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Shapiro, Ester R. “Because Words Are Not Enough: Latina Re-Visionings of Transnational Collaborations Using Health Promotion for Gender Justice and Social Change.” NWSA Journal, Feminist Formations, 17, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 141–72.


This article centers on the creation of Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas (NCNV), which is a Spanish cultural adaptation of Our Bodies Ourselves from the 1970s (OBOS), a “groundbreaking women’s health information resources book” (5). She demonstrates that there are ways Latinas in the U.S. can be a part of transversal and transnational feminist activism, but still remain close to “third-world feminists” because of their nation-of-origin roots, creating an international “trialogue.” To create the book, NCNV, Latin American and Caribbean activists sought help from Latinas in the U.S. to better understand the context and method of the original OBOS. Latinas answered three “forbidden” questions to creating and transforming the new text: whether the OBOS is a book or a movement, why Latinas were originally excluded from the NCNV, and whether Latinas are U.S. or “third-world feminists.” She says that so far, the NCNV has done well in promoting public health education, but it has yet to be used as an organizing tool. Shapiro’s approach is interesting because she relates the significance of her own personal experience of being born in Cuba and migrating to Florida in shaping her understanding of feminism. She emphasizes the important role this personal experience plays in our desire to create a more just society. Shapiro describes the current mission of Latina leadership, which involves health promotion that is culturally relevant and empowering to women. The end of the article has an extensive list of acknowledgements, notes, resources references, Latin-American activist organizations, global women of color organizations, and references that may be useful as tools for the various organizations promoting reproductive rights for women in general and for Latinas specifically.    


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Movement building   Coalitions   Race/ethnicity: Latina/Hispanic

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