially those who embody the values of strength, character, and courage in their daily lives.


We celebrate fathers, step-dads, and all father figures who promote respect and harmony in their families and demonstrate great love for their children.

We celebrate fathers who actively engage in raising children and who do their share of family chores, showing by example that it takes everybody’s hard work to make a home.


We celebrate fathers who love and respect their partners and work honestly to maintain equality in their relationship.

We celebrate fathers who encourage their children to feel good about themselves … Full Article

What a Difference a Year Makes

About this time last year, I went to see my son’s 3rd grade school performance. It was the musical story of two children that explored their grandparents’ attic and discovered a trunk filled with old costumes, props, and accessories. It turns out that their grandparents were former Broadway performers. Each item that was pulled from the trunk sparked a quasi-flashback musical number. My son was featured in a little song and dance called “My Top Hat and Classy Cane”. It was about how much people admire and desire you when you wear a top hat and classy cane. It was a little icky, but that was mostly camouflaged by seeing 20 or so boys valiantly attempting to master the Box … Full Article