Isabel Garcia knows there is work to be done. And from the sound of it, she’s not stopping any time soon. Having been retired nearly five and a half years after spending 22 years as the Pima County Legal Defender, she says the only real difference is now she doesn’t go into the office. But the work is still there, and nothing, not even the occasional threat on her life, seems to be able to stop her.
“I never get afraid of the threats. It’s weird. I’ve been threatened a lot in my life, you know.”
Felipe S. Molina
Felipe S. Molina believes the days of storytelling, of friends and family gathering together and benefiting from the wisdom of their elders, are gone. To think of the modern culture glorifying witty quips and sound bites, it’s hard not to agree. But some still know these stories hold wisdom and truth, and many would say Felipe is one of our most important connections to that storied past.
For most of us, it’s difficult to imagine the world in which Felipe grew up, and even more so the world his grandparents were forced to escape. Fleeing Sonora Mexico during the Mexican Revolution, a time when Porfirio Diaz was seizing indigenous lands and selling the Yoeme/Yaqui people into slavery for 60 pesos a head, they settled in Tucson in 1916 and started their family. The son of their third daughter, when Felipe was five his mother remarried, he made the choice to stay with his grandparents, who were now living in a Yoeme village in Marana, honoring the customs of their people.
“Those were good years.”
Intersectional is the best way to describe the work Adiba Nelson contributes to our community. As a public speaker/author/writer, her work often ties in with her life as a mother of a child with a disability, which directly relates to her work as a disability rights advocate, which in turn informs her writing, and the whole cycle goes around again. But there is a through-line in it all: the fostering of more accessible and inclusive environments for all people, and the idea of rebellion as a form of empowerment, leadership, and growth. Or as she put it, “I like rocking boats.”