Event Category: Religous/Spiritual
“Living and Writing a Migrant’s Life”
Dr. Francisco Jiménez
Sunday, Nov. 10, 10:30 a.m.
Hotel La Aldea
by Jon Sievert
At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, Education Activist/Author/Professor Dr. Francisco Jiménez relates his experiences as an undocumented immigrant to the U.S. as a child and the transformative power of education.
A prolific, multi-award-winning author born in San Pedro, Tlaquepaque, Mexico, Dr. Jimenez will describe his family’s life as migrant farmworkers picking strawberries, grapes, and cotton, and how that informed his writing.
As one of a small community of scholars who understands the educational barriers faced by Mexican-Americans from personal experience, Dr. Jiménez has been an agent for change in academia and public education for 30 years. Through his roles with the Modern Language Association (MLA), the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the California Council for the Humanities, the Western Association Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC), and Santa Clara University (SCU), he has been a dedicated and effective voice for multi-cultural dialogue in the arts and education. Currently he is Professor Emeritus at SCU.
Francisco’s work to develop a more inclusive literary canon means that today’s Mexican American students can see their stories represented as part of the American narrative. His advocacy for a multi-cultural education at SCU and elsewhere ensures that students of different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds can appreciate the perspectives of all kinds of people.
His four-book autobiographical series about his youth—The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child; Breaking Through; Reaching Out; and Taking Hold—is included in the American Library Association Booklist‘s 50 Best Young Adult Books of All Time. They are regularly assigned in classrooms across the country to provide inspiration for a generation of students, particularly Latinos and children of recent immigrants. When he discusses the significance of his work, the conversation always returns to the transformative power of education for individual students and the future vibrancy of American democracy.
Dr. Jiménez is also a recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, given to writers, artists, thinkers, and activists whose work captures Steinbeck’s empathy, commitment to democratic values, and belief in the dignity of people who by circumstance are pushed to the fringes. Past recipients include playwright Arthur Miller, musician Bruce Springsteen, filmmaker Ken Burns, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, and United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta.
Pianist Paula Peace will be service pianist and Guest Musician for the day is singer/guitarist Yoremem Jocobi.
For more information about the UUFSMA, including our Sunday morning Children’s Religious Education program, Social Action outreach, weekly discussion groups, social activities, and Care Team, join us any Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Hotel La Aldea or check out our website at uufsma.org.
Our fellowship was born in 1987 when a small group of expatriate religious liberals came together to meet as Unitarian Universalists in San Miguel de Allende. The fellowship has been active and thriving ever since. Every UU church has it’s own flavor, and we are no exception. We are a combination of expats and visitors, each actively engaged and contributing to this wonderful Mexican community we love. Because there is a coming, going, and returning aspect, our spiritual community is extremely fluid. There is a magic in San Miguel which draws us in and binds us together—both as members of the church and of the larger community. Our programming is led by visiting ministers, community leaders, and church members, so the variety is lively. We have opportunities to meet as UU’s each week at discussion groups, breakfasts, luncheons, and in various other ways. Depending on the season, attendance fluctuates between 40 and 140. Our primary focus is on funding social action within the surrounding community. We love good music, good discussion, good food, and having visitors. We invite you to join us any Sunday morning.
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