The people of Esperanza dream of a world where everyone has civil rights and economic justice, where the environment is cared for, where cultures are honored and communities are safe. The Esperanza advocates for those wounded by domination and inequality — women, people of color, lesbians and gay men, the working class and poor. We believe in creating bridges between people by exchanging ideas and educating and empowering each other. We believe it is vital to share our visions of hope… we are esperanza. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Esperanza works to preserve and promote artistic and cultural expression of and among diverse communities. As people moved by a vision of social justice, we have learned the power of art in our lives. We have learned that to participate fully in democratic civic life, individuals must be culturally grounded, confident of their own voices, and certain of the value of their contributions. Art and culture give us this grounding. They connect us to our histories and plant the seed for our self-worth. Moreover, we have learned the importance of cross-cultural understanding - that social and political divisions cannot be bridged without accurate and respectful cultural understanding. Through artistic creation and cultural expression, previously silenced groups and isolated individuals come to new understandings of themselves, each other, and the world. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Esperanza's work helps individuals and grassroots organizations acquire knowledge and skills so that we can control decisions that affect our day-to-day lives in a way that respects and honors shared goals for a just society. We believe that by having a place with resources available we can come together to facilitate and provoke discussions and interactions among diverse groups of people who believe that together we can bring positive social change to our world and address the inherent interconnection of issues and oppressions across racial, class, sexual orientation, gender, age, health, physical and cultural boundaries.