Writer to discuss political activism at Bates

A writer-activist of Puerto Rican and Jewish heritage will discuss political activism during a visit to Bates College at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Aurora Levins Morales will speak on Walking the Talk, Dancing to the Music: Art, Politics and the Activist Life in an exploration of living a sustainable life as a political activist.

Levins Morales’ fiction explores the people of rural Puerto Rico and the cultural crossfire of immigrant identity. Her work Getting Home Alive, co- authored with her mother Rosario Morales, is widely used as a college text.

Levins was born in Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican mother and a father of Eastern European Jewish descent. Her parents met as political activists in New York.

As someone who is both Puerto Rican and Jewish, Levins Morales understands the pain experienced by each group. “I think one of the pitfalls that oppressed groups fall into is trying to say to one another that my pain is as important as your pain,” Levins Morales said. “There’s no virtue in stuggling over who got hurt worse. What we need to do is listen. The only way to build the trust so that we can hammer out the issues is to treat each other’s history of pain with respect and compassion and with a willingness to learn,” she said.

Levins Morales is a contributor to This Bridge Called My Back: Writing by Radical Women of Color. Her visit to Bates is co-sponsored by the Multicultural Center, Women of Color, the Jewish Cultural Community and Solidaridad Latina.

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