Mariposa Center for Change
Transforming Women's Lives
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September 26, 2011
Ivy Quicho, Mariposa Center for Change Executive Director
Mariposa Center for Change and Barnes and Noble Launch Women and Girls READ Program
On October 1, 2011, the Mariposa Center for Change and Barnes and Noble (Glendale, Americana) will launch their new partnership: Women and Girls Reading for Empowerment, Action, & Development (Women and Girls READ).  Women and Girls READ will start off their first series with Rachel Lloyd, author of Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds her Calling and Heals Herself.  Rachel Lloyd is a staunch anti-trafficking advocate and the founder and Executive Director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS).   
Over 100,000 children every year are trafficked within the United States.  This number does not include children who are trafficked here from other countries.  Los Angeles is part of a 5-city circuit (San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas) where pimps/traffickers transport children among these cities for prostitution.
Rachel Lloyd’s book has been lauded as “astonishing” and “heartbreaking.”  Elle magazine called the book, “Riveting…(Lloyd’s) passionate, persuasive arguments for recognition and protection give a voice to the thousands of girls all around us who work and suffer in near invisibility.”  Ms. Lloyd will read form her book and share her experiences for her work in the field and as the Executive Director of GEMS.  GEMS is the only nonprofit in New York State that is designed to serve commercially sexually exploited girls.
Women and Girls READ will be a monthly series held at Barnes and Noble (Glendale, Americana) that will feature current, pressing issues.  Books and their female authors will be showcased.  “It’s important for girls and women to read books that are relevant to them, about them, and written by them.  When women and girls start reading, they start the discussion around these issues.  That’s the first step to creating social action,” Milady Quito, teacher and Mariposa Center for Change board member stated.
For more information and a calendar of events, please contact 
The Mariposa Center for Change is a multi-ethnic nonprofit organization for women and children that aims to improve social, political and economic conditions and end inequality through an empowered sisterhood, transformative programming, grassroots organizing, and strategic alliances. The Center follows a transnational feminist perspective and uses a transformational framework of practice. The Mariposa Center for Change not only provides direct services, but also opportunities to engage in social justice and advocacy work. #


May 2, 2011

Maureen Ivy Quicho, Executive Director



Mariposa Center for Change presents

MAMAS ROCK: A Celebration of Women


Los Angeles, California – On May 14, 2011, the Mariposa Center for Change, in conjunction with Eagle Rock Plaza, present a free community fair titled, “MAMAS ROCK: A Celebration of Women.” 


MAMAS ROCK will be hosting performances, poetry slam, information fair, children’s

activities (including an essay contest), live painting, films, health screenings, and more.  The event will be held from 12noon to 5pm at the Eagle Rock Plaza Shopping Center.  This event is free for everyone.  The community is invited to celebrate with their family and friends.  


Among the upcoming event highlights is an essay contest in which children and students write a composition “in 250 words or less, tells us why your mama rocks.” The winners will be invited to read their essay during the day’s events.  “This essay contest is exciting because we have been receiving essays from children as young as five to university students,” said Macy Cheung, Mariposa Center Marketing Director.  “We have been receiving entries which have been submitted via email as well as from the Eagle Rock Plaza contest drop box.” 


The event will bring together a variety of community groups, including Planned Parenthood and Break the Cycle.  There will also be group of talented performers and artists.  Several of the Eagle Rock Plaza merchants will also be participating, including Goldilocks Bakeshop. 


The Mariposa Center for Change is committed to providing much needed resources and services to the women and children of Los Angeles.  The MAMAS ROCK celebration will highlight some of the Mariposa Center’s transformative programming, as well as opportunities for the community to engage in social justice and advocacy work that creates change in the local and global community.  For more information, please contact the Mariposa Center for Change at 323.640.SAFE(7233) or


The Mariposa Center for Change is a multi-ethnic nonprofit organization for women and children that aims to improve social, political and economic conditions and end             inequality through an empowered sisterhood, transformative programming, grassroots organizing, and strategic alliances.


(NOTE: For updated information on MCC's Justice for Laya Campaign, please join our Facebook group at
February 23, 2011
Maureen Ivy Quicho, MSW
The Mariposa Center for Change will continue to stand by Laya despite the ongoing media barrage of lies being told by her alleged attacker, UC Student Regent Jesse Cheng.  Laya accused Cheng of attempting to rape her, citing her filing of a police report of the incident on Oct. 26th and Cheng’s subsequent arrest on Nov. 4th for sexual battery.
In a recent statement released by Cheng, he minimized the rape attempt, insinuating that Laya is a scorned ex-girlfriend who wants to get back at him for a failed relationship. Cheng previously sent Laya emails where he admitted, “I am sorry for sexually assaulting you,” and, “I am a horrible person for what I did for (to) you, I tried to rape you…” Now, Cheng claims that Laya forced him to write these emails.
"Cheng's Minimizing, denying and blaming of Laya and what he did are actions that reflect that of an abuser.  It's always the context or the behavior or anyone else's fault except for himself," said Mariposa Center for Change Clinical Director, Wilma De Castro, "Cheng would like us to believe that their past relationship is an acceptable context for a reprehensible act.  What is more believable, is that he felt he was above the law and that she would not speak out, nonetheless release those emails.”
The Mariposa Center for Change strongly emphasizes that there is NEVER A CONTEXT FOR RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT. According to the U.S. Dept of Justice, two-thirds of rape and sexual assault victims 18 to 29 years old had a prior relationship with the rapist; however, a prior relationship does not justify rape. In many instances, the mention of a prior relationship in sexual assault cases is done to put into question the validity of a victim’s statement. However, the real question that remains is whether the Orange County District Attorney’s office is taking this matter of sexual assault as lightly as Cheng is.
The Mariposa Center for Change demands JUSTICE FOR LAYA and an end to Cheng’s lies as he continues to revictimize not only Laya, but the UC Community.  Students, alumni, and community members are calling for Cheng to be removed from his position as UC Student Regent, that Laya receive full legal justice, and that Women’s Resource Centers on University of California campuses be retained and funded in order to address and help prevent campus rape and sexual assault.  Justice for Laya Coalition meetings, coordinated by the Mariposa Center for Change and AF3IRM, are being held all over the state this week, since the first meeting at the UC Irvine Campus.  Those interested in joining the coalition should contact:  ###

The Mariposa Center for Change Demands Justice for Laya:
Urge UCI and OC DA to hold UC Student Regent Cheng accountable.
February 15, 2011
Maureen Ivy Quicho, MSW
The Mariposa Center for Change stands with Laya as she bravely speaks out against her attacker, Jesse Cheng, UC Student Regent, who was charged on November 4, 2010 for sexual battery.    Cheng, who was recently lauded as a “leader of student activists” by the Huffington post admitted to sexually assaulting Laya in his off-campus apartment on October 3rd. The Mariposa Center for Change condemns Cheng’s actions and the actions of the Orange County District Attorney’s office who have not taken any action at this time. In fact, the DA’s office reports they have no records of any case under Cheng’s name (according to the New University Newspaper).
About 1 out of 5 college women will be sexually assaulted, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. 65% of rapes go unreported and 90% of those who are raped know the perpetrator. In most of these cases, even when the University prosecutes, rapists are able to appeal and get reduced penalties. For example, in some universities, expulsion may be appealed. In some cases of expulsion, students might even be able to re-enroll. More disturbing is that universities go out of their way to suppress reports of sexual assaults and rape.
Each year, about 4,000 US College students report to their university that they have been sexually assaulted. The Center for Public Integrity and NPR’s investigative unit teamed up to examine how universities respond to reports of sexual assault on campus.    They found that months, sometimes years pass before universities respond even though universities are responsible according to the Jeanne Clery Act to investigate and punish these crimes. A similar Dateline NBC investigation found that women were discouraged by university officials to move forward with their claims.
The fact that Cheng is a UC Student Regent raises even greater doubts as to whether the UC system will punish one of their own. Executive Director of the Mariposa Center for Change, Ivy Quicho said, “We are concerned that there has been no response from the DA’s office or no decision from the University of California, Irvine’s Student Conduct Office. These actions point to a lack of urgency to address the attack of a student, at best, and a blatant cover up to protect a UC Student Regent, at worst.”
Despite Laya’s fear and anxiety to talk about what happened to her, she is unwavering in her commitment to the truth. “I knew I had to say something,” she said to the Mariposa Center for Change, “what if he did this to someone else? He has to be held account- able.” Laya continues to tell her story even as she faces intimidation and victim blaming. The Mariposa Center for Change demands Justice for Laya and invites others to attend a community meeting on February 17, 2011 at the UCI Campus Cross Cultural Center at 6pm. Those interested should contact
The Mariposa Center for Change is a non-profit center dedicated to investigating, codify- ing and implementing the theory and practice of an activist feminism for immigrant-based, transnational communities. We work with women and children and aim to im- prove social, political and economic conditions and end inequality through an empowered sisterhood, transformative programming, grassroots organizing, and strategic alliances.  ###

Mariposa Center for Change
PO Box 480173
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tel: 323.640.SAFE (7233)
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