By Rose L. Thayer
Killeen Daily Herald
Hispanic women, and several men, gathered at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center Sunday to commemorate the International Month of the Woman with lunch, fellowship and service.
Hosted by La Casa de Puerto Rico, the Women's Summit featured the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Margaret Moran of San Antonio.
"We in the organization empower our members, but we also empower our women," said Moran.
She addressed the crowd of about 50 men and women in Spanish to share LULAC's plans to expand into colleges and high schools.
"We believe that we are ready to provide resources, tools and training to these young adults to empower them to support the community," she said.
Fresh from a trip to Montgomery, Ala., where she marched in opposition to a new immigration law, House Bill 56, that she said "discriminates" against Hispanics, Moran also shared her experiences.
"We marched on Thursday," said Moran. "We raised our voices. We worked and marched hand-in-hand with our African-American brothers and sisters to show unity against this terrible immigration law passed in Alabama."
The summit also aimed to discuss spousal abuse, an issue that affects everyone, said Gladys Casteleiro, president of La Casa de Puerto Rico.
"These are topics related to our daily lives," she said.
It was the third year for the event, but the first time men were invited.
"When you talk about spouse abuse, sometimes men are abused, too, so we have to have both sides," said Casteleiro.
Alicia Hernandez, women's minister at Iglesia Cristiana Monte Sinai in Killeen, spoke on the issue.
"It's happening today in the whole world, but it happens behind closed doors," she said. "Every person has a right to be listened to and be respected. They have to seek help, because there are consequences when there is violence in the house."
La Casa also took time during the summit to recognize several women for their work in the community because "they make a difference in our community," said Casteleiro.
Contact Rose L. Thayer at email@example.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.