Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

October 11, 2007

Reading Oct. 17 at Whitworth to Feature Poetry
of Human-Rights Activist Julia Esquivel

Who: Gloria Kinsler, translator, retired missionary, sanctuary advocate

What:  A presentation, "Lives Intersect: The Story and Poetry of Julia Esquivel." Kinsler will read poetry by Julia Esquivel, a Guatemalan poet, theologian and human-rights activist. Kinsler will also discuss how knowing Esquivel and her witness changed the fabric and focus of Kinsler's life as a North American Christian.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m.

Where: Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University

Cost: Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 323-6557 or (509) 535-1813.

Born in San Marcos, Guatemala, in 1930, Julia Esquivel studied at the University of San Carlos, in Guatemala, the Seminario Biblico Latinoamericano, in Costa Rica, and the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey, in Switzerland. She has worked as a teacher, principal, and pastoral social worker. She is also a writer and human-rights activist. As her native Guatemala endured nearly 30 years of catastrophic political violence, Esquivel filled the roles of activist, poet and minister. She edited a magazine, Dialogo, as part of her witness to God’s justice and compassion, and acted as a healer in a land of suffering.

As a result of her work on behalf of the poor and oppressed in Guatemala, Esquivel was forced into exile in 1980. She has traveled throughout Europe, the United States and Canada, speaking, organizing and advocating on behalf of the millions suffering in Guatemala. Since resettling in Guatemala, she has created a ministry of reconciliation. Esquivel is the author of seven books, including The Padrenuestro from Guatemala and other Poems, Some Secrets of God’s Reign, The Certainty of Spring: Poems by a Guatemalan Exile, and Threatened with Resurrection.

During the past 40 years, Esquivel and Gloria Kinsler have forged a strong friendship. Kinsler and her husband served in Central America for 26 years as Presbyterian mission co-workers, then spent 13 years in Guatemala, teaching at the Seminario Evangelico Presbiteriano. Kinsler, a graduate of the University of Washington and Princeton Theological Seminary, was Sanctuary Coordinator for the Southern California Ecumenical Council, working with Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees. She has led delegations of Presbyterian churches, Presbyteries, synods, solidarity groups and seminaries throughout Central America and has translated theological works from Spanish into English. The Kinslers’ daughter, Elizabeth Kinsler LeDesma, is a 1984 Whitworth alumna.

Kinsler's campus visit is presented by Whitworth University in collaboration with The Fig Tree's 2007 Faith in Action Dialogue. For information on Kinsler's Spokane presentations, please call (509) 323-6557 or (509) 535-1813.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Julie Shanholtzer, program assistant, Speakers and Artists Series and psychology department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4263 or jshanholtzer@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information officer, Whitworth University (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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