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August 21, 2006

Juan Aguilera, Chair
Board of Directors
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

1300 Guadalupe Street

San Antonio, TX 78207

Dear Mr. Aguilera and Board
of the Guadalupe Cultural
Arts Center:

The San Antonio chapter of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS), an organization comprised of women form the San Antonio community who care about what happens in our city, our state, our nation and our world, present to the Board of The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and to interested parties, our concern over the recent termination of employment of over 10 women from the Guadalupe Center. MALCS is a national association comprised of Chicanas, Latinas and Native American women who advocate and support women’s issues and concerns at all levels, from grassroots community venues to academic scholarly ones.

As long-time supporters of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, we are dismayed at the lack of procedural and civil processes by the women were treated. Because we care deeply about what happens to women at their places of work and because we also care deeply about the arts and culture of our city and the best that the Guadalupe represents for Chicanas, we ask the Board to take the following actions:

*To insure that all board actions reflect the procedures under which the GCAC operates, namely the bylaws of the organization.

*Offer an accounting of how and why the women employees were terminated and under what conditions they had to work.

*Evaluate the recently hired director of the Center taking into account all his dealings with mujeres at the institution and his treatment of same.

We respectfully submit this request and expect that these issues will be discussed at the next board meeting. We ask that the board then respond to our request in writing and with an explanation of what has transpired to bring the Center to such a predicament as well as what steps have been taken to resolve it. We are, of course, pleased to attend a Board meeting to discuss our concerns and are prepared to do so.


Mujeres Activas en Letras Social in San Antonio

Photocredit: J. Michael Walker, La Virgen de Guadalupe. He's married to a Tarahumara woman.


unavoz said…
I think it is a shame that Gwendolyn Diaz did not actually just come out and say "hey we, the Board of Directors made a huge mistake by hiring R.Bret Ruiz and keeping him on staff for a year. He has really hurt the institution.
I think that she is being a coward and self centered by resigning because her precious pet project Latina Letters will not be co-funded by the Guadalupe. Diaz had an opportunity to make a difference but she decided
that she was just ONE VOTE as far as getting rid of Ruiz. So I believe that now that "Rome" is burning the RATS are scattering and leaving...Good bye Ms failed miserably in saving the Guadalupe, you could have made a huge difference instead you, like your fellow board members decided to just put your face in the sand. I hope the taste of failure remains in your mouth for a long long time. Perhaps you can convince the rest of your comrats to leave too and those of us that really care can save the Guadalupe...the first one to go should be Juan followed by Ruiz.... you will not be missed!!!!
una voz
Juana Gallo said…
Amen to "Unavoz"! Who can forget the haughty attitude that Diaz took during the many board meetings last spring when "Lupe" supporters begged someone, anyone on the board to take some leadership and investigate the many complaints. Ya 'pa que? valuable and talented staff have all been blown to the wind and as for the supporters, well many have chosen to support other venues or create their own. Diaz attempt to save face and her recurring theme of how much she has given to the Centro is too much to swallow. There are countless people in the community who gave and gave and gave and did they have a voice in finding solutions to the problems? No, because the Board, including Diaz shut them out. As for the letter from the women of MALCS, trust me, Aguilera will probably say "I mi me vale" because he will never back down...and especially not to women. He is cut from the same cloth as Bret.
unavoz said…
Those of you interested in the Guadalupe "novela" please read Diaz's resignation letter. (My Keyword:Entertainment:Read Gwendolyn Diaz's letter of resignation)...PLEASE her letter should not come as any surprise to anyone that has been keeping up with the continuing Guadalupe Saga...Diaz's resignation letter sounds very much like the statement that was read to the Cultural Ars Board last Monday. My question to Diaz is Why are you suprised that your pet project has been placed on hiatis? This is exactly what Ruiz did to all other programming. In fact he did not want to continue with the Dia de Los Muertos program last fall.( he didn't understand it or like it) But he sure was happy to stand in front of the altar that was created by MaryJessie Garza. He actually said that he did not care that MaryJessie had worked till 4 am trying to complete the altar for the program. He didn't care that she has cancer. Instead he fired her placing the final nails to her coffin...and the Board approved that action.....the Board backed him up...... and if that wasn't bad enough he also contested her unemloyment benefits. So Gwendolyn why are you shocked that there are no artists left, that there are no artistic directtors left(except for Belinda Menchaca and she should not get too comfortable because he also said she was "too OLD to be on stage and Jeanette was too fat and ugly" And as far as the lack of programs get this once and for all...RUIZ DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING HE IS A JOKE IN THE COMMUNITY...WHICH MAKES THE BOARD EVEN MORE OF A JOKE...AND A HUGE LIABLITY for the institution. And for your information Leroy Martinez was the Managing Director of Programming. He and a few others (STAFF) tried to warn the Board of Directors that Ruiz was not a good fit. Leroy spoke to several of you I recall. Gwendolyn you too, were approached and were told face to face about the maltreatment that the women staff were being subjected to........your response was " I can't talk about it...besides I am only ONE VOTE what can I do?" One vote could have counted alot. One voice can make a hell of alot of differnce. When you try to sleep at night I hope that you will see the many faces of the women that you helped hurt...yes you too are responsible
you may have resigned but that does not exclude your from your responsibility for the offenses that have already occured during your watch. Covarde es lo que tu eres. Sleep well and go on about your merry little life. You are a major dissappointment, you call your self a feminist????...HA you still have alot to learn even with your PHD....

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