CIW’s Lupe Gonzalo: “Only together were we able to break our silence…”

From right to left, CIW’s Lupe Gonzalo, the Alliance for Fair Food’s Natali Rodriguez, U.S. Soccer star Abby Wambach, writer Luvvie Ajayi, author Glennon Doyle, WME Entertainment’s Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, and author Latham Thomas end on a triumphant note at the Minneapolis stop of the Together Live Tour.

The Together Live Tour — the nationwide event featuring U.S. Soccer Superstar Abby Wambach, New York Times bestselling author Glennon Doyle, and the CIW’s own Lupe Gonzalo — has swept through six cities at a whirlwind pace over the last four  weeks.  Following shows in San José, Phoenix, and Austin, the show bounced to Washington, DC, Nashville, and Minneapolis!  Today, we bring you highlights from the powerhouse tour, which is now in its final stretch as it heads to Chicago and Philadelphia.

Starting in Washington, DC, Glennon followed Lupe’s presentation with a new reflection on the long and critically important history of immigration in the United States:

… America was forged with the blood, sweat, and tears of immigrants.  Sacrifice and courage is in our DNA, and sacrificial love is in the DNA of this country.  This is the poem written on the statue of liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The emblem of America is a mighty woman who glows with worldwide welcome and her name is the Mother of Exiles.  America is a love story, and that story’s hero is the mother of all.  A mother who knows there is no such thing as other people’s children.  So she holds her torch high so all children can find their way home.

Of course, Glennon’s reflection could not have been more perfectly timed, just as, beyond the walls of the majestic theaters of the Together Live Tour, the Fair Food Nation launches the Harvest without Violence mobile exhibit, starring the Statue of Liberty as a tomato picker as its central image (right).

After a boisterous and inspiring show in DC, the Together team moved on to Nashville and Minneapolis.  In the Twin Cities, Lupe and the rest of the tour’s core team were joined by nationally-renowned radio host Krista Tippett of NPR’s On Being.  Krista and Glennon, at the conclusion of their thought-provoking conversation about living a life of virtue and seeking spiritual guidance from the world around us, ended on a powerful note with a quote from Krista’s new book, “Becoming Wise”:

My work has shown me that the spiritual geniuses of everyday are everywhere.  They are in the margins and they do not have publicists.  They are below the radar, which is broken.

Indeed, the profound truth of that statement was underscored soon thereafter by the standing ovation that the Minnesotan audience gave Lupe after her conversation with Abby:

At the end of the evening, all of the speakers gathered on stage for a final reflection on the theme of sexual violence and the viral “#MeToo” movement sweeping across social media.  Lupe’s final words for the evening during this group reflection laid a path for those in attendance to take their inspiration from Together Live and transform it into action:

I think that all of us as women have faced sexual harassment.  As farmworker women, this experience poses an incredibly hard choice:  We don’t have another job, we have to suffer this abuse, because we have a family to maintain.  Our silence is something we must grow accustomed to every day.  We had to draw on enormous strength and courage in order to break our silence — but also, we did not do it alone.  There are many people who have supported us, people who also have shown bravery, to accompany us in our struggle.  Only together were we able to break our silence.  It was because others who support us chose to speak up that we were able to break our silence about what was happening to us.

In all three cities, just as at the stops preceding them, the Fair Food Sisters table was visited by hundreds of new and eager supporters, ready to join their voices with those of farmworkers in Immokalee to bring an end to sexual violence in the fields!

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