Three women hold the title of 2019 Peace Laureates in San Antonio: . Rebecca Flores, who has spent most of her adult life championing for worker’s rights; Nickie Valdez, who works for the LGBTQ community in the Catholic Church; and Patricia Castillo, who has tackled domestic violence issues for decades. All three had to learn to lead and make a difference.
And I do remember that farmworkers.
When we worked in the fields with hundreds of other people working also alongside of us.
There was no field.
There was no field toilet.
There was no drinking potable drinking water.
Our housing we were all.
All seven of us were in one room.
When I became director united farm workers in Texas.
It was seventy five.
I had just had a baby and I was pregnant with my second one.
So we had had a big ruckus in South Texas in the the leader who was there before me.
It was a man quit and whatever.
And so Cesar came down.
He said OK Rebecca you're gonna be the director.
I said Cesar Look at me I just had these two little babies.
I said I can't I can't do it if I do it.
I won't do it for very long.
He says to me Rebecca.
Dolores has 12 children.
So I kind of like that kind of let me out fast.
I became an activist quite by accident because I wanted people to understand how our community felt.
We were always silent.
We were always told to be different.
To change and not behave the way we'd be a it's a group that the church should not.
And really the religion doesn't exclude.
But the hierarchy does.
And so my I think my responsibility is to speak up and speak out against the clergy and whatever chance I get.
I said that the church needs to stop treating the LGBT community like lepers at the edge of the village.
I know I raised some eyebrows but that's the way it works in crunch time.
They kept the lepers into the village and they're still doing that.
People tend to look at that as a private matter as something that happens within the confines of a home.
But in reality it's quite the opposite.
Because if people are suffering within the confines of their home that has a ripple effect that spreads out throughout the whole planet.
But if you live in a home where you're being battered and abused and mistreated and shamed and violated and assaulted then your chances of reaching that potential are greatly diminished.
And unfortunately those are the people that walk around the world with us and that's when a lot of harm is done to our world.
They are chosen for their long jetty that they have been about this kind of work whatever that might mean but they've been doing it generally for decades.
So we also look for diversity but that they're a person of faith and they're working out of their faith in some deeper purpose that moves them forward.
Many issues in this country and in the state particularly are not spoken about too often by by our leadership.
And so at every moment that anyone can they should use a platform to express those issues in that no one ever speaks about.
You know you have to be willing to stick your neck out and get out there and say what needs to be said and no matter how uncomfortable it makes people and how much they have to wiggle.
You know you got to you got to say that stuff and you got to motivate them.
And that's what I hope to be able to do with this title for 2019 is to you know open doors open minds and talk my head and heart out you know about this stuff and you know help people understand the importance and the value not only for this generation but for generations to come when they learn that I was getting the peace laureate said Rebecca you really shouldn't be given the dove because you know peace is always you know enshrined by the services your assembly should be a pigeon because pigeons of ruffle their feathers and they poop on everybody.
And I think you should be gift you should be given that the pageant forward we wouldn't be the San Antonio or we are without the contributions of all of our peace laureates.
We just wouldn't be.