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martes, mayo 09, 2006

An awards celebration 




I got the following e-mail a while ago:


The Men’s Resource Center for Change (MRC) will be holding its Tenth Annual Challenge & Change Celebration on Sunday, May 7th. The dinner provides an opportunity for Pioneer Valley community members to come together to recognize a man, woman and young man who are making significant contributions to strengthen the social fabric of our community and society. The dinner also serves as a celebration of the work being done by the Men’s Resource Center itself.

This year, the MRC is honoring Luis-Orlando Isaza of Holyoke Community College for his leadership as a social change educator and activist; Felice Yeskel of Class Action for her commitment to breaking down class barriers; and Raul Matta of the American Friends Service Committee for his efforts as a peace builder and peer educator.
I decided to go celebrate Orlando's and Felice's work. I was glad I did! About 300 people were there to hear each of these amazing social activists reflect on their life. Felice made an interesting analogy between money and energy... and how she is not afraid to speak about class issues... that is actually her expertise. I realized that in the discourse of social justice there must be the oppressed, and if I accept the discourse... I really end up oppressed... so I deny the discourse as a means of liberation. Orlando talked about his story with abuse and his transcending it with love. It was nice to celebrate with these friends whom I've known for many years. Looking at the audience I recognized a handful of people which brought about a bittersweet sense of my being in foreign ground- a usual sense.



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