Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz Justice Institute

Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz Justice Institute

The Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz Justice Institute is dedicated to exploring and perpetuating the landmark work of this Latina|x|e theologian and activist. Dr. Isasi-Díaz was a Cuban-American theologian who served as professor of ethics and theology at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey for 28 years. She was the creator of Mujerista theology, a theological approach based on the lived-experience of Latina|x|e women.

The Ada-Maria Isasi-Diaz Justice Institute is presented in partnership with Drew University and is supported by CT Humanities.

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Portrait of Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz
Portrait of Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz

Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz Justice Institute

Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz Justice Institute

The Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz Justice Institute is dedicated to exploring and perpetuating the landmark work of this Latina|x|e theologian and activist. Dr. Isasi-Díaz was a Cuban-American theologian who served as professor of ethics and theology at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey for 28 years. She was the creator of Mujerista theology, a theological approach based on the lived-experience of Latina|x|e women.

The Ada-Maria Isasi-Diaz Justice Institute is presented in partnership with Drew University and is supported by CT Humanities.

About

Preserving Stories

Videos

Events

CT Humanities logo

About Dr. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz and the Justice Institute

Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz’s system of theological ethics was centered on the wisdom of grassroots Latinas whom she interviewed, eliciting their views on such topics as God, redemption, revelation, etc.  She believed that lo cotidiano, the everyday lives of these women, was the fertile ground for understanding the sacred.   Dr. Isasi-Diaz included extensive excerpts from their interviews in her books. She then shared the profits she earned from her publications with these women, demonstrating that their opinions matter, that their insights have value, that they are professional theologians, paid for their ideas.  Her books were not just about justice; they were an act of justice. 

Each year, The Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz Justice Institute will host events looking at the meaning and impact of Mujerista theology on the work of contemporary Latina|x|e scholars and activists. In addition, Charter Oak will offer workshops to train Hartford Latina|x|e women in the Mujerista methodology so that they can go out and conduct interviews with other Hartford Latina|x|e women. From the material gathered, with the participants’ permission, a performance piece will be created and presented to the public and become the basis for a book that carries forward Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz’s courageous work.

Stylized illustration of women of color.

Oral History Workshop

According to the Oral History Association: “Oral history is a field of study and a method of gathering, preserving and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events. Oral history is both the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st-century digital technologies.”

On October 10, 2023, 20 Latina|x|e women will meet online with Dr. Melissa Borja for an all-day workshop to learn about gathering, recording and preserving the oral histories of Latina|x|e women in their communities.  With this new knowledge, in the coming months, participants in the workshop will conduct interviews of other Latina|x|e and these recordings will be held in the archives of several institutions, including Drew University, where Dr. Isasi-Diaz taught.

From this material, a play and book will be created.

Dr. Melissa Borja is Assistant Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan, where she is a core faculty member in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies. She researches migration, religion, race, and politics in the United States and the Pacific World.  An avid public scholar, Dr. Borja is the lead investigator of the Virulent Hate Project, a contributing researcher to Stop AAPI Hate, a senior advisor to Princeton University’s Religion and Forced Migration Initiative, and a member of a Louisville Institute Collaborative Inquiry Team that studies Filipino American theology and religious life.

This workshop was made possible by the generosity of CT Humanities and we are deeply grateful for their support.

Upcoming Institute Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Videos from Past Events