Survivor of Guatemalan civil war
Coincides with art exhibit featuring late Ecuadorian activist Oswaldo GuayasamínThe Tennessean reports here that Rigoberta Menchu, winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, will be speaking Thursday night at 7pm at Benton Chapel at Vanderbilt University on the subject of "Healing Communities Torn by Racism and Violence." Menchu is a pioneer in bringing the plight of indigenous people to the international stage, having suffered through atrocities in her native country of Guatemala during that country's civil war.
From the Tennessean:
Now living in Guatemala City, Menchú was invited to speak at Vanderbilt in conjunction with an exhibit opening devoted to the late Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamín. Like Menchú, Guayasamín was an outspoken champion of social justice, and the two became friends before he died in 1999. She remains committed to keeping his legacy alive.Over the past few days, at least two Nashville blogs have covered the 1999 controversy over Menchu's autobiography (here and here).
For Nashville's Latino community, Menchú's appearance is of special significance, said Renata Soto, executive director of the local nonprofit agency Conexión Américas.
"It's very timely that she comes to Nashville as someone who has been speaking on behalf of the voiceless."
"Menchú's message is clear about the consequences of racism and injustice, and it brings attention to the fact that right here in our own community, we have a ways to go to achieve some of those ideals."
Photo: The Nobel Foundation