6th Annual Esperanza:

A Story of Hope

Benefit Dinner

Oct. 5, 2019
San Diego, CA
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About Benefit Dinner

Celebrating Courage &Resilience 
5, October 2019
04:00 pm

Join us for an inspirational evening of celebration and homage to immigrant survivors of domestic violence.  Access Inc. presents the 6th Annual Esperanza: A Story of Hope Benefit Dinner  featuring  a keynote address by Thelma Virata de Castro playwright and founder of San Diego Playwrights, our 3rd Annual Esperanza Awards, and live performance by African Soul International. 



About Access Inc.

VAWA Legal Program

What is Access Inc. VAWA Program?

Under the direction of the United States Department of Justice, the Access Inc. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Legal Program seeks to provide legal assistance and support services to low-income immigrant and refugee victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and violent crimes.  The Access Inc. attorneys and victim advocates serve over 200 clients annually in the following:

  1. Immigration Law (VAWA, U Visa, T visa, and related protections such as Waiver of Joint Filing for Removal of Conditions on Residency)

  2. Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

  3.  Accessing public health benefits and Victims of Crime Assistane (VOCA) funds

  4. Criminal/Police Reporting

  5. Employment/EEOC claims for workplace sexual harassment/assault. 

Facts & Statistics

1 in 4 women

1 in 7 men

1 in 4 women (24 %) and 1 in 7 men (14%) aged 18 and older in the U.S. have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.


per year in San Diego County

In CY 2016, there were 16,719 domestic violence incidents reported to law enforcement in San Diego County, a five percent decrease from the prior year.

12 K


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unmet support a day

While over 5,500 victims are served by local DV programs on a given day in California, over 1,000 service requests go unmet due to reduced funding for these programs.


Speakers + Entertainment

Featured Performer:

African Soul International


 African Soul International was established in 1998, by Sista Jewel, now Dr. Jewel, an artist who wanted to make a difference in her community. Through presentations, workshops, residencies, and performances, they have touched over 100,000 lives, empowering, educating and bringing the joy of African culture, history and music.Since 1998, African Soul has used the arts to keep youth off the streets, bring community together and build bridges of joy and compassion through positive artistic experiences. African Soul offers classes, workshops and conferences that feature our amazing professional artistic team as well as master artists from throughout Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Congo, Liberia and The Gambia.


  • 1st Place Winner of the 2019 African Dance Awards in Los Angeles.

  • 2019 Congressional Award for Community Service.

Opportunity Drawing:

3- Piece Kente Set


Event attendees will have the chance to be entered into a opportunity drawing to win a custom designed 3-piece Kente Set cuourtesy of our featured performers African Soul International.bassador Serena Williams.


Keynote Speaker


Thelma Virata de Castro is a Filipino American playwright whose work explores a variety of subjects and styles that highlight the diverse experiences of    underserved communities, including immigrants and incarcerated individuals. She is also Teaching Artist and Community Programs Coordinator for Playwrights Project and founder of San Diego Playwrights, an all volunteer network that assist local playwrights with production. Thelma is an Access Inc. Fellowship for Immigrant & Refugee Empowerment (FIRE) Fellow who used her experiences to create The Fire In Me, a play exploring domestic violence in the Filipino Community. Through the  2018 Creative Catalyst fellowship from The San Diego Foundation as well as a Humanities For All Quick Grant, Thelma was able to partner with     Access Inc. and The Asian Story Theatre to creatively engage the greater community in dialogue about domestic violence. Thelma  shares a deep passion for the arts and hopes to continue using theatre to facilitate connection through San Diego’s diverse community.

Master of Ceremony


Carolyne is a passionate and innovative thinker invested in the growth and development of diverse mental health, public health and holistic wellness initiatives. Carolyne serves as Outreach and Recruitment Specialist for Access Inc. a county-wide youth employment and immigration services organization. Through her multidisciplinary experience as a Community Health Education Specialist for UC San Diego Mother-Child Adolescent Program, Case Manager for Covance, a biomedical research organization, and Job Coach for Catholic Charities Focus for Work Program (for individuals with Axis I disorders) -- Carolyne has learned the importance of an integrative approach to education, health and wellness.

Carolyne graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Public Health. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Southern California. Carolyne utilizes spoken word, creative writing, and performing arts to inspire young adults and survivors to embrace their strength and resilience to achieve optimal health, wellness, and success.


3rd Annual Esperanza Award

During our 50th anniversary year, Access Inc. created the Esperanza Award  to honor an extraordinary individual and/or program whose  leadership, vision, and innovation in  addressing domestic violence in San Diego County has led to significant   changes in related prevalence and stigma. This award is named after one of our very first Esperanzas. A woman who after   experiencing abuse by her husband for eight years found support and  hope through Access Inc.’s  VAWA  program. She is now a business owner and  Women’s Rights Activists who inspires and mentors other abused immigrant women to seek help and invest in a brighter future. Please join us on Oct. 5, 2019 to recognize and celebrate the 2019 Esperanza Award recipient. 


Special thanks to our generous sponsors for making the 5th Annual: Esperanza: A Story of Hope possible. 

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Law Office of Jan Maiden


Frann Setzer


Silent Auction Sponsors

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Interested in Sponsorship

If you are interested in being a sponsor, please click on the  2019 Sponsorship Package PDF to review levels available and contact event chairs:

Anne Bautista, Esq. abautista@access2jobs.org 858-560-0871 x 103

Des Kelly, CFO  dkelly@access2jobs.org 858-560-0871 x102

If you are interested in donating to our silent auction, please complete the attached form and send to Carolyne Ouya couya@access2jobs.org 858-560-0871 x131



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