Join the Purple Purse Movement!

Think of four women you know. Now think of one of those women being trapped in a situation she doesn’t want to be in because of an abusive partner.

That is how real Domestic Violence is in the United States; one in four women experience it. That means domestic violence has a greater affect on woman than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined.

Most often when we think of domestic violence we think only of physical abuse but that is only one facet of the all-encompassing issue. One in eight people have not heard of financial abuse happening in cases of domestic violence but it actually affects 98% of survivors.

The control and restriction of money in abusive relationships is what keeps women trapped. They are not able to obtain the necessary resources to escape their situation or end up returning because they don’t have any means to keep themselves (and oftentimes their children) afloat.

Add to all these issues, the taboo nature around this topic and we have a culture that perpetuates violence against women. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is working to change that. The organization aims to make it more fashionable (both in conversation and in dress) to talk about and deal with this problem.

Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is working to break the cycle of violence in families. The program is igniting fundraising initiatives for 140 national, state and local domestic violence organizations. The more donations each nonprofit gets, the more it can compete for Allstate Foundation incentive funding! The monies raised will be used to support survivors who are looking for ways out or have already left and are looking for ways to ensure they never have to go back.

New evidence from The Center of Violence against Women and Children at Rutgers University School of Social Work indicates that boosting a survivor’s financial literacy and skills they can create a path toward long-term safety so the steps that Allstate Foundation Purple Purse are taking are ones that will definitely create sustainable change.

In fact, the program’s Purple Purse ambassador, Emmy-nominated actress Kerry Washington, has designed a limited-edition purple purse to represent the center of a woman’s financial domain and to inspire women to reclaim their financial independence. This purse is being used as a catalyst for converstion and financial empowerment in their communities.

But you don’t even need to buy a new purse to show your support. The Allstate Foundation is widely distributing Purple Purse charms so you can show your support in a way that is personal to you. These tassels are being distributed with inspiring survivor stories through Purple Purse Challenge participants and Allstate agency owners.

Make sure to head over to to help one of the 140 partner organizations and don’t forget to snag a tassel and support this very important movement!

This post has been written in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and The Allstate Foundation. I have been compensated but the views expressed in this post are my own. 

Investing with Training Wheels

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A few weeks ago, I found Acorns. The app is still in beta and is being released slowly but from what I have seen thus far it is pretty amazing.

You connect a bank account and all of your spare change (ex. if you spend $1.48, it will pull $.52) will be invested in a diversified portfolio of your choosing. You are able to see your positions and your account balance is always shown in real time. You can even add additional money if you feel like it. I added an extra $5 this month just because!

What’s neat is they give you a projection of what your account will look like with variables (the length you leave your investments and the amount you invest each month) that you can adjust. Currently, I am investing in a moderately aggressive portfolio and I am looking to make around $500 over the course of 10 years. It may not sound like much but that coming from $.65 here and there is impressive!

There are still a good amount of bugs on the app, lots of crashing and pages that won’t load but the idea and the interface is pristine. It also helps that if at any point I don’t like the app, I can pull all of my investments for only a 1% charge!

But Acorns looks like a keeper and so I will let my investments grow!

5 Things I Learned as a Restaurant Worker

Last year I worked at a chain restaurant, one that will remain undisclosed. It was a nice establishment, the kind that makes the same food no matter what location you go to, and is consistently lauded for their attention to customers’ needs. It was an interesting experience that gave me a greater perspective in regards to social mobility in America… or the lack thereof. There were five things that were made very clear to me while at that restaurant; some things I already knew but didn’t quite understand and others that made me reevaluate my position in a lot of debates with friends, professors and even family.

1. The lower middle class and working class work harder than any other.

I don’t say this with disrespect toward any other class but when put in perspective I have never seen such intense labor worked with such little return. There is a very popular misconception that the poor are lazy and though I never believed that statement, being a part of their daily process gave me a much greater understanding to their plight. Most of my coworkers worked two full time jobs, making less than most people earn at part time jobs. At my job alone, they were on their feet for at least 8 hours, oftentimes more… Multiply that by two and subtract it from 24 and you get a measly 8 hours to find time to care for your children, shop for necessities, budget the little money you have, and somewhere in between that all, sleep… to then get up and do it again.

2. There is a direct link between class and health.

Much of the political debate surrounding health care revolves around institutions that do and don’t provide insurance and though that is a very pertinent and important conversation that needs to be had, we need to start thinking about the way in which jobs continue this cycle of poor health, both mental and physical. I have worked in both the corporate sector and now the food industry and there is a great divide in the care that is given to employees. Why is it that when I work eight hours at a desk, sitting down all day, I get an hour break (sometimes more!) but when I was standing on my feet for nine or ten hours, I got 30 minutes to rest? I became so physically exhausted that while having a conversation with my manager I started to fall over, I would literally roll and fall out of bed in the morning, and my words became so jumbled that people no longer took me seriously. This is the start of many, many health issues and is what contributes to preexisting conditions… what insurers deny you for… so sad.

3. College is not the golden ticket out.

We need to stop convincing the youth that they need to let go of their dreams, the excitement they have for art, and the passion they demonstrate for all the things they love that are considered ‘impractical’. It is all of those things that employers look for… passion, dedication, and imagination. There were a handful of people working with me who had graduated from college with majors that were considered the best: Chemistry, Biology (on the premed track), Philosophy (with a concentration in law). Having a college degree does not make you stand out anymore. Going to college doesn’t set you apart. It is your attitude and your drive and your perseverance in the midst of trials that will ultimately make you different, find you a job, and help you move forward. We need to teach our children that. We need to support organizations that are teaching our children that. My generation, the youth, they are the future and rather than making our future diverse, we are populating it with people who indistinguishable, with college degrees that no longer mean anything.

4. The number of managers (and people in general) who perpetuate sexist agendas, who are blatantly racists, or care too little to stand up for their workers (or other people in general) far outweigh the good.

That is a problem. How can anything be different when we let the people who are supposed to lead us damage us? How can we promote diversity when those who are charged with finding it, hate it? How can we teach others to care for their neighbor when we sit and watch our neighbor be taken advantage of?

5. I will never fully understand.

Though I worked at my restaurant and dealt with all of the issues that I mentioned above, I had a way out. I had a choice. I decided that I didn’t want to take the mistreatment or exhaustion anymore so I quit. I was able to do so because I have a supportive mother and I am more privileged than I’d sometimes like to admit. I decided I would just look elsewhere for a job. I had a choice when so many other people don’t. Though I now understand more than most, I will truly never understand what it means to be stuck in the place you are and search so hard for resources that were never truly meant for me.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t fight. I resolve to be different. I resolve to take a stand for those who don’t think they can on their own. I will no longer wait.

**This post was originally published on with minor edits.**