Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz

Dr. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz
Address36 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 7940

Professor of Ethics and Theology, Drew University Theological Seminary

Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary, New York., 1990
M.Phil., Union Theological Seminary, New York., 1989
M.Div., Union Theological Seminary, New York., 1985
B.A., College of New Rochelle, New York., 1971

Born and raised in La Habana, Cuba, received all of my primary and secondary school education at Merici Academy, a school ran by the nuns of the Order of St. Ursula. Father worked in different sugar mills in three different provinces of Cuba. Brought up in a practicing Catholic home, early on began to have a concern for the poor and oppressed and a love of religious practices, while learning the importance of struggling (la lucha) for what one believes without ever giving up.

    I left Cuba and became a political refugee in 1960. I first lived in the USA where I entered the convent (the Order of St. Ursula), and I went to college earning a B.A. in European History from The College of New Rochelle in New York.

    In January 1967 I arrived in Lima, Peru as a missionary. I lived there during three years. This experience has marked me for life. I often say that it was there that the poor taught me the gospel message of justice. It was there that I learned to respect and admire the religious understandings and practices of the poor and the oppressed and the importance of their everyday struggles, of lo cotidiano. It was there that I realized the centrality of solidarity with the poor and the oppressed in the struggle for justice.

        I returned to the USA December of 1969. I taught high-school for several years in Louisiana and lived in Spain for 16 months. When I returned to the USA, I settled in Rochester, New York.

        Thanksgiving weekend 1975 I was born a feminist. It was at the first Women’s Ordination Conference in Detroit, Michigan that I began to realize that oppression was caused not only by poverty but also is the result of sexism. For seven years I worked indefatigably in the women’s movement focusing on women’s oppression in churches, religion and theology. During this time I began to understand the interconnections of sexism, ethnic prejudice-racism, and economic oppression-classism.

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