GUEST: Dr. Tom Hansen, Executive Director of the Mexico Solidarity Network and former Director of Pastors for Peace, talks about coalitions that further social justice in Latin America.
Tom and his Mexico Solidarity Network does really amazing work. After attempting to move members of Congress towards a more human and just policy in Central America, the network decided it was a waste of time. Influencing a "bunch of millionaires" to do anything that goes against their elite fundraisers was bound to fail.
Instead, the network started a mini government in Chicago, intent on solving local problems like poor housing, job discrimination, and racism. The work involved bringing young volunteers in, both as teachers and as participants in educational trips to Mexico. In essence, the participants "Make the Road by Walking," the name of a revolutionary book by Myles Horton and Paulo Freire.
Tom and I (along with my brother, Dave) took a truck caravan together to Nicaragua in 1989. We were bringing supplies and medical equipment to the Nicaraguan people, in an attempt to expose the immorality and illegality of the Contra Wars. One of our stops was a visit to Myles Horton at the Highlander Center. We were making the road, and teaching ourselves in the process.