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MANA of San Diego County (1986-) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: MANA of San Diego County (1986-)
Variant Name: Mexican American Women's National Association
Fuller Form: MANA of San Diego County, A National Latina Organization

Historical Note:

Established in 1974 as the Mexican-American Women's National Association (MANA), MANA is a non-profit organization which seeks to better Latina women, or hermanas, through educational, economic, political, health, and social advocacy programs.  In 1994, the association changed its name to the more inclusive MANA, A National Latina Organization in order to acknowledge its growing diversity.  Today, MANA consists of over 26 chapters, including MANA of San Diego County, and is the "single largest pan-Latina organization in the United States."

In 1986, a group of Latina women dedicated to community activism founded the San Diego Chapter of MANA.  The chapter offers workshops, advocacy programs, conferences, and mentoring programs for Latinas.  The organization's Hermanitas program is a one-on-one mentorship program dedicated to supporting and encouraging pre-teen Latinas to stay in school.  The Sylvia Chavez Memorial Scholarship likewise promotes education amongst young Latinas.  Every year, MANA awards this scholarship at the Brindis, a celebratory tribute to outstanding Latina professionals.  In addition, MANA's Platica lectures give local officials and community leaders a chance to address issues relevant to the Latina community, including immigration and education.  Today, MANA of San Diego County continues to thrive as an organization dedicated to empowerment and leadership of Latinas.

Olivia Puentes-Reynolds, a local Latina activist, was active in MANA from 1993 to 2000.  She served as Strategic Planning Facilitator, Membership Chair, Program Chair and President.  She chaired two Brindis, co-chaired the 1993 National MANA Leadership Conferernce, and chaired the 1996 MANA National Leadership Conference.

Sources: MANA of San Diego County Website.
Note Author: Amanda Lanthorne

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