A Place Set for Everyone: A Vision of Central America
In memory of C. Cabanne Smith, who welcomed her to a place at his table and in his life, Jennifer Casolo will speak of inclusiveness and justice in a regional context. She will relate how Cab himself was profoundly touched by this reality.
Jennifer Casolo will weave stories of her own imprisonment in El Salvador and of the dispossessed and the voiceless – Salvadoran peasants and workers, Honduran women, victims of Hurricane Mitch – to present the protests and the proposals, the horror and the hope of those who traditionally are invisible. Her lecture will introduce us to the human face of human rights and offer a challenge to all who have ever dreamed of a table with a place set for everyone.
Jennifer Casolo, with fifteen years' experience in Central America promoting human rights and social change, first met C. Cabanne Smith after having been arrested in El Salvador, held under false charges, and subsequently released and deported in 1989. They traveled to El Salvador together in 1993, the first year she could return, under the auspices of Voices on the Border, a small nongovernmental organization that she directed. Upon his return to the United States, Cab maintained close contact, supporting various projects on behalf of the Central American people. In 1996, at the age of ninety-one, he spent a week in Honduras experiencing the harsh reality and fragile hopes of the women caught in the violent social and military conflicts of the region. Jennifer Casolo is presently a lay missionary in the Trujillo diocese in Colón, Honduras, acting as vice coordinator of the advisory team of the Diocesan Program for Local Development and Social Change, which supports over four hundred community organizations in twelve municipalities.