Get inspired by the stories of Prospera entrepreneurs who show us that it’s possible to pursue a dream that impacts the whole community.
Jenny Conejo, founder of Karanyarts came to this country with “a suitcase full of dreams.” Hear how she and other Prospera entrepreneurs have fulfilled their dreams at the Power of a Dream Event on August 29 at 6:30 pm at the Google Community Space in San Francisco.
Thursday at 6:30 PM – 9 PM
Google Community Space
188 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, California 94105
Join us to change the narrative of Latina immigrant women in this country.
THE POWER OF A DREAM is an audiovisual project led by Gabriela Arvizu – Prospera collaborator, entrepreneur, freelance journalist and audiovisual artist – that was born with a dream of documenting and amplifying the voice of entrepreneurial Latinas.
Through a series of documentary videos, Gabriela Arvizu and Prospera come together to show the world real stories of entrepreneurial Latina immigrants building cooperative businesses in the Bay Area. Despite the economic and social adversities that the Latina community face in today’s political climate in the United States, these entrepreneurs are creating new economic opportunities for themselves and their community through social impact entrepreneurship.
Now more than ever, it is important to capture these stories as a way to recognize the leadership and daily struggle of these entrepreneurs and to inspire women around the world.
Enjoy a special screening, meet the film-maker and connect with Prospera entrepreneur stars!
6:30 pm: Reception
7:00 pm: Welcome by Maria Rogers Pascual, Executive Director of Prospera
7:15 pm: Screening of “The Power of a Dream”
8:00 pm: Panel “Changing the Narrative of the Latina Immigrant” plus Q&A
– Gabriela Arvizu, visual artist and The Power of a Dream filmmaker
– Masha Chernyak, Vice President of Programs – Latino Community Foundation
– Jenny Conejo, founder of Karany Arts and Prospera entrepreneur
– Diana Gameros, Mexican singer/songwriter, and social activist.
– Ana Castaño, founder of The Nanny Collective and Prospera entrepreneur.
Prospera is a non-profit based in Oakland, CA that partners with low-income Latina immigrants to build co-ops—collectively owned, local businesses.
We offer Latina women a safe space to bring their talents, leadership, and creativity to a unique effort advancing social justice, women’s empowerment, and community transformation. For more information, we invite you to browse our website.
Gabriela Arvizu, visual artist and The Power of a Dream filmmaker
Gabriela Arvizu, visual artist and The Power of a Dream filmmaker Gabriela Arvizu is a visual artist and a freelance video journalist who covers arts, culture, and politics. An immigrant from Mexico, raised in the Fruitvale District of Oakland, she found her passion for art and media through local youth programs such as Youth Radio. As a high school student, she began to tell stories about her life and her experiences in her community that aired on NPR, KPFA, and Latino USA. She went on to receive her masters in Video Reporting and Storytelling from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Gaby currently works at Lucasfilm, founded by visionary filmmaker George Lucas.
Gaby was a Prospera volunteer working on a project called Yo Soy Prospera. She fell in love with the project and the participants. After her work with us, she decided to launch The Power a Dream project to capture the stories of entrepreneurial Latinas participating in Prospera’s cooperative business incubation program, through three documentary videos.
For Gabriela, the partnership with Prospera is an opportunity to honor the strength and power of women who come to this country to fight for themselves, their families and their dreams.
Masha Chernyak, Vice President of Programs – Latino Community Foundation
In her current position as VP of Programs and Policy, Masha leads LCF’s change-making strategy. In 2017, Masha launched the 1st ever Latino Nonprofit Accelerator to unleash the power of grassroots Latino nonprofits.
An immigrant herself, Masha served in the Peace Corps in rural Guatemala and worked as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side. While working at UNO, Chicago’s largest Latino education and advocacy organization, Masha led the creation of a parent university for Latino immigrants and graduated over 1,000 students a year. In this same role, Masha organized hundreds of Latino parents and diverse cross-sector leaders during an advocacy campaign that brought UNO $98 million in funding from the State of Illinois.
Masha is driven by a deep sense of urgency to elevate the voices of immigrants and their contributions to this country. In her free time, Masha loves to make art, visit New Orleans, and to laugh loud with her two heroes- her parents.
Jenny Conejo, Founder Karanyarts and Prospera entrepreneur
Jenny was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador with Kichwa roots in an artisan family. Since she was a child she learned how to make blouses to sell in the markets. Jenny began Karanyarts in 2011 as an attempt to support fair trade and promote her Andean culture. She moved to the US in 2014 where she began Karanyarts in Oakland, California. She hopes to be able to support smaller producers and cut out exploiting middlemen who undervalue the artisanal work. Because Jenny is indigenous, she feels very connected to the cultural value of these products and would like to teach people about their ancestral knowledge.
Diana Gameros, singer, composer and social activist
Diana Gameros is a singer, songwriter, composer, guitarist, teacher, and activist. She was born into a musical family surrounded by traditional Mexican songs of love and revolution. Singing mostly in Spanish, Gameros creates authentic music at the borderlands between cultures, languages, and genres. In her one decade-long career, Gameros has shared the stage with the San Francisco Symphony, Bebel Gilberto, La Santa Cecilia, and Natalia Lafourcade, to name just a few.
From the age of 13, Gameros has resided in the United States, and for much of that time, she was an undocumented immigrant. Music has served Gameros as a platform to bring light to her Latino heritage and to expand the conversation around social justice issues especially those involving immigrants and refugees. Even as she continues her musical journey, Gameros has inspired her community as an activist, performing and speaking at rallies, protests, vigils, universities, county jails, juvenile halls, detention centers, hospitals, city halls, and supporting many non-profit organizations committed to promote social justice.
In 2013 she released her first album Eterno Retorno, a soulful retrospective of her journey as an immigrant, and in 2014 she received the Emerging Leader Award from the Chicana/Latina Foundation for her work in music and social justice activism. Gameros was named one of YBCA’s 100 Artists in 2015, for asking the questions and making the provocations that are shaping the future of American culture. Gameros released Arrullo in 2017, an album of classic Mexican songs that she arranged and produced to pay homage to her heritage and homeland. Her songs and story have been featured on NPR, Billboard, Mother Jones, and the PBS Newshour, among others. In 2018, the San Francisco Magazine included Gameros on their list of 100 artist who are making waves, and described her music as “an artistic triumph for these ethnophobic times.”
Ana Castaño, Founder The Nanny Collective and Prospera entrepreneur
Ana is from Michoacan, Mexico where she lived until 1996 when she came to California. She is the proud mother of Metzli, Alitzel and Erendira. She has worked with the LGBT and immigrant communities through activism. She previously worked as a teacher in rural areas throughout various Mexican regions. She also began a cooperative in 2014, which she ended two years later. She is now in the beginning stages of starting a second coop for childcare in the Bay Area, The Nanny Collective. She has five years experience as a nanny and has grown very passionate about being a nurturing presence in the lives of children which is what is motivating this next entrepreneurial endeavor.
Not able to attend the event? Click here to support Prospera today so that more Latina entrepreneurs can grow and access the tools, the resources and the support they need to become successful business owners and powerful community leaders.
Transportation Tip: There is no parking available on site. Google Community Space is, however, closely situated to public transit, with multiple Muni stops within a few blocks and the Embarcadero BART station just two blocks away.