On November 10, 2016, at Tec de Monterrey’s Mexico City campus, Professor Mariya Mincheva Dimova and her 24 students from the class “Gender studies in Global Perspective”, sponsored a first-for-Tec and-PSYDEH event to celebrate the students’ crowdfunding campaign “Tejiendo Oportunidades.”
The wine and cheese event linked 70+ Tec students, professors and alumni with PSYDEH domestic and foreign staff and native women partners to celebrate our bridging “worlds” via concrete actions like the students’ crowdfunding campaign.
This initiative began in August. No Hidalgo-based NGO had ever before united with a national private university from another region of Mexico on such a venture. Yet, this type of action learning is not new to Professor Mincheva. She began her practice of linking Tec Students with education-focused Mexican NGOs in a 2015 project involving Tec. de Monterrey Puebla students and an NGO based in Chiapas.
To paraphrase an excerpt of Professor Mincheva’s presentation to the crowd, “Though Tec students and faculty hail from economic classes and countries and states around the Republic different from those represented by PSYDEH’s staff and partners, we share the same challenges and thus all benefit from bridging our worlds to solve them.”
PSYDEH’s senior program advisor, Damon Taylor, later commented to the students:
Bridging worlds is not insignificant. We know from social science that strengthening “Bridging Social Capital” leads to more resilient people and communities. And resilient citizens and communities are best able to navigate our fast-changing world!
Dignified-wage work, education that empowers, a protected environment, healthy relationships and quality health care—these are basic elements of self-reliant communities in Mexico. These elements are not only things about which we dream, they are the things we must create, be and inspire in others.
Creating, being and inspiring are made more possible by and through bridging worlds and civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights enshrined in law.
With new experiences and these rights come responsibilities; laws are only as impactful as citizens make them. To sustain integrated development, we must engage and learn to know who we are and what we want as well as our laws’ meaning and application in these contexts. As Octavio Paz reminds us, we must deserve our dreams.
The students’ initiative not only increased awareness, they fundraised needed money to help underwrite the next phase of PSYDEH’s education and organizing work in 2017.
Other speakers included Tec student leaders, Jorge Echeverria, PSYDEH’s general coordinator and Marisela Romero Cruz, native women leader from Acaxochitlán, Hgo.
Moving forward, although the class and campaign have ended, Tec students continue their collaboration with PSYDEH on substantive work. Paz is smiling somewhere…