Sunday, January 28, 2007

Rita Valenciano - City Council Candidate for the 4th District At-Large in Kansas City, MO


Monday, January 15, 2007

Robert F. Kennedy's Statement on Dr. King's Death - Montage

Sunday, January 14, 2007

From today's

Remembering The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Living King's Values


Olga Villa Parra

Recommended by: The Rev. Kenneth Taylor, director of the Office of Multicultural Ministry, Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

"One of Martin Luther King Jr.'s values is perseverance," Taylor said. "He took the leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956. At his death in 1968, he was still leading in the fight for justice. He was committed, not in it for the quick fix."

Taylor also spoke of Olga Villa Parra, the daughter of migrant farm workers and a longtime local volunteer for various causes. Parra began her activist career supporting Cesar Chavez's grape boycott in the 1960s.

At age 63, Parra could rightfully retire.

In fact, she is retired, most recently from an administrative position at Lilly Endowment. But she's still active on several boards and in planning annual Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Her long career in community activism began in the 1960s, galvanizing support for the grape boycott, which was one of the first national economic boycotts of its time. Both her parents had been farm workers in southern Michigan during her youth.

"It was a strong working state with the United Auto Workers union," she said. "I thought all people were in the union in those days."

But King and Chavez inspired her in a different way -- not merely to be a joiner, but to be a leader.

"I had the unique opportunity of meeting Dr. King while doing some work with Chavez out in California," Parra said. "They were contemporaries. I had the opportunity to meet both of them. They gave me the commitment.

"They actually talked about poor people registering (to vote) and poor people voting and poor people having a say in their lives," Parra said.

That's what inspired her, Parra says. Even ordinary people can make a difference, especially if they're in it for the long haul.
-- Abe Aamidor

Monday, January 01, 2007

Los Panchos