By Belinda Passafaro
On the cusp of Women’s History Month, the Latino Leadership Circle presented their first ever public event with author, Karen Valentin, who shared vignettes of her life and faith through the lens of her rich Latina heritage from her new book, “The Flavor of our Faith”. Following her readings, was a panel of outstanding Latinas sharing their insights and reflections on intergenerational relationships, culture, and faith. What emerged that evening was a beautiful, intricate, tapestry woven together by our individual and collective journeys as women, as Latinas, and as Christians.
With over 70 attendees, it was a special evening filled with affirmation, celebration, reflection, and questions/issues that we, as Latinas, yet wrestle with in our ongoing struggle for equality and justice on all fronts. We embraced the beauty of our rich heritage – the strength, resiliency, and faith of the many “sheroes” in our lives. We embraced the struggle as well. The struggles shared were familiar ones of old world perspective vs. new world perspective, cultural expectations vs. societal expectations, legalism vs. grace, and the Christian lens vs. cultural lens. We voiced the need to “unlearn” some things that have kept us historically in “the box” of predetermined roles and inequality, the need to continue to ask the questions and discuss pertinent issues within authentic circles, and to allow Christ to redeem our culture as well. He surely came to save that which was lost, that is not solely for the salvation of individuals but includes all that encompasses our lives, including our cultural identities as unique members of the Body of Christ.
The evening concluded with a wonderful time of fellowship, sharing, and book signings. Special shout out and special thanks to the amazing women who joined with me as panelists that evening, Mayra Lopez Humphreys, Sandra Luz Otero, and Karen Valentin. You are all my sisters! Like a wonderful “sancocho”, we each added our own particular ingredients and flavor to the evening. As is true of our Latinaness, it was rich, it was diverse, it was extremely satisfying and yes, left us wanting more. Until the next time…
Belinda Passafaro, aka “Trinity”