CALCASA’s national leadership project in partnership with WOCN, Inc., LEAP (Leadership Education and Advancement for Professionals) convened its current cohort 4 Academy II on January 23-24 in Los Angeles, CA. The two-days were filled with skills and leadership development on nonprofit management and discussions on visioning our leadership in the sexual assault and domestic violence movement. The 15 Fellows also delivered their LEAPTalks (borrowing from TEDTalks) on various leadership and skills topics that were covered since the start of their cohort program. Several themes among the presentations were: growing as a WOC leader, mentoring others in culturally specific communities into leadership roles, programs sustainability, and self-care in leadership.

As we closed the two days together, Fellows reflected on what they were carrying with them as they return home. Many shared that the connection and professional (as well as personal) support LEAP has provided them along with the skills development has been and continues to be a solid source of affirmation that they are the leaders that they are looking for. The 15 Fellows are members of a larger network of 69 LEAP Leaders across the US and US territories impacting culturally specific communities through their leadership.




California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) and Break the Cycle (BTC) presented the webinar, Cyberstalking & Misuse of Technology in Teen Dating Violence: Strategies for Criminal Justice Professionals.

The webinar:

  • Explored the scope of gender-based cyber violence;
  • Examined the most common technologies used to perpetrate these crimes;
  • Identified strategic practices to effectively support young victims.

Participants had the opportunity to examine specific case examples and discussed case strategy with an attorney from Break the Cycle who has represented young clients in dating and domestic violence cases with a cyber-abuse component.

For access to webinar materials, please click on the links:

Recording: Cyberstalking & Misuse of Technology in Teen Dating Violence

CAP101_June 2017.FINAL.pptx

LEAPslideinfosessionNow Available! Webconference recording for the LEAP Program Information Session.

To access the recording visit LEAP Program Information Session

During the webconference we referenced a Women of Color Network (WOCN) Inc. report funded by Ms. Foundation for Women, Women of Color Leadership: A Look at the Experiences of Women of Color Executives in the Ant-Violence Against Women’s Movement that provided the critical information supporting the work of the LEAP Program.

LEAP Project staff were thrilled with the interest in the LEAP Program and look forward to receiving applications for LEAP Cohort 4. Remember, accepting applications until February 6, 2017. Get yours in!

To apply visit LEAP website to complete an online application.





Apply now for 2017-2018 Leadership Education and Advancement for Professionals (LEAP) Project Cohort 4.

2016_05_20_mel_buncab-019-min-1024x683California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), in partnership with Women of Color Network (WOCN, Inc) has established the Leadership Education and Advancement for Professionals (LEAP) Project. LEAP’s primary purpose is to enhance the professional skills of individuals of color seeking professional advancement in the anti-violence against women field.

The LEAP Project is designed to provide an intensive interactive, distance learning and in-person, comprehensive training and practicum experience. As a cohort member, LEAP Fellows will develop and enhance leadership and management skills to enable to take upon and succeed in leadership/management roles in their organizations and in the anti-violence against women field.

The goals of the LEAP Project are to:

  1. Build upon and enhance the professional capacity of women of color (WOC) executive directors, directors and senior managers in anti-violence against women programs.
  2. Create a community of support and professional network for emerging WOC executives and management leaders, aimed at reducing isolation, maximizing skills development, information-sharing, and communication.
  3. Optimize the success and effectiveness of emerging WOC leaders by providing opportunities to impact spheres of influence and communities through capacity building activities.

LEAP Fellows will be selected through a competitive application process. For more LEAP program details and applicant requirements, join us on the LEAP information webinar Wednesday, January 11, 2017. To register for the LEAP Program information webinar go to:

LEAP is supported by Grant #2015-TA-AX-K006 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), US Department of Justice.

img_9307On December 20th various lawyer representatives and human rights organizations gathered at the steps of Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, for a press conference organized by the Universal Representation Coalition, to show their support for the “Due Process For All” measure. The fight to advocate on behalf of immigrants to receive due process has required much resiliency from activist groups and immigrants. With deportations at a record high and promises by the president-elect to increase the number, “Due Process For All” has become an urgent need for the county of Los Angeles. Aware of the circumstances, individuals stood in solidarity, shared their stories, and shouted uplifting chants.

After the press conference the group gathered for a public hearing with the Board of Supervisors on the “Due Process For All” measure being voted on. There were over 100 speakers that expressed their stance on the matter, with a majority asking the Board of Supervisors to support the motion. Supporting speakers continuously reminded the board that immigration law is one of the most complex forms of law; nevertheless, we are having individuals defend themselves against government lawyers when the majority of them do not speak English. The opposing group felt that LA County should not expend funds on this matter and instead use money to aid U.S. citizens. While it was upsetting to hear references to an “oppression olympics,” activists remained composed and urged the audience to think about justice, compassion, empathy, and due process for all. They proceeded to share that we may not continue to label immigrants as criminals or terrorists to look the other way and not provide them representation. This is how fear rhetoric works, it seeks to divide us.

By the time the Board of Supervisors had to deliberate, there had been a heavy exchange of statements made by both opposing and supporting parties. In the end the Board of Supervisors majority ruled in favor of “Due Process For All.” This marked a huge win for immigration activists and immigrants in LA County, however there is still a lot more to be done. The measure’s funding has been provisionally approved, but it remains to be seen what limitations will be placed on accessing the funds. There is great fear that the funds will only be used to help existing programs like Deferred Action for Parents of America (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and will label a majority population as criminals to restrain them from accessing legal representation with removal proceedings. In January the measure will resurface, activists continue to organize in cementing a measure that serves everyone, not just a select few.

Currently, CALCASA is working to extend resources through several grants focused on serving immigrant communities that include but are not limited to detention centers; immigration status (U-visa); immigration law; farm workers; janitorial workers; and collaborations with organizations such as the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP). Working with immigrant communities is important because many immigrants have encountered life-threatening situations, find themselves living in fear, detained, and/or separated from their families. CALCASA’s advocacy work to center immigrant communities will provide access, services, resources, and legal remedies that will empower immigrant families and lead to fair and just systems.

Post written by: Elizabeth Torres Mejia, CALCASA Program Assistant

elizabeth_photoElizabeth Torres Mejia majored in Women’s and Gender Studies and minored in Psychology at Wellesley College. Elizabeth’s long term commitment to human rights began at a young age and stems from personal hardships and the desire to help others. It is her aspiration to teach trauma-informed yoga and promote healing through a trauma informed and empowerment model.  In her free time you can catch her in a yoga class, exploring the great outdoors with her dog, or volunteering.







CALCASA hosted a webconference, Meeting Human Trafficking Caseworker Requirements to address advocates’ questions on supporting survivors of trafficking, both of sexual exploitation and labor. The web conference reviewed privileged communications, examined similarities of SA and HT privilege, and how to integrate HT training topics into existing advocacy trainings to meet the Human Trafficking Caseworker requirement.

The webconference provided practical information on privilege and resources to address intersections of sexual assault and human trafficking. Here’s a list of the resources:

LGBTQ human trafficking victims:

Boys and human trafficking:

Webconference slides and recording:


Webconference Materials: Meeting Human Trafficking Caseworker Requirements