Activism, Alliance Building, and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center
The longevity of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio, Texas, suggests that it is possible for a social change organization to simultaneously address racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, imperialism, environmental justice, and peace—and to succeed. Activism, Alliance Building, and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center uses ethnographic research to provide an instructive case study of the importance and challenges of confronting injustice in all of its manifestations. Through building and maintaining alliances, deploying language strategically, and using artistic expression as a central organizing mechanism, The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center demonstrates the power of multi-issue organizing and intersectional/coalitional consciousness. Interweaving artistic programming with its social justice agenda, in particular, offers Esperanza a unique forum for creative and political expression, institutional collaborations, and interpersonal relationships, which promote consciousness raising, mobilization, and social change. This study will appeal to scholars of communication, Chicana feminism, and ethnography.
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