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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|Human Rights Advocate's Life Topic of Oct. 16 Talk|
Julia Esquivel was scheduled to speak at this Fig Tree Faith in Action Dialogue Series but is ill and will not come to Spokane from Guatemala for the events. However, the series will continue as planned with Gloria Kinsler as the keynote speaker. The news release below details Kinsler’s presentations.
Gloria Kinsler says her life was changed by the 13 years she lived in Guatemala teaching at the Seminario Evangelico Presbiterian because of her relationship with human rights activist Julia Esquivel. Kinsler will visit Spokane this month to discuss Esquivel’s life as part of the Fig Tree’s 2007 Faith in Action Dialogue Series. Esquivel was scheduled to speak, but became ill and must remain in Guatemala.
Kinsler, who lives in California, will read poetry and share stories about Esquivel in a presentation titled “Lives Intersecting: The Story and Poetry of Julia Esquivel.”
Kinsler will speak at the following locations and times :
3 p.m., Monday, Oct. 15 at the Women’s Hearth (920 W. Second Ave.);
Kinsler also will take part in a 4:30 p.m. workshop, Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Bioneers Conference at Spokane Falls Community College.
The series is offered through collaboration with Women Walking Together, Gonzaga, Whitworth, New Priorities Foundation, the Inland Northwest Presbytery and the Kalispel Tribe.
As an educator, pastoral social worker and writer during three decades of resistance to Guatemalan dictators, Esquivel spoke on behalf of people who were threatened, traumatized and murdered. She suffered and offered hope as she spoke out for human rights, economic justice and political power for Guatemala’s indigenous and poor. While some took up arms, she took up the pen and edited a magazine, Dialogo, to witness to God’s justice and compassion, and to bring healing to her land.
In 1980, death-threats forced her into exile, first in a monastic community in Switzerland, and then in Mexico and Nicaragua. She traveled in Europe and North America, telling of the “Guatemalan holocaust.” Returning to Guatemala in 1992, she started a ministry of reconciliation, expressing truth and compassion in her poetry to stir wisdom in the face of suffering and expressing a longing for love and hope to prevail.
In addition to her time in Guatemala, Kinsler also worked in Central America for 26 years with her husband as Presbyterian missionaries. A graduate of the University of Washington and the Princeton Theological Seminary, Kinsler also was sanctuary coordinator for the Southern California Ecumenical Council working with Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees. From 1987- 2000, she was invited to Costa Rica by the Seminario Biblico Latinoamericano to lead delegations of Presbyterian churches, presbyteries, synods, solidarity groups and seminaries throughout Central America. Now retired, she serves on the board of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, which is working on Sabbath Economics and Community Investing.
For more information, contact Gonzaga’s office of intercultural relations at (509) 323-3667 or the Fig Tree at (509) 535-1813.