La Voz - February 2020

White Supremacy Worships Western Civilization by Julio Noboa Polanco • The Conference About Books in a City That Doesn’t Read: An Open Letter to Helena Mariá Viramontes about the 12,000 writers coming to San Antonio in March for the AWP Conference by Barbara Renaud González • Tenants Who Expose Racism & Unhealthy Mold Are Called Liars by SAHA Bosses by Pancho Valdez • Voiceless by Nayelli Mejia • In the Shadows of the Freeway: Growing Up Brown & Queer by Dr. Lydia R. Otero • A Centrist Democratic Candidate is Needed in 2020 to Beat Trump and Change the Rhetoric by Elliot Benjamin, Ph.D. • Children of color already make up the majority of kids in many US states by Rogelio Sáenz and Dudley L. Poston, Jr.

White Supremacy Worships Western Civilization by Julio Noboa Polanco • The Conference About Books in a City That Doesn’t Read: An Open Letter to Helena Mariá Viramontes about the 12,000 writers coming to San Antonio in March for the AWP Conference by Barbara Renaud González • Tenants Who Expose Racism & Unhealthy Mold Are Called Liars by SAHA Bosses by Pancho Valdez • Voiceless by Nayelli Mejia • In the Shadows of the Freeway: Growing Up Brown & Queer by Dr. Lydia R. Otero • A Centrist Democratic Candidate is Needed in 2020 to Beat Trump and Change the Rhetoric by Elliot Benjamin, Ph.D. • Children of color already make up the majority of kids in many US states by Rogelio Sáenz and Dudley L. Poston, Jr.


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February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1

San Antonio, Tejas

Reading with Author

Source: SoundCloud | bit.ly/otero_mic

Lydia R. Otero

Feb. 29, 2020

6pm, Esperanza

922 San Pedro

San Antonio, TX

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


La Voz de


February 2020

Vol. 33 Issue 1

Editor: Gloria A. Ramírez

Design: Elizandro Carrington


Elliot Benjamin, Sarah Gould, Bárbara Renaud

González, Nayelli Mejia, Tom Noonan, Lydia

Otero, Julio Noboa Polanco, Rogelio Sáenz &

Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Pancho Valdez, Sonia


La Voz Mail Collective

Teri Borrego, Nevie Brooks, Elizandro Carrington,

Brigham Díaz, N. Díaz, Alma Dueñas,

Yaneth Flores, Kristel Orta-Puente, Eliza Pérez,

Paul Plouf, Gary Poole, Natalie Rodríguez,

Imgard Akinyi Rop, Rosa Vega

Esperanza Director

Graciela I. Sánchez

Esperanza Staff

Elizandro Carrington, Yaneth Flores,

Sarah Gould, Eliza Pérez, Paul Plouf,

Kristel Orta-Puente, Natalie Rodríguez,

Imgard Akinyi Rop, René Saenz,

Susana Segura, Amelia Valdez

Conjunto de Nepantleras

—Esperanza Board of Directors—

Norma Cantú, Rachel Jennings,

Amy Kastely, Jan Olsen, Ana Lucía Ramírez,

Gloria A. Ramírez, Rudy Rosales, Tiffany Ross,

Lilliana Saldaña, Nadine Saliba,

Graciela I. Sánchez, Lillian Stevens

• We advocate for a wide variety of social,

economic & environmental justice issues.

• Opinions expressed in La Voz are not

necessarily those of the Esperanza Center.

La Voz de Esperanza

is a publication of

Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

922 San Pedro, San Antonio,

TX 78212



Inquiries/Articles can be sent to:


Articles due by the 8th of each month

Policy Statements

* We ask that articles be visionary, progressive,

instructive & thoughtful. Submissions must be

literate & critical; not sexist, racist, homophobic,

violent, or oppressive & may be edited for length.

* All letters in response to Esperanza activities

or articles in La Voz will be considered for

publication. Letters with intent to slander

individuals or groups will not be published.

Guest Editorial

The beginning of the New Year, a symbolic fresh start when we

make resolutions to do better, be better, and manifest our best

selves through direct action, was marred by the actions of a few

who cling to notions of some kind of hierarchy of human worth.

We speak, of course, of recent threats of bombing ancient and irreplaceable

cultural heritage sites in Iran and the announcement that

Texas is withdrawing from the federal refugee resettlement program that

has given a fresh start to so many thousands of displaced people.

The president’s January 4th tweet threatening to target 52 Iranian cultural and

historical centers following the US’ assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and

Iran’s response to take revenge, was not only an embarrassing display of lack of diplomacy,

but also a horrific attack on the people and culture of Iran, as well as our shared human history.

The destruction of cultural heritage sites, whether architectural wonders of the Middle

East, African American family cemeteries in the US, or landscapes sacred to Native Americans,

is always about people and whether or not those in power deem the people and those

places worthy of remembering. Fortunately, in this case, the reaction to Trump’s threat was

swift. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the

American Alliance of Museums, the International Council of Museums, UNESCO and others

quickly condemned the idea of cultural heritage sites as military targets and pointed out that

such attacks would violate international law. Two days later the Pentagon assured the public

that Iranian cultural sites would not be military targets, but sentiment from the White House

that these global heritage sites are expendable has yet to be withdrawn.

Meanwhile, in Texas, our governor has rejected our status as a national leader in refugee

resettlement. Over the last decade Texas received an estimated 10% of refugees resettled to

the US. While many of us believe these refugees have contributed greatly to our state’s rich

culture and economy, the anti-refugee movement of late has led us to witness one of the most

disturbing human rights violations on US soil of recent memory. It is a situation that has led

some to draw parallels to the abhorrent treatment of African Americans, Native Americans,

Mexican Americans and Japanese Americans during our nation’s darkest moments.*

The Museo del Westside is dedicated to increasing understanding and appreciation of the

history and culture of the Westside, and it is impossible to not see how these recent affronts to

our shared humanity are similar to actions that have been taken against the Westside and other

working class communities of color across US history. As we work to protect, preserve, and

present the Westside’s cultural history we recognize that we are

in a community that has greatly benefitted from migrants hailing

from many motherlands, including those who arrived as refugees.

We may not always agree with the present day politics of other

countries, but we must always remember that it is humanity and

not politics that connects us as brothers and sisters.

— Sarah Gould, Director of Museo del Westside,

Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

* The insults to people of conscious do not end there. As we watch with

horror, natural disasters around the globe – some influenced by human

actions and some not – ravage creatures great and small and leave

infrastructure so critical to modern life in shambles.

Jesús 1

María José 2

Todo son refugiados 3

Jesus 1

Mary Joseph 2

All are refugees 3

—Tom Noonan

Minot, North Dakota

USCG Veteran

ATTENTION VOZ READERS: If you have a mailing address correction please send it to lavoz@

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know. La Voz is provided as a courtesy to people on the mailing list of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.

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VOZ VISION STATEMENT: La Voz de Esperanza speaks for many individual, progressive voices who are

gente-based, multi-visioned and milagro-bound. We are diverse survivors of materialism, racism, misogyny,

homophobia, classism, violence, earth-damage, speciesism and cultural and political oppression. We are

recapturing the powers of alliance, activism and healthy conflict in order to achieve interdependent economic/

spiritual healing and fuerza. La Voz is a resource for peace, justice, and human rights, providing a forum for

criticism, information, education, humor and other creative works. La Voz provokes bold actions in response

to local and global problems, with the knowledge that the many risks we take for the earth, our body, and the

dignity of all people will result in profound change for the seven generations to come.

White Supremacy Worships

Western Civilization

Julio Noboa Polanco, November 29, 2019

Editor’s note: As 2020 begins, our hope for peace and harmony

in the world must remain strong in the face of local and global

efforts to revive white supremacist ideology.

Throughout the world, most particularly in the United States, there

has been an unprecedented rise in racism, nativism and xenophobia,

especially against the masses

of immigrant families escaping

death and destruction in their native


Beyond political realities, the

ideology of racism has foundations

in long-held systems of belief

about the unquestioned superiority

of Whites and the Western Civilization

they created compared to

other races or civilizations. More

recently, the rise of what is labeled

White nationalists and white supremacists carrying torches marched in a

parade through the University of Virginia campus, Aug. 11, 2017.

as ¨white supremacy¨ has revived

that decades-long academic debate

about Western Civilization and its

place in the context of human history.

In the halls of academia where I worked for over two decades,

I observed that White supremacists hold to the unshakable belief

that Western Civilization is the highest expression of human

intellectual and cultural achievement. At the same time the obvious

evils of slavery, domination, exploitation, and environmental

devastation that are essential elements of that global civilization,

are justified as being only a normal expression of human nature.

There are multiple ways of responding to this very powerful

and universal fallacy of White supremacy based on the alleged

superiority of Western civilization. One is to point out certain

historical and anthropological realities that cannot be denied.

To begin with, comparing distinct and unrelated cultures and

civilizations is like comparing apples with mangoes. Each society

was born, developed, flourished and decays in response to the

specific particulars of their geography, economy and technology

that sustained it. Thus, it is very difficult to formulate and apply

authentically universal standards for evaluating the value and

virtue of any civilization compared to any other.

One obvious result of these differential circumstances that

create and develop each civilization is the very duration of each.

The Incan civilization developed over generations but the Inca

Empire itself extended its dominion for a mere 100 years before

being brutally conquered by Pizarro.

By contrast the Roman Empire lasted five centuries before

it was finally destroyed from internal decay and from external

invasion by vandals and Visigoths. Yet centuries before that the

Egyptians had created a civilization and an empire whose royal

dynasties lasted over thousands of years.

How can you begin to compare these three very different civilizations

with such wide variations and incomparable durations?

Western civilization certainly has tremendous and undeniable

merit and value and should be appreciated as having made

incalculable contributions to human knowledge and technology.

Western contributions and achievements have been well documented,

widely disseminated and often celebrated as they should.

Still, it is well established that Western Civilization itself has

foundations and profound roots in

Non-Western cultures and civilizations,

most notably from Egyptian

and Mesopotamian sources.

White supremacists who consider

themselves “Christian” should be

reminded that Moses, Jesus and

even the Bible itself, as well as their

very belief in God, came not from

a European culture but from a Semitic

people of Mesopotamia, most

particularly ancient Hebrews.

It is also worth remembering

that our system of numbers,

mathematics and algebra that has

been used for centuries in the

West comes from the Islamic Arab civilization that also gave us

advanced knowledge in astronomy, agriculture and geography.

Another most fundamental reality that White

supremacists avoid is that the cradles of human

civilization, that is the original cultures that first

generated writing, monumental architecture, complex

social hierarchies, astronomical knowledge and

agricultural systems, were all outside of Europe and

created by people of color.

In the Old World these four civilizations were all born and

developed along river valleys, namely the Nile River in Africa,

the Indus River in India, the Yellow River in China, and the Tigris

and Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia.

As a humanist and universalist and contrary to white supremacist

views, I believe that the entire scope of human culture

includes tiny pockets of hunters and gathers as well as great empires

and civilizations. Our humanity includes huge continental

nations as well as small isolated islands.

In fact, each of these societies constitute a unique piece of

the entire panoramic puzzle of human culture. When our society

gains a better appreciation of who we are as human beings we

will have no further need for ideologies of supremacy based on

race, gender or sexual orientation.

Bio: Julio Noboa Polanco is a freelance writer currently living

in Costa Rica. A former resident and writer in San Antonio and

boardmember of the Esperanza he still writes about social and

environmental justice issues.

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


The Conference about Books

in a City that Doesn’t Read

An Open Letter to Helena María Viramontes about the 12,000 writers

coming to San Antonio in March for the AWP Conference

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


10 December 2019

Dear Helena,

Maybe you remember

me? We met at the Gemini-

INK Writers Conference last

summer in San Antonio…

People say we resemble

each other, but I think it’s

because we’re both Latinx

and about the same age, who

knows. You’re definitely the

superior writer, and I’m sure

the nicer one, too.

I am proud that you’re

the Featured Writer at the

upcoming AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs)

2020 Conference to be held in San Antonio in March 4-7, 2020

— over 12,000 writers from around the country will be here!

The Latinx writers in San Antonio are especially proud you’re

getting this kind of recognition. I’ve read all your books, and

have told everyone that Their Dogs Came With Them, published

in 2007, should have won the Pulitzer. Still don’t understand

how a Mexican-American story set in Los Angeles with thirteen

protagonists facing gentrification wasn’t even nominated.

I know your husband, Eloy, is from Texas, and that you are

familiar with this state. But, you will be a star among thousands

of writers, agents, publishers, teachers, students, and your story

will have a distinctive impact.

I’m probably too dazzled by seeing someone who looks like

me sharing her acclaimed stories with an audience who doesn’t

know us very well. As a native Tejana, and writer, I know how

difficult it is to get our stories published, on our terms, in our

language, and I am hopeful that your presence here will expand

the window to the American immigrant future we represent, but

rarely get a chance to tell at the national level.

People have told me that San Antonio isn’t magical reality,

but how does a city where one-quarter of the city’s residents are

considered illiterate host thousands of writers without a single

major bookstore in the inner city, no kiosks, an under-funded

library, one very recent citywide bookfair, no Xicanx media

executives, in a majority Latinx city where the Tex-Mex culture

is prominent, responsible for the millions of tourists who come

here, with a segregated inner-city public school system, where

students are subject to a testing frenzy that boxes them so they

read but don’t like reading — host the AWP?

What do you call this if not a magical celebration of books

without readers?

I know about the lack of reading — because I’ve taught at

community centers, community

colleges, and at

universities here. Been to

Boston, San Francisco,

Havana, Central Europe,

and know what cities look

like, feel like, with a literary

life. Here, there are

four Catholic missions in

San Antonio, not counting

the Alamo, which

glorify war. Or, as Sandra

Cisneros once told me,

it’s here to remind us that

we won but really lost the war. The military presence hangs over

us like a benevolent patron. Guns are sacred, — the Bible, the

altar, political confessing that is almost too-late. Many people

have been hyped into worshipping the professional basketball

team here, the Spurs, with candles, not voting. And yes, we

have world-class writers here, but the vast majority of the white

writers don’t speak, read, or write Spanish. They don’t have to.

And because of the insane fear of other languages that is part of

our tragic history, there are plenty of Tejanx, Xicanx, Mexican-

American writers, who don’t speak Spanish, either.

The illiteracy of San Antonio impacts everything. Very few

writers here have read Elena Poniatowska or Eduardo Galeano,

for example, of the Latin-American canon -- equal to John

Steinbeck, Comac McCarthy, Edith Wharton, James Baldwin.

The results: my students aren’t woke to reading, and have little

interest in substantive, current cinema. We don’t have a Latin

American/Xicana arthouse or equity theatre in San Antonio,

either. Few have seen the César Chávez film, the James Baldwin

film, and barely know anything about Selma. The Suffragettes

film? Forget it. Harriet Tubman? I doubt it. Most of the writers I

know haven’t visited Oaxaca, Monte Alban, the Olmec colossal

stone heads in Xalapa. The elite writers haven’t ventured into the

working-class barrio —the Westside of San Antonio. Illiteracy

becomes cultural illiteracy: Haven’t seen many sophisticated

friends at the annual Conjunto Festival, where Annie Proulx’s

accordion story rises from the Texas yeast of immigration, war,


What is it like to remember a language you have forgotten? I

need to read that story.

What do you call a literary loss equal to the urgency of climate

change? Over 50% of the 5,000,000 public school students

today are Brown and Black, and I’m being conservative. Onefifth

of the nation’s public school students are of color. What

The 2020 AWP Conference at the Henry B. González Convention Center includes an ongoing

showcase of over 700 exhibitors at the street level open daily from 9am to 5pm from March 5–7.

does it mean when they don’t know

what the civil rights movement means

to this country? When they are cynical

about democracy and believe in the

military as a way of life? And have accepted

metal detectors, abusive police,

rape, diabetes, polluted beaches, as

normal, even though they intuit something

is not right?

And what will happen to us when

my students realize differently?

They need your book, Helena.

Many books.

San Antonio is over 60% Latinx,

and the Tex-Mex culture is prominent,

responsible for the millions of tourists

who come here and bring their dollars.

But the money doesn’t go to the public

schools, the libraries, though it goes

to Fiesta! And the RiverWalk you will

surely be visiting.

Will the 12,000 writers become

aware of who we are and our storytellers

while they’re here? My experience

with NYC publishers is watching how

they cringe reading our Tex-Mexiness,

our walkouts and protests, our baile

and crossing the border unsexiness.

The publishers want stories about

borracheras, Frida Kahlo, drugs, the

Border Patrol, and tacos, if possible.

The novels and poetry and history?

We are just too ethnically confusing.

Anybody but us. The publishing world

understands the Caribbeans, Africans,

Haitians, Indians, Vietnamese, the

Middle Eastern writers. I love them,

too. We Tejanx, Central Americans, are

not understood — too familiar and too

strange, the cousin who doesn’t belong

at the family dancing party because?

We are agricultural people like César

Chávez, peasant-class, half-slaved,

with faces that are still foreign. Too

Mexican, not enough Mexican. Not

Black enough to confront the guilt.

Not island enough to make anyone

ashamed. Too diverse, mixed, and

from Texas? Polkas? The accordion?

Really? Where’s your cowboy hat and

Helena María Viramontes

2020 AWP Keynote speaker

Thursday, March 5, 2020

8:30 pm to 10:00 pm

Lila Cockrell Theater,

Henry B. González Convention Center

Helena María Viramontes is the author of The Moths and

Other Stories (1985) and Under the Feet of Jesus (1995),

a novel. Her second novel, Their Dogs Came with Them

(2007), published in paperback by Washington Square

Press, focuses on the dispossessed, the working poor, the

homeless, and the undocumented of East Los Angeles,

where Viramontes was born and raised. Her work strives

to re-create the visceral sense of a world virtually unknown

to mainstream letters and to transform readers through relentlessly

compassionate storytelling. In the 1980s, Viramontes

became co-coordinator of the Los Angeles Latino

Writers Association and literary editor of XhistmeArte

Magazine. Later in the decade, Viramontes helped found

Southern California Latino Writers and Filmmakers. In

collaboration with feminist scholar Maria Herrera Sobek,

Viramontes organized three major conferences at UC-Irvine,

resulting in two anthologies: Chicana Creativity and

Criticism: Charting New Frontiers in American Literature

(1988) and Chicana Writes: On Word and Film (1993).

Named a USA Ford Fellow in Literature for 2007 by United

States Artists, she has also received the John Dos Passos

Prize for Literature, a Sundance Institute Fellowship, an

NEA Fellowship, a Spirit Award from the California Latino

Legislative Caucus, and a 2017 Bellagio Center Residency

from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2015, California

State University at Long Beach inaugurated the Helena

María Viramontes Lecture. Viramontes is Goldwin Smith

Professor of English at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY,

where she is at work on a new novel.

boots? The invasions and interventions

are stored at the Alamo –

and we are not allowed to perform

in front of it… Yet, we are everyone’s

future, and bipolar rages.

We are just not the coolest on

the block, incapable of telling our

own stories. Except that we are

the writers four hours away from

the Rio Grande, where our primos,

thousands of Central American

refugees are desperate to cross

into a country that denies the

American heritage pulsing in their

bloodlines, the ancient poetry of

languages, coffee, bananas, and

corn, on their breath. I can hear

their heartbeats from here -- a

fado, adhān, a canto ondo.

I’ve lost count of all the protests,

the marches, the debates and

chingazos I’ve suffered standing

up for justice in this state. Probably

lost every single time. How

I have loved this state that I was

born in, that now wants to require

me to show my passport if I’m

stopped. Just try it.

I have loved so many other-

American stories, stories by

writers who have made me dare to

say it, to love fierce, discovering

the diamonds in the cottonfields,

becoming a writer-witness to

books burned before they are even

written. Those are the books we

have to write about Texas.

It is my magical reality that

someone like you will read this

letter, explaining what is almost

untranslatable about who I am,

encouraging those 12,000 writers

to find the beautiful in the ugly

and the nightmare in the dreaming

that is me, us, Texas.


Bárbara Renaud González

San Antonio, Tejas

2020 AWP Conference & Bookfair

Henry B. González Convention Center, San Antonio, TX

March 5–7, 2020


LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


Tenants Who Expose Racism & Unhealthy

Mold Are Called Liars by SAHA Bosses

By Pancho Valdez

EDITOR’S NOTE: Frank Valdez

has written about SAHA’s lack of

reponse to tenants of elder housing

in previous issues of La Voz

de Esperanza. Most recently in

the July/August 2019 issue .

After complaining for over six

months and our issues being

ignored by the local news

media, KABB TV reporter, Darian

Trotter, took a big step and

exposed how a lack of security

resulted in over a half dozen

cars being vandalized at Villa

Tranchese, a SAHA building for the aged and disabled. Over the

past year, SAHA (San Antonio Housing Authority) has cut its

security budget by 43%. Yet the SAHA administration building,

itself, has armed security, a metal detector and bullet proof glass

separating the public from the receptionist.

Vandalism at SAHA high rise apartments. Credit: news4sanantonio.com

Darien Trotter’s coworker, Morgan Burrell, went on to expose

the blatant racial discrimination at Chatham another SAHA building

located on the Southside that serves the aged and disabled. There, a

small group of Mexican American tenants use derogatory language

towards Black and White tenants when they were not allowed to use

the Community Room, an amenity paid for by all the tenants. These

culprits are snitches for SAHA and have a history of violence, but

are protected by Marie Flores the property manager. Upper SAHA

management is well aware of the discrimination, but ignores it.

Recently, the Texas Attorney General’s office reprimanded SAHA

for obstructing the discrimination case of James Hamilton a tenant

union activist.

At Blanco, also a building for the aged and disabled, SAHA

management has ignored a long history of mold and mildew in

the building. Its response is to paint over the mold which has

caused some residents to become ill. Ruth Rodríguez is one of

those who is ill. She has been struggling with SAHA for over

seven years. Her concerns caught the interest of District 1 City

Councilman Roberto Treviño. Treviño made an unannounced

visit to the Blanco apartments and saw for himself the mold and

other hazardous conditions.

Ruth Rodriguez was recently appointed to the SAHA Board

of Commissioners by Mayor Ron Nirenberg. She is also an active

member of the San Antonio Tenants Union.

Despite evidence from the State Attorney General and

Councilman Treviño, SAHA refuses to address the problems and

called us liars!

In late October a group of tenants from the Alazan-Apache

apartments publicly exposed SAHA’s illegal practice of lease

violations and evictions. These folks were also referred to as liars.

The San Antonio Housing Authority is a federally funded agency.

SAHA tenants also pay rent. We feel that SAHA is violating our

right to “a decent, sanitary and

safe living environment” as

mandated by HUD. We also

feel that SAHA bosses are not

qualified for their positions

as they are not respectful of

mostly Black and Brown low

income tenants.

At the local level Council

Representatives, Treviño and

Viagran, have been helpful.

At the federal level only

Congressman Joaquin Castro

has been helpful.

Despite long interviews

the Express-News hasn’t published much. The San Antonio Heron

has published info on Alazan-Apache as has the Rivard Report.

We need your assistance as well. Contact

SAHA CEO David Nisivoccia at: david_nisivoccia@SAHA.org.

Demand that he

respect the rights of all SAHA tenants. Also

contact the mayor and your Congressional


Together we can bring justice to

SAHA tenants!

Bio: Pancho Valdez is a retired social worker and resident of

SAHA. He is also an organizer for the San Antonio Tenants

Union. Submitted: December 17, 2019.



Boca. Cresta y Lengua.

Bone bridging teeth and palate.

The mouth.

A palette to create.

Tongue crosses the bridge

Creating friction.

Fricative. Friction. Fricción.

Voiced or Voiceless.

Ciera la boca

Be voiceless.


You can’t create problems that way.


—Nayelli Mejia

Bio: Nayelli Mejia is currently studying Linguistics at the

University of California, Santa Barbara. This poem is a product

of her fascination with language, especially the experiences

and emotions that our words have the power to convey.

Book Excerpts from:

In the Shadows of the


Growing Up Brown & Queer

by Dr. Lydia R. Otero

Publisher: Planet Earth Press | www.planetearthpressaz.com

Born in 1955, Lydia R. Otero knew they were queer the moment their consciousness had evolved

enough to formulate thoughts. Nicknamed La Butch by their family, Otero shares a unique perspective:

displaced by their queerness, but rooted in place through their relationship with Tucson, Arizona.

In this book, which combines personal memoir and the historical archive, Otero takes readers to a

world that existed on the physical and social margins and describes how a new freeway created a barrier

that greatly influenced formative aspects of Otero’s childhood. The author examines the multiple

effects of environmental racism, while the lack of services and low expectations of the schools Otero

attended are further examples of the discrimination directed at brown people. This book offers more

self-disclosure than Otero’s previous works, as the author’s memories and experiences of childhood take center stage.

Otero reveals the day-to-day survival mechanisms they depended upon, the exhilaration of first love, and the support

they received from key family members. The following are excerpts from their book with permission from the author

who will be at the Esperanza for a book reading on February 29, 2020 at 6:00pm. Books will be available for sale.

From Chapter 2:

“More Than an Address on the Map”

Water Issues

The arroyo forming the boundary of the original lot that my

mother purchased in 1941 ran toward and drained into the nearby

Santa Cruz River. It was part of what would become known as

the Julian Wash, although it was dry for most of the year. Water

flowed in the arroyos that made up this wash only during heavy

rains, and it did not cause problems for the people who lived in

our barrio. However, the ever-expanding Davis-Monthan Air

Force Base, located more than six miles from our neighborhood,

needed to address a problem with water flooding its airstrips

whenever heavy rains arrived. In the late 1940s, the city devised

a plan to divert the surplus water from the air force base to the

Santa Cruz River. The city and federal governments teamed up

to construct a seven-mile flood diversion channel to funnel the

water in a southwesterly direction. The newly excavated waterways

near Davis-Monthan were designed to connect to the Julian

Wash. 1

In 1952, when the project was completed, the arroyo

located behind our house could not handle the new quantities of

water, and it overflowed in all directions. Water ran through our

home and all the other homes on Farmington Road. Flooding in

this neighborhood persisted until waterways associated with the

Julian Wash were deepened, widened, and coated with concrete

in the 1960s. Eventually, water was channeled into a retention

basin closer to the river about a mile south of our house near 12 th

Avenue south of Silverlake Road. 2 Until then, people and cars

were often swept away in the unsafe washes on our side of town.

At nine years old, I witnessed my tío Tony use an extension cord

to save a man hanging onto a tree branch for dear life in the rapidly

moving water.

Despite these types of calamities, my parents did not pick

up and move. They considered acquiring land and building their

home to be a significant life accomplishment. It provided their

family with a stability not easily acquired by people in their

social class, and it was a major financial investment. After a

rainstorm, when the subsequent flooding subsided, they quietly

brought out the brooms, disconnected and pulled out the stove

and other appliances, moved beds and furniture, and started

cleaning up. As a small child, I had to join in by picking up the

tangled, often unidentifiable refuse that had gotten caught in the

cracks of the floor, or had wrapped itself around table legs, or was

lodged underneath the couch. My family’s endurance of these

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


Raised in an adobe house built

by their mother, the author takes

readers to a mid-20th century

barrio that existed on the social

margins of Tucson, Arizona

despite sitting a little more than

a mile away from the central

business district.

The house on Farmington Road

that Lydia Otero grew up in

offered them the opportunity

to observe the encroachment

of a major highway and

environmental hazards that

would impact the family’s quality

of life.

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


types of hardship exemplify how race and class became inscribed

in our barrio because elected officials and administrators felt

comfortable ignoring the environmental injustices. Although my

parents and other families in our barrio were investing in the city

through paying property and other taxes, the city was not equally

investing in them. This inequity was compounded further by the

fact that my parents, like many other brown families with an

enduring historical presence in Tucson, had spent their lives and

labor in helping to build the city that was so blatantly ignoring

their needs.

In 1951, city officials had approved the construction of

subdivisions on the east side, such as Wilmot Desert Estates.

They devoted resources and approved the delivery of utilities

and services to this new housing development near Speedway

and Wilmot, about ten miles east of downtown. But residents of

Barrio Kroeger Lane, located only a mile from downtown, still

needed to rely on wells for water. Thus, in 1951, my parents and

twenty-eight other property owners came together to voice their

concerns about not having water delivered to their homes. The

petitioners claimed that all the water in their area “now comes

from shallow wells and seems to be high in bacteria count.”

Outhouse waste seeping into the soil and finding its way into the

water table accounted for this contamination. The barrio residents

and petitioners also expressed concern that the lowering water

table in their neighborhood had caused some wells to dry out. 3

After this item appeared in the newspaper, city officials

granted the residents’ request and delivered water to our barrio.


Television brought Disney characters into people’s homes.

My mother often joined me to watch the nationally televised program

Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, which premiered

in 1961 and aired around 5:30 on Sunday afternoons. I enjoyed

the more comedic characters like Goofy, but found most of the

From Chapter 3:

“Werewolf Loose in the Barrio”

The lowering water table, however, had grave consequences for

the Kroeger Lane residents. When I was a child, our backyard

had many fruit trees and a milpa (garden) that provided us with

a variety of seasonal vegetables. We had grapes whose vines

attached themselves to trellises, added to the greenery, and made

for a cool and inviting outside space. We had a chicken coop,

and I often accompanied my mother when she collected the eggs

in the mornings. Unfortunately, I also witnessed my grandmita

slaughter chickens by grabbing them by the head and swinging

them in circles in the air. Although it was horrifying to watch,

I could not look away because her actions were so quick and

effective. Roosters would crow at all hours because everyone on

Farmington Road had chickens, which freely roamed the neighborhood

and even jumped fences.

By 1973, when I left for college, nothing grew in our yard.

The bushes that sprouted lilac flowers and honeysuckle vines had

dried up, and even the most resilient of plants, like oleanders, had

started their decline. By that time, people passing by could not

have helped but notice the emptiness that surrounded our small

three-bedroom white house with its blue wood roof. My mother

fought the barrenness and continued to plant all sorts of bushes

and trees that she bought and that relatives gifted her, but every

plant met the same fate. Chita finally had to make peace with

remembering the greenery that once surrounded her because, by

1973, only resilient weeds survived, and Farmington Road had

become an uninterrupted line of vacant lots.

other characters, including Mickey Mouse, rather boring. But I

religiously watched the show in the hope of learning more about

Pinocchio. Although I knew he was make-believe, I latched onto

the story because it sent a message of possibility. Most productions

focused on Pinocchio’s adventures and that his nose would

grow when he told a lie. The wooden puppet learned that engaging

in deceit never paid off. But Pinocchio also wished to become

human, a “real” boy.

One day, Pinocchio

woke up and everyone

around him celebrated

his transformation into

a boy. I loved that story.

Each night, I prayed for

a miracle that I would

wake up a boy in the

morning. In a world

that insisted on making

children fit into “boy”

and “girl” categories,

this hoped-for transformation

offered the

solution that would

make everything in my

life feel right and make

things easier for me.

Valentine’s birthday gathering, 1959. Author is in the middle, behind the cake.

Photo by Rita Otero Acevedo

I was the youngest of the six children that Chita raised, and I

was the only one that challenged assigned gender expectations.

My mother kept a close eye on me, and I often noted a pondering

look on her face. I observed her watching me once as I practiced

cowboy tricks for hours with the toy gun that my aunt Mercy

had gifted me for Christmas when I was seven. I kept an eye on

my mother too. Did she really think that she could stop me from

being different? Maybe she wished just as hard as I did for a remedy,

but I am sure we wished for different outcomes. Since I felt

out of place in the “girl” role, I often felt like I disappointed my

mother. I picked up on her embarrassment when she was asked

by distant family members why I did not wear dresses, why I did

not comb my hair, or why I did not look like a “girl.” She would

often respond that I was a tomboy or that I was going through a

phase. I internalized what I sensed as humiliation, and I compensated

by trying to persuade myself that I was superior to others—

and from somewhere else. Taking this position made me feel less

vulnerable to judgment, and

it also allowed me to distance

myself from societal expectations.

Also when I was around

seven, a friend of the family

came to our house and asked,

“So you’re Lily? [This was

a family nickname for me.]

You’ve grown so much. Are

you a boy or a girl?” I replied,

“I’m adopted.” Not able to

fight for my right to be who I

was, I retreated into an imaginary

world. Enthralled by

President John F. Kennedy, I

began to weave a story where

he had a brown child and sent

it away.

In my child’s mind, the possibility of change became my ally,

and I awaited the morning when things would be righted and I

would wake up a boy. Until that happened, I waited for a member

of the Kennedy family to knock on the door of our house on

Farmington Road to claim me.

“1951 Seen as Earliest Date for Flood Diversion Project,” Star, June 29,

1947, p. 2.

Dick Casey, “Diversion Channel Job Nears Half-Way Point: Ditch to Ease

Peril from D-M,” Star, May 21, 1964,

p. 19.

“Petition Asks for City Water,” Citizen, March 28, 1951, p. 6. Even in my

lifetime, the lack of city services created personal hardship. Without running water,

we bathed in large tin containers brought inside the kitchen. There are photos

of me looking too old to be wearing a diaper. I used to feel ashamed of these

pictures until I realized that we did not get an inside toilet until I was five years

old. I had two choices: the outhouse or the diaper. I cannot describe the horror of

looking down the hole in the seat in the outhouse, not to mention the stench. Our

house was not connected to the city’s sewer system until 1960.

In the Shadows of the Freeway:

Growing Up Queer & Brown

Reading & Book Signing by Author, Lydia R. Otero

February 29 2020, 6pm at Esperanza

In 2019, Arizona’s César E. Chávez Holiday Coalition

awarded to Lydia R. Otero the Dolores Huerta Legacy

Award for their activism and scholarship focusing on

bringing awareness to Mexican American and local

history. Being born and raised in Tucson with deep

family roots on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border

inspired the author’s interest in regional history. In

2011, the Border Regional Library Association presented

a Southwest Book Award to Otero for La Calle:

Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest

City. The author is currently a tenured professor in the

Department of Mexican American Studies at the University

of Arizona and lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Books will be available for purchase at the Esperanza and are also available online at Barnes & Noble and

Amazon, as well as from the publisher, Planet Earth Press.

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


A Centrist Democratic Candidate is

Needed in 2020 to Beat Trump and

Change the Rhetoric

by Elliot Benjamin, Ph.D., Ph.D. January, 2020

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


Author’s Note: This article is a modified and extended version

of my previous two articles that can be found at bit.ly/integrative_

dem and bit.ly/impeach_finally (cf. 7 ). References and notes for this

article are available from lavoz@esperanzacenter.org (see also the

above websites).

In September, 2019 I facilitated a discussion in London sponsored

by the British Association

of Humanistic Psychology

that was stimulated by my talk

entitled Creative Maladjustment,

Progressive Politics,

and Humanistic Psychology 1 .

The discussion was engaging,

stimulating, lively, and was

filled with much passion and

sensitive listening, as many

of us shared our respective

alarming concerns about the

present drastic political situations

in the United States and

Great Britain. The discussion

topics ranged through merging

progressive political action

into humanistic psychology,

the dehumanization of excessive

social media manipulation, hate crimes stimulated by the

rhetoric of U.S. president Donald Trump and U.K. prime minister

Boris Johnson, the normalization of prejudice, discrimination,

and violence, the escalation of violent extremist reactionary

movements, the destruction of democracy, and a number of other

topics. But what struck me the most as I think about all that I

experienced that evening, was a repeated passionate plea from

Brian Thorne, who is an international humanistic psychology

leader and authority on the work of Carl Rogers 2 . Brian Thorne

eloquently, passionately, and persistently conveyed that what was

needed was a “change in the rhetoric”; i.e., a change in rhetoric

from hatred and violence to compassion and love 2 .

When Brian eloquently conveyed his argument for a change

in the rhetoric, I immediately thought about the U.S. democratic

presidential candidacy of Marianne Williamson 3 , and I portrayed

my thoughts to the group. Marianne Williamson has been well

known in American “new age” circles as a spiritual guru for over

40 years 4 , and her reaching the presidential debate stage for the

first two democratic primary debates was quite impactful to me.

True to her character and her political writings 3 , Marianne spoke

up in the debates, whenever she was given any speaking time, for

the “spiritual” needs of America, as she talked about the “dark

psychic force” that is permeating us (Corasaniti, 2019) and the

need for Americans to “reach into our hearts to reclaim our love

for democracy and the passion for the possible” 3 .

However, at the present time in the U.S. we are smack in

the middle of whether we are going to be able to successfully

navigate Brian Thorne’s plea for a “change in the rhetoric.” President

Trump has been impeached in the House 5 , though I think

it is highly unlikely that he

will be removed from office

in the Senate (Drew, 2019;

Dartagnan, 2019a). But for

me the worst nightmare is the

thought that through Trump’s

wealth and political influence,

his social media manipulation

inclusive of support from

Facebook 6 , the very possible

renewed election interference

from Russia and other countries

(Falconer, 2019), and

numerous additional disturbing

scenarios, inclusive of the

horribly dangerous scenario of

a possible war with Iran stemming

from Trump’s January

2, 2020 unilateral decision to

assassinate Iran’s top general (Slavin, 2020), it is quite possible

that we could have Trump for 4 more years.

In this regard I have serious concerns about the prospect of

defeating Trump in 2020 by a Democratic presidential candidate

who is “too progressive,” in particular by Elizabeth Warren or

Bernie Sanders 7 . In spite of the fact that my own personal leanings

certainly favor the political platform of Warren or Sanders, I

am very afraid that the system of the U.S. electoral college with

its priority of reaching a sufficient number of middle-of-theroaders

in the battleground states could easily backfire in terms

of defeating Trump if the Democratic candidate is too progressive

7 . Along these lines, a number of Republicans, spearheaded

by attorney general William Barr, have made continuous efforts

to try to invalidate the whole impeachment process and take the

rhetorical emphasis away from impeachment and move it toward

criminally investigating the “origins of the Mueller report” (Dartagan,

2019b; Glasser, 2019; Sherman & Palmer, 2019; Sumner,

2019). And it appears from a Gallop poll released on the morning

of the impeachment vote that showed an increase in Trump’s

favorability ratings and a decrease in support of impeachment

(Cillizza, 2019), that these Republicans may have been at least

partially successful.

The picture is certainly very complicated and difficult to


NOV. 3RD 2020

I am very afraid that the system of the U.S. electoral college with its priority of reaching a

sufficient number of middle-of-the-roaders in the battleground states could easily backfire

in terms of defeating Trump if the Democratic candidate is too progressive 7 . Credit: Bernie

Sanders, Miller Center; Elizabeth Warren, Buttigieg, Stoyer, Gage Skidmore

know what is true. For

example, there was a

December 10, 2019 article

entitled Donald Trump

Beats Every Democrat

Frontrunner in Three Key

Battleground States Amid

Impeachment: Poll (Walker,

2019). However, the

poll conducted in this article

was done by a Republican

public affairs firm,

and a number of things

about the methodology

is not known, such as the

survey questions, response

rates, etc. (Walker, 2019).

But then again, a gallop

poll conducted a few hours

before the 12/18/19 House

impeachment vote appears

to reinforce the alarming

thrust of this article (Cillizza,

2019). On the other

hand, a Christian Evangelical

magazine, Christianity

Today, published an article

calling for the removal

of Trump from office

(Galli, 2019). But then a number of follow-up articles in The

New York Times conveyed that this magazine represented quite

a small portion of evangelicals, although Trump is taking it quite

seriously with a harsh condemnation of the Christian magazine

that published the article and his initiation of an Evangelicals for

Trump coalition (Dias, 2019; Dias & Peters, 2019; Posner, 2019).

However, Christianity Today got a big subscription boost that

was three times the number of subscribers they lost as a response

to their article (Pennyfarthing, 2019). So is the tide starting to

turn against Trump? I certainly hope so, but this leads me back to

my contention that a Democratic centrist candidate is needed to

beat Trump in 2020 and change the rhetoric.

What concerns me the most is related to the realities of

the U.S. electoral college, which boils down to the disturbing

scenario that to win the 2020 presidential election it is necessary

to reach enough voters in a handful of battleground states 7 .

I don’t think the strong pro-Trump supporter base is going to

change their adoration of Trump no matter what violations Trump

has committed, but I think there are a number of voters in these

battleground states who perhaps are “mild” Trump supporters

or bona fide middle-of-the-roaders, and it is these people that I

think the Democrats absolutely need to persuade to vote Democratic

in 2020, or at least stay home and not vote for Trump 7 . In

spite of my own personal inclinations toward Bernie Sanders

and Elizabeth Warren, I believe that either of these candidates

will alienate the above voters in the battleground states that are

desperately needed to beat Trump 8 . I see the picture even more

bleak if we have a gay Democratic candidate, as Pete Buttigieg

has recently been on a surge (Nilson, 2019), and I certainly

don’t think that billionaire centrist Democratic candidate Mike

Bloomberg is going to reach these voters 9 . I think that Democratic

centrist candidate Amy

Klobuchar has some qualities

that could appeal to these

middle-of-the-roaders, but I

also think, unfortunate as it

is, that these voters need a

“safe white male candidate”

if there is any hope of wooing

them away from the “cult

of Trumpism” (Benjamin,

2018). But perhaps a Democratic

ticket of Biden/Klobuchar

would be the strongest

case against Trump.

As I conveyed in my

earlier essay 7 , this leads me

once again to promote Joe

Biden as the best (perhaps

only) possibility to get rid

of Trump. Yes, Biden gets

mixed up and gets himself

into trouble by too frequently

saying things unintentionally

that are disturbing to

large segments of the voting

population 10 . But I don’t think

that Biden lacks the mental

faculties to be an effective

president of theU.S., and I

was relieved to see him give a strong gaffe-free December, 2019

debate performance (Podhoretz, 2019). There are certainly things

that I find disappointing in Biden, not the least of which is his

support of Israel in regard to the issues of the mistreatment of

Palestinians (Staff, 2019). But my priority is to beat Trump in

2020, and I believe that if the candidate is not Biden then Trump

will be able to effectively keep enough of his base and middle-ofthe-roaders

in the battleground states to pull off another 4 years.

For it would be “crazy Bernie” the communist and “Pocahontas”

(Trump’s condescending nickname for Elizabeth Warren) taking

away your health care insurance choices, destroying the American

dream of success, letting immigrants come into the country to

take your jobs and kill your children, etc. Trump knows very well

that Biden would be a severe challenge for him, and this is why

I believe he has done all in his power to get rid of Biden, which

is how impeachment finally came out of the woodwork and succeeded.

In conclusion, I will say that I am trying my best to not sink

into calamity thinking, such as move to Canada, etc., but rather to

maintain a positive state of mind that the “change in the rhetoric”

toward human empathy and compassion that Brian Thorne

eloquently called for during my London presentation will prevail,

along with the defeat of Donald Trump in 2020.

BIO: Elliot Benjamin is a philosopher, mathematician, musician,

counselor, writer, with Ph.Ds in mathematics and psychology and

the author of over 150 published articles.

EDITOR’S Note: We encourage readers to send in their opinion

articles on the 2020 Presidential race. However, La Voz de Esperanza

does not endorse candidates for any office.

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


Children of color already make up the

majority of kids in many US states

by Rogelio Sáenz and Dudley L. Poston, Jr.

Demographers project that whites will become a minority

in the U.S. in around

2045, dropping below

50% of the population.

That’s a quarter-century

from now – still a long

way away, right?

Not if you focus on

children. White children

right now are on the eve

of becoming a numerical


The U.S. Census

Bureau projects that,

by the middle of 2020,

nonwhites will account

for the majority of the

nation’s 74 million children.

The U.S. white majority is shrinking. Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Children in 2018

The share of the U.S. non-Hispanic white population has fallen

since the mid-20th century.

Between 2010 and 2018, the number of white children fell by

2.8 million, or 7.1%. In contrast, nonwhite children grew by 6.1%.

In 2018, the last year for which data are currently available,

the proportion of people in the U.S. under 18 years of age was just

barely more white than nonwhite.

However, children under 11 were more nonwhite than white.

In almost one-third of U.S. states, nonwhite children outnumber

all white children under 18 in 14 states – including Nevada,

Hawaii, Georgia and Maryland – plus the District of Columbia.

Nonwhite children currently outnumber white children ages 0

to 4 in these 15 states and in Louisiana. In the next few years, the

same will be true in North Carolina, Illinois and Virginia, followed

a little later by Connecticut and Oklahoma.

In the coming decades, the percentage of all white children will

drop – from 49.8% in 2020 to 36.4% in 2060.

A growing trend

Why will white children become the numerical minority?

We draw on the insights of demographer Kenneth Johnson and

his colleaguesto understand this trend.

First, the declining number of white children reflects the significant

aging of the white population.

Whites in the U.S. have a median age of 43.6, much higher

than those of all other racial or ethnic groups. Latinos, in particular,

are much younger, with a median age of 29.5.

Slightly more than one-fifth of whites are age 65 and older,

while elders account for only about one-tenth of nonwhites. Indeed,

today in the U.S. there are more white elders than white children.

The older age of whites is mainly due to fewer white births than

white deaths. Between July 2017 and July 2018, there were 0.88

white births in the U.S. for every 1 white death. In the case of Latinos,

the ratio was 5 births for every 1 death.

Whites also have

lower fertility rates than

most other racial and

ethnic groups.

Even if white women

increased their fertility

levels, their actual numbers

of births would not

go up that much, because

there is a shrinking number

of white women of

childbearing age.

Only 41% of white

women aged 15 and older

are in the childbearing

ages of 15 to 44, when

most births occur, compared to 57% of nonwhite women.

What the future holds

In the coming decades, people of color will have an increasing

presence in all U.S. institutions, in higher education, the workforce

and the electorate.

Americans are already seeing the consequences of these demographic

shifts in higher education. Between 2009 and 2017,

the number of white undergraduate students in the U.S. dropped

by 1.7 million, while the number of Latino undergraduates rose

by 1.1 million.

In addition, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections show

that, between 2014 and 2024, the white share of the civilian labor

force is declining, while the share of nonwhites is estimated to rise.

Furthermore, people of color will increasingly be part of the voter

rolls and slates of political office seekers in the coming decades.

Despite these expected changes, one thing is certain. The white

population is not going to disappear. The U.S. Census Bureau

projects that whites will still be the largest racial or ethnic group,

accounting for 44.3% of the nation’s population in 2060 and outnumbering

Latinos, the second largest group, by 67.9 million.

The reality is that whites will not dominate demographically as

they have throughout most of U.S. history, when they accounted

for as much as 90% of the country’s population. Roughly speaking,

the share of the U.S. white population in 2060 will be the same as

it is now in Las Vegas, about 44%.

Bios: Rogelio Sáenz, Professor of Demography, The University

of Texas at San Antonio and Dudley L. Poston, Jr. Professor of

Sociology, Texas A&M University.

NOTE: This article was published by The Conversation that publishes

under a Creative Commons — allowing for republication

of articles. Check out: theconversation.com/us

San Antonio International Woman’s Day March

Sunday March 8th, 12 noon

Plaza Del Zacate, 500 W Commerce St., San Antonio, TX 78207

This year’s theme, Mujeres Marcharán: Nuestra Historia, Nuestro Futuro, celebrates the 30

year history of the International Women’s Day March in San Antonio and connects it to the ongoing presence and

inspiration of the women and families and activist gente and organizations of San Antonio. Following the footsteps of

nuestras hermanas y luchadoras del pasado and linked arm and arm with our hermanas internacionales presente, we gather

this March 8th to show that the struggle for gender equality and social, economic, and ecological justice is intersectional

and constant – not just about one group or one event. It is about building a different world, one in which all people and the

planet that sustains us are properly respected. We march to educate and to inspire, to come together and take to the streets

to proclaim we are united, we are determined, and we will not be ignored!

We hope you will join us! The SAIWD Collective / FB.com/SAWomenWillMarch

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


* community meetings *

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


Bexar Co. Green Party Contact

210.440.1195 | www.bexargreens.org

Celebration Circle 11am,

Sun. @ Say Sí, 1518 S. Alamo.

Meditation, 7:30pm Wed. Friends

Meeting House,7052 Vandiver |


DIGNITY SA Mass, 5:30pm, Sun.

@ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church,

1018 E. Grayson St. | 210.340.2230

PRIDE Center-Adult Wellness

Support Group 7-9pm, 4th Mon.,

Lions Field, 2809 Broadway |


Energía Mía Call 512.838-3351

Fuerza Unida 710 New Laredo Hwy.

www.fuerzaunida.org | 210.927.2294


Habitat for Humanity 6pm for

volunteers on 1st Tues., Habitat

Office, 311 Probandt

Interfaith Welcome Coalition

1st Presbyterian Church, 404

S. Alamo, 10am, 2nd Thurs.


LULAC Orgullo LGBTQ Council

6:45pm, 3rd Thurs. @ Pride Ctr. 1303

McCullough #160, Metropolitan Prof.

Bldg | info@lulac22198.org

NOW SA meets 3rd Wed.. See FB |

satx.now for info | 210. 802. 9068 |


Pax Christi, SA meets monthly on

Sat. | 210.460.8448

Metropolitan Community Church

10:30am services & Sunday school,

611 East Myrtle | 210.472.3597

Overeaters Anonymous meets Mon.

in Spanish & daily in English.

I would like to donate $________

each month by automatic bank withdrawal.

Contact me to sign up.

Name _________________________________________

Address _______________________________________

City, State, Zip __________________________________

For more information, call 210-228-0201.

Make checks payable to the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center.

Send to 922 San Pedro, SA TX 78212.

Donations to the Esperanza are tax deductible.


PFLAG 7pm, 1st Thurs.University

Presbyterian Church 300 Bushnell Ave. |


Parents of Murdered Children meets

2nd Mon. @ Balcones Hts. Justice

Center, 1st flr. Courtroom, 3300

Hillcrest | www.pomcsanantonio.org

Rape Crisis Center 4606 Centerview

Ste 200, Hotline: 210.349.7273 |

210.521.7273 sschwab@rapecrisis.com

The Religious Society of Friends

10am., Sun. @ Friends Meeting

House, 7052 N. Vandiver. |


S.A. Gender Assoc. 6-9pm, 1st &

3rd Thurs.@ Metropolitan Comm.

Church, 611 E. Myrtle St. |


SA AIDS Fdn 818 E. Grayson St.,

offers free Syphilis & HIV testing |

210.225.4715 | www.txsaaf.org

SA Women Will March www.

sawomenwillmarch.org | 830.488.7493

SGI-USA LGBT Buddhists 10am, 2nd

Sat. at @ 7142 San Pedro Ave., Ste 117 |


S.N.A.P. (Survivors Network of

those Abused by Priests) 2nd Tues.

Contact Patti Koo at 956-648-7385 |


Voice for Animals Call 210.737.3138

or www.voiceforanimals.org

SA’s LGBTQA Youth 6:30pm, Tues.

at Comty Room, 2nd fl. | Parents/

Caregivers biweekly, Tues., 6:30pm

in Conf. Rm, Woodlawn Pointe 702

Donaldson Ave. | 210-303-0550.


I would like to send $________ each

___ month

___ quarter

___ six-months

through the mail.

Phone ____________________________


Give a tax deductible

gift in 2020!

Give to the Esperanza in spirit of

solidarity so we can continue to

speak out, organize and fight for our

communities for another 30 Years. Your

support is needed NOW more than

ever! Thank you for your gifts!

Send donations to Esperanza

Esperanza Peace

And Justice Center

922 San Pedro Avenue

San Antonio, Tx 78212

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email: fundraising @esperanzacenter.org

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Rinconcito de Esperanza

Notas Y Más

February 2020

Brief news items on upcoming community events.

Send items for Notas y Más to: lavoz@esperanzacenter.org

or mail to: 922 San Pedro, San Antonio, TX 78212.

The deadline is the 8th of each month.

2020 AWP Conference Special Events

Macondo and Gemini Ink:

A Celebration of the Alebrijes of San Antonio

March 7 @ 3:20 pm - 4:35 pm

With a spotlight on the Macondo Writers Workshop, founded by Sandra Cisneros, Gemini

Ink presents a literary history that is uniquely San Antonio. This reading features

groundbreaking multicultural, Latinx voices who have made significant contributions to

contemporary letters and, like the alebrijes of Mexican folk art tradition, walk between

worlds of arts, activism, and academia to promote compassion. Participants include:

Gregg Barrios • John Phillip Santos • Norma E. Cantú • Liliana Valenzuela • Luis J.

Rodríguez. bit.ly/gemini_alebrijes

HemisFair Ballroom C3 • Henry B. González Center

200 E Market St • San Antonio, TX

Laureates for the Pueblo on a River

March 7 @ 8:30 pm - 9:45 pm

Sponsored by Gemini Ink & the City of San Antonio Dept of Arts & Culture, this

event will convene 4 award-winning San Antonio poets laureate to discuss the unique

platform the laureateship offered them. Participants include: Jim LaVilla-Havelin • Dr.

Carmen Tafolla • Octavio Quintanilla • Jenny Browne. bit.ly/AWP_river

Lila Cockrell Theatre • Henry B. González Center

200 E Market St • San Antonio, TX


In 1996 Martha Prentiss

printed her first

catalogue featuring over

20 years of her own

designs and jewelry. Of

her work she stated: “My goal has been

to create designs that are simple,

elegant and wearable. In my work,

there is focus on contrasts between

silver and gold, between smooth and

textured between light and dark.”

After 40 years of producing and

designing new work, Martha Prentiss

Jewelry designs will live on through the

JANE IRIS Collection, who has exclusive

rights for the continued manufacturing and

sale of the entire Martha Prentiss Jewelry

line as it becomes available.

A portion of the profits on each

available item sold is to profit the

Lewy Body Dementia medical research

and various local lesbian and

feminist organizations. Find her jewelry

designs currently for sale through:


February 13 @ 8:00 am –June 28 @ 5:00 pm

Free Admission to the Public

Centro de Artes • 101 S. Santa Rosa • San Antonio, TX

Los Maestros, curated by Centro Cultural Aztlan, focuses on 3 of

the founders of San Antonio’s Chicano arts movement of the 60s

and 70s: Jesse Almazán, Jose Esquivel, and Rudy Treviño highlighting

the unique contributions and histories of these individual

artists. http://bit.ly/chicano_id

Call for stories & photos: Women & Activism in the Westside

August 11, 1933. Mujeres picket Finck

Cigar Factory, 602 Buena Vista St.,

pleading for better working conditions.

L-1476-A.SA Light Photo Collection.

UTSA Special Collections – ITC.

One hundred years ago, on June 4, 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment, prohibiting the

states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the U.S. on the basis

of sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920 and became law on August 26, 1920. However, voting

rights continued to be denied to people on the basis of racial and ethnic origin for years to come,

making this a bittersweet victory for the many women of color who fought for women’s suffrage.

In Summer 2020, to mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the Museo del Westside

will present a new exhibit on Women & Activism in the Westside - telling the fuller story of

women’s political engagement despite obstacles. If you have a story of a Westside woman activist

you’d like to share for this project, contact museo@esperanzacenter.org or call 210-228-

0201. Deadline for photos and stories is June 30th. We can provide assistance with photo

scanning and recording of oral histories.

Opening Summer 2020

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•


LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 1•

See Pg. 4

for more info




Feb. 15

Association of Writers

& Writing Programs

2020 AWP


& Bookfair

Mar. 5-7

See Pg. 15

for more info

Support the

Esperanza and

the work that

we do. .



Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

922 San Pedro San Antonio TX 78212

210.228.0201 • www.esperanzacenter.org




See Pg. 13

for more info

Non-Profit Org.

US Postage


San Antonio, TX

Permit #332

Haven’t opened La Voz in a while? Prefer to read it online? Wrong address?

TO CANCEL A SUBSCRIPTION EMAIL lavoz@esperanzacenter.org CALL: 210.228.0201

8pm • $7

Esperanza • 922 San Pedro • SA TX

Call or Visit our Website for More Info

Westside Community History & Preservation Speaker Series

The Esperanza and Westside Preservation Alliance Present:

In the Shadows of the Freeway: Growing Up Queer & Brown

Reading & Book Signing by Author, Lydia R. Otero

In this book, which combines personal memoir and the historical

archive, Otero takes readers to a world that existed on the physical and

social margins and describes how a new freeway created a barrier that

greatly influenced formative aspects of Otero’s childhood.

Saturday Feb. 29, 2020

6pm at the Esperanza

Q & A follows

Books available for sale

Lydia R. Otero

author of La Calle: Spatial

Conflicts and Urban Renewal in

a Southwest City, will be reading

from their new book.

“Written with a cool, unpretentious ease, Otero’s memoir makes a notable contribution to Queer and Latinx Studies while also

reaching wide audiences interested in the politics of urban planning and development from a brown queer lens. This is queer of

color theory born in the body and borders of the Southwest. A vital, unique, powerful memoir.”

—Emma Pérez, author of The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History

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