l Women and Men from all walks of life gathering in a prayer circle in front of city hall.  Shamman Woman Suzanne savage leads the ceremony for the retireval of our collective Soul lost in the trauma of violence.   This was a magical event.  We spoke our intent to have this celebration be the first step towards concious holiday celebration.  Lets stop giving our energy to holidays that glorify violence and instead create a new one that effectively promotes healign and human rights!

The very First Ever Indigenous Wisdom Festival!  with Manicato reverberating roots and sabor last Saturday November 29th, 2008.

Tres Mulatas de las Americas, una Peruana, una Mexicana y una Dominicana.


International Day for the Elimination of Violence Toward Women and Girls
In San Francisco!


WHEREAS, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls is a call to action on behalf of countless women around the world whose daily lives are marred by violence and abuse. This call is to all sectors of society asking them to redouble their efforts to achieve the objective of ending all forms of violence against women; and

the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls provides an opportunity for an unprecedented mobilization of both civil society and government to provide effective justice for women and girls, who remain the overwhelming victims of all forms of violence; and

domestic violence, or intimate-partner violence, is a serious public health problem and a huge drain on the economic productivity of our city; this day is dedicated to emphasize the healing of a type of violence that all too often eludes justice; and

this International Awareness Day calls for countries and cultures to take action and transform the mindset that permits abuse, discrimination and neglect against women and girls in every region, country, and culture, regardless of income, class, race or ethnicity; and

, in commemorating this day, the City and County of San Francisco continues to work toward making our communities safe for women and girls as we consider what can be done individually and collectively to help heal the victims of violence and to help build a future free from violence for every woman and girl; now

that I, Gavin Newsom, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco, do hereby proclaim November 25, 2008 as…


International Day for the Elimination of Violence Toward Women and Girls

In San Francisco!


For immediate release



UN’s International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women Celebrated in San Francisco Nov. 25 - 29


Three days of ceremony, music, dance, art and information offered at three locations in SF


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (October 31, 2008) – The Women’s Wisdom Work Collective has organized three days of events to commemorate the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, beginning with a rally and march on the official day, November 25, and continuing with a film, poetry, music and more on Nov. 28 and culminating in a day-long block party Nov. 29.


“The United Nations is to be applauded for this mandated day for the elimination of violence to women and girls,” said Tom Ammiano, the SF City Supervisor and 13th District Assemblyman-elect. “It is too long that this heinous violence has not received the notice it demands.”


“We can transform the violence we carry in our bodies, through art, music and healing ceremonies,” said MamaCoAtl (pronounced mama-coe-ah-tull), member of the Women’s Wisdom Work Collective. “It is time to support women of all ages organizing to affect change in our culture. All communities are invited.”


Plans include:


  • A rally and press conference at San Francisco City Hall set for noon on Tuesday, Nov. 25, followed by a Women’s Wisdom Walk to Civic Center Plaza, dance and a prayer circle. Mayor Gavin Newsom, who issued an official proclamation for last year’s Nov. 25 events, has been invited to speak.
  • After the Storm, a night of film, poetry, music and testimony, Friday, Nov. 28, starting at 7 pm at Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St. (at Mission), SF
  • Festival of Indigenous Wisdom, a block party with live music, drumming circles and more on Saturday, Nov. 29, from 10 am to 5 pm on Capp Street, between 24th and 25th Streets.


“Violence against women and girls is a culturally accepted illness that we as women of this community are healing and metabolizing every day,” said Nina Serrano of the Women’s Wisdom Work Collective. “Let’s recognize that!” 


All events are open and free to the public.  Donations will be accepted to cover production costs.


About the UN’s Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Women's activists have marked November 25 as a day against violence since 1981, in remembrance of the brutal assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists, in the Dominican Republic on Nov. 25, 1960, on orders from Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo.


On Dec. 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated Nov. 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations to launch activities to raise public awareness of the problem on that day. See: http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/violence.


MamaCoAtl brought the celebration to San Francisco from Mexico City three years ago, when she began asking friends to gather and pray at the BART station on Mission and 24th Streets on Nov. 25 to amplify the intent of the women of Latin America who were mobilizing on that day to demand an end to violence against women and girls.


The following year, SF Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaimed the holiday, making San Francisco the first city in the U.S. to align with this UN-proclaimed day of awareness. 


 “At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime — with the abuser usually someone known to her.”

– United Nations Development Fund for Women


“In Europe, domestic violence is the major cause of death and disability for women aged 16 to 44. In the United States, a woman is raped every 6 minutes; a woman is battered every 15 seconds. Rape of women is widespread in armed conflicts such as Colombia and Darfur. Trafficking of women has become a global phenomenon where victims are sexually exploited, forced into labor and subjected to abuse. Murders of women in Guatemala, Russia, India, and other countries often go uninvestigated …”

– Amnesty International


In recent years, femicide has been common in Northern Mexico and Guatemala, as the following statistics show.


“Since 1993, over 450 girls and women have been killed in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua City, Mexico.  Most of the victims were young and poor and many were sexually assaulted prior to their deaths. For many years, the authorities did little to investigate or prosecute those responsible and on occasion they used torture to extract confessions from scapegoats. Local authorities have improved their investigations into the more recent murders of women, especially those that are the product of domestic violence. However, many cases have not been adequately investigated …"

– Washington Office on Latin America


“In Guatemala, over 2,500 women and girls have been murdered since 2001.”

– Amnesty International


Femicide in Mexico and Guatemala has been condemned by the U.S. Congress with resolutions sponsored by Rep. Hilda L. Solis (D-CA), Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN). 


“Some of the victims in Ciudad Juarez are as young as 7 years old, and many were abducted in broad daylight in well-populated areas,” said Solis. “Over 90 of these murders show signs of being connected to one or more serial killers … and to date the perpetrators of most of these heinous acts remain unknown.”


Solis’s resolution condemning femicide in Juarez dates back to March 2005, yet conditions are still very dangerous there, where the police hide the murders of women from the media, according to recent information from the University of Texas at El Paso.


About MamaCoAtl

MamaCoAtl focuses on women’s ways of transforming the politics of extinction for the weaving of a new world vision. As a multidisciplinary “artivist,” she has curated ceremonies to heal the Amazonic River Mother of God at the border of Bolivia, Brazil and Peru, and has held concerts for peace at places desecrated by femicide along Mexico’s highways, and blessing days on street corners and public plazas in San Francisco. MamaCoAtl holds a master’s degree in Women’s Spirituality from New College of California and an MFA in Creative Inquiry.


About Nina Serrano

Nina Serrano, MA, is a poet, storyteller and independent media producer.  She focuses on bringing the arts to public schools and community centers. Serrano's poetry is frequently anthologized. She hosts and  produces the weekly "La Raza Chronicles" and the monthly "Open Book," both on KPFA Radio, Berkeley. After decades of activism Serrano does not give up hope.


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San Francisco, CA




Nina Serrano

Oakland, CA


510-763-8204 (from 8 am-6 pm) 


Steve Taylor

Taylor Communications

Berkeley, CA



(510) 845-3501





"Las Queremos Vivas"
collaborative work
Cusco, 2005