“We want to be able to talk about money in a way that is fun and relaxing because we know talking about finances can be anxiety-driven,” says Araceli Esparza, founder of Midwest Mujeres. “We want to host a space that thinks about things in a cultural way. In the morning you’ll have cafecito y pan. The space will be very special and people will feel very relaxed and encouraged to learn.”
Midwest Mujeres Collective, a regional Latina network, will be hosting its second financial wellness event for women titled “Yo Quiero Dinero,” which will take place on Friday, June 3, at the MyArts Building on Madison’s near east side.
“The first Yo Quiero Dinero was held at La Finca [Coffeehouse] last year and it was sold out,” Esparza tells Madison365. “This year, it is very much a bilingual and bicultural event. We really want to talk to people in there, in all of their intersectionalities and all of their identities, especially folks that have been divested, who are low-income, or working-class, first-generation, or immigrant.”
Midwest Mujeres, a social enterprise that has served more than 1,000 women through its online network, is a mentorship collective for multicultural women’s entrepreneurial or career growth. Midwest Mujeres’ vision is to empower women of color to build their own digital platforms to create more streams of income and its mission is to help close the wage gap for all women through intentional online learning and networking in a culturally welcoming space.
Yo Quiero Dinero, Esparza says, is a financial and wellness seminar for Latina/Black/Indigenous/Asian/LGBTQ/immigrant and white-ally women who want to close the wage gap. The event will begin in the morning with coffee and pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread).
Afra Smith, CEO and founder of The Melanin Project, will speak on budgeting and the common mistakes when acting rich but wanting wealth.
“Afra Smith is pretty amazing. If nobody’s ever seen her, she’s incredible,” Esparza says. “She really breaks it down for you.”
Adina Appelbaum, an immigration attorney and co-founder of Immigrant Finance, will speak about investing in the stock market as a newbie.
“Adina will walk us through how to invest and how to think about investing in the stock market,” Esparza says. “We will have interpreters and we are very intentional in wanting to capture an audience that traditionally has felt left out of most banking services because of the barriers of not having a social security card number. So we’re really intentional to attract immigrants. Traditionally, they have been left out of these financial circles.”
The event will feature a morning session hosted by fitness instructor Robbi Dominguez who is also the founder of Madison Studio 11 “Total Body Fitness.”
“I work with a lot of Latina women and at the event, I’m going to be welcoming all the women and I’m just really gonna dive into what fitness means for me and really help women with a few simple steps on how to incorporate fitness into your everyday life,” Dominguez tells Madison365. “ In life, nothing really comes easy and so we need to push ourselves and fight for the things we want. And you learn a lot of those types of skills even when you work out, so that’s something that I really want to impart to the women at the event.
“Working out brings so much more than just trying to lose weight. Working out can definitely help empower women. So it’s really important to set aside that time for ourselves,” she adds. “I have so many moms that come and see me even when life gets busy. Usually, moms have to set aside life for their kids. So it’s just so important to set this time aside for yourself and really make time for your health. Because what we do is not just about getting in shape … it’s also good for your mental health, as well.”
For the Yo Quiero Dinero event, women with small children are welcome to bring them along, as the conference will host childcare for 5-10-year-olds at the MyArts building.
“We will provide an engaging piñata workshop for children while the parents enjoy the seminar,” Esparza says. “There will be childcare for the children who will get a small tour of the art space and music space.
“I hope it to be that event that you can go on a Friday with your girlfriend and it was something that you wanted to try out for the first time and you wanted to hear someone that has had very similar experiences like yourselves,” she adds. “And it’s a chance to learn about Midwest Mujeres, a chance to network, a chance for sisterhood. It’s going to be an exciting event. There have been some real friendships that have been built at the last Yo Quiero Dinero event and it will be interesting to catch up on those.”
Dominguez says that she “loves that this event is about empowering women.”
“I love watching women coming together encouraging one another, uplifting one another, educating one another,” Dominguez says. “I think this event is so great because one of the things that we want to do is to close that [gender] wage gap. That’s what really fuels this event. So we need to become educated and we need to stand together and we need to help each other. And all of that is what this event is all about. I just love being a part of that. I work with women all day every day, so this is right up my alley.”
Yo Quiero Dinero will be held Friday, June 3, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the MyArt building, 1055 E. Mifflin St. in Madison. For more information, click here. Scholarships are available for participants; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.