Chicanas for change
By Odelia Mendez
The Chicana Association for
Reform and Advocacy is a new
and fast growing organization of
Mexican American women
CARA Chairperson Margaret
Acosta says that the organization
was created "to develop and
promote the leadership of Chicanas for the enhancement of the
Mexican American community."
Acosta describes the members
as professionals, students, senior
citizens and housewives with one
common bond; "They are concerned with the inequities and
insensitivities of the system."
Beginning the summer of 1976
and now with fifty active mem
bers, CARA has managed to
address many issues effectively
in its advocacy role.
CARA members sent a tete
gram of support to Irma Rangel
(D-Kingsville) after her election
last fall as the first Chicana ever
to serve in the Texas legislature.
CARA members were very
active in the last election. They
worked in the voter registration
drive in the predominantly Mexican-American communities and
participated in the Carter campaign in three targeted Mexican
What are CARA's political
goals? Acosta says it is first to
introduce Chicanas to political
activism and ultimately to have
more Chicana candidates run for
One of CARA's major achievements is the completion of a
survey on municipal services.
Rosie Cope, Treasurer of CARA
and Associate Director of Tele-
surveys of Houston, organized
CARA members to call departments in the City of Houston.
One day they asked for information in English; the next day they
asked for the same information in
"The results were indicting
because the inequities that are
already in the system do not
stand a chance of being changed
unless there is minority impact,"
said Acosta. 80% of the English
requests received an immediate
response, whereas only 14% of
the Spanish calls received immediate attention. Most of the
Spanish calls went through several telephone transfers.
The survey shows the City of
Houston's inability xto serve the
Spanish speaking of Houston and
the international community of
the world that is now a part of
this city, says Acosta. The survey was used in the recent Single
Member District trial to show the
need for this type of system to
elect City Council.
The major areas of concern for
the organization can best be
described by its standing committees: Social Service, Education, Employment and Politics.
Recently, TSU law student
Sylvia Garcia represented CARA
before City Council in her testimony favoring maternity benefits
for city employees.
At the National Council of La
Raza meeting in Houston last
November, women from around
the country were so impressed by
the goals and activism of CARA,
they made plans to start affiliates
in their cities based on the
Acosta attributes the success
of the new organization to "talent". "We are capable of dealing
with various issues because of
the enormous talents and experiences our members bring to
She says CARA is adding
something new to an old saying:
"Never underestimate the power
and talent of a Chicana."
Membership in CARA is open
to anyone supporting the organization's goal. Membership fee
is $12 a year or $1 a month, with
meetings held the first Monday
of the month. For meeting
place, call Margaret Acosta
MEN IN TRANSITION
A Conference for People
Working with Men
Saturday, Feb. 12, 1977
4807 San Felipe
8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Keynote Address: Men in Transition: An Overview. Men
experience many different changes in their lives. These changes
greatly affect them — the birth of a child, the death of a parent,
the personal growth of a wife or lover, promotion or the loss of a
job, sexuality, mid-life crises, aging and physical illness. How do
the helping professions identify these transitions?
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Robert A. Lewis, Associate Professor in
the Human Development Dept. at Penn State University. He is a
clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and
How to Tell the Difference Between a Woman and a Man.
Research on gender identity. Dr. James Harrison, Adjunct
Professor at Einstein Medical School, New York City. Jim is also a
Staff Psychologist at the Bronx State Hospital Psychiatric Center
md a member of the American Psychological Association.
Warning: Sex Roles May Be Dangerous to Your Health. The
difference in life spans between women and men may be due to the
male role. Dr. James Harrison.
The Church and Men. Dr. Jerry White, Pastor of the Manhattan
Baptist Church. Senior Staff Counselor at the Counseling and
Human Development Center and psychotherapist in private
White Psychotherapists Working With Minority Clients. Communication may be hindered by cultural differences. Dr. Robert Bell,
Professor of Psychology at Rice University. Bob is Director of
Student Advising at Rice University and a psychologist in private
Sensitizing Men to the Women's Movement and Directing Them
to the Men's Movement. Dr. Dale Hill, Adjunct Professor in the
Counseling and Psychology Departments at the University of
Houston. Dale is a feminist therapist in private practice and
teaches "Psychology of Women."
"Men's Lives." This film, made by Josh Haig and Will Roberts,
looks at the expectations and demands placed on the American
male. It won an Academy Award in 1975 for the Best Student
The Male Search for Intimacy. Many men, both divorced and
single, are expected by their women friends to be intimate --
something they may not know how to define, much less achieve.
Dr. DeWitt Sheldon, Clinical Associate Professor at Baylor and
U.T. medical schools and psychiatrist in private practice, and Dr.
Marlene Hodge LaRow, former Assistant Professor at University
of Houston and psychotherapist in private practice. DeWitt and
Marlene have been doing co-therapy with single men and couples
in which the men are learning how to be intimate.
As Edith Bunker,
I don't have equal rights.
As Jean Staple ton.
I dont either.
I'm a woman. And like all women. I
am not treated as a man's equal.
My insurance rates are higher.
My Social Security benefits are less.
As a widow, I'd have to pay a big
inheritance tax on my very own home.
And there are hundreds of jobs that
pay one salary to men. a lower one to
I say it's plain unfair.
I say something should be done about
all this inequality in our society.
I say there oughta be a law.
It's the only way we can be sure that
men and women will be treated equally in
The Equal Rights Amendment can be
So far. legislators in 34 states have
seen the importance of this law. and voted
yes. We still need 4 more.
Your legislators are voting now. You
can play an active part in convincing them
to vote yes.
Write to your senator.
And say you think there oughta be a
The I xpial Rights Amendment.
There oughta be a hru.
Enroll in the
UH University Centers
Hundreds of non-credit
classes to choose from
For details call 749-1253
An Opportunity To Grow
Registration Feb. 1 - 7
913 RICHMOND AVE.
P*R* 12 • February 1977 • Houston breakthrough