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Community Spotlight: Araceli Esparza and Midwest Mujeres

I have had the pleasure of collaborating with the Madison Reading Project for several years. Hello! My name is Araceli Esparza, and I’m a local poet, parent, and aficionado of Children’s books and Social Emotional Learning. I recently gave a workshop to the women of Midwest Mujeres Collective, a Latina empowerment agency, that I founded two years ago.

The workshop was about identity and how as parents, our identity shapes us and contributes to the learning and teaching of things like diversity, culture, respect, and belonging. These are values I feel we have a hard time discussing as parents. I love teaching and talking about my favorite subject, how to choose amazing cool cultural books for your children to learn about other people in the world.

We organized the workshop and partnered with Madison Reading Project to provide the parents and participants with multicultural books. Multicultural Books or books with diverse characters are windows into worlds that the reader can share, and when the reader can identify themselves in the book, the magic of empowerment comes alive. Culture is a significant component of choosing multicultural books.

I wrote a short film on identity for children and adults, and during this workshop, I presented Traveling Through A Latino Neighborhood: Las Chicas Y Chicos De Blossom Street. It was a pleasure to see the Madison Reading Project in action! Giving away books to the parents was fun, and gave Midwest Mujeres women books that reflected the culture, words, color, hair, and families that they belonged to. Good books help us feel belonging. Having books that reflect who we are, helped us feel belonging; thank you, Madison Reading Project!

About Midwest Mujeres:

Midwest Mujeres mission is to reduce poverty and income inequality by providing educational online opportunities that support underrepresented women entrepreneurs to grow their dreams.

Written by Araceli Esparza,

Poet, Award winning author, founder, and DEI speaker, Araceli Esparza helps companies, nonprofits, and resource groups create authentic outreach and engagement workshops, keynote addresses, and consulting strategies that positively impact marginalized communities. Discover more at


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