Another global leader recently came to Westminster to share her story and spread a message of service. Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, an ordained Pastor, has traveled around the world founding organizations and programs to benefit impoverished workers and at-risk youth.
On February 19, Rev. Salvatierra braved her first snowstorm to inspire Westminster students and faculty with accounts of her global experiences and their impact on her life. She urged members of the community to carry on the Westminster mission by getting involved, becoming leaders, and continuing to serve around the world.
During her time at Westminster, she spoke with 8 classes, 4 different student groups, and shared meals with 40 other members of the community.
Quotes from Students and Faculty
"Meeting someone with Alexia's level of energy and passion was simply inspiring. She clearly cares deeply about social justice on a global scale, and she speaks openly and honestly about how this passion is fueled by her faith. She is also an incredibly warm and generous person who seemed to delight not just in teaching us, but in getting to know us and our community."
- Carolyn Perry, Ph.D.
Vice President and Dean of Faculty
"Alexia Salvatierra was one of my favorite Global Leader in Residence. I got to see her and talk to her in several occasions, in some classes and even a nice dinner at the Remley Women's Center. She gave life advice that fit everyone who talked to her. We were truly blessed to have her here."
- Lorena Gaona Greenwood
Sophomore from Paraguay
"Reverend Salvatierra is an exemplar of religious studies, using her scholarly understanding of world religions and the Christian faith to transform peoples' lives throughout the world."
--James McRae, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion
"As an instructor, I was extremely grateful to have been able to host Alexia in our class. Her discussion of the contributions she has made towards social justice and the overall welfare of others was enlightening, motivating, and inspiring. She eloquently guided us through the critically thinking process and the steps leading to action; beginning with a question such as "Why?", seeking to answer that question with several different forms of research, and taking the information acquired to advance and advocate for social issues that were often being ignored."
Instructor of Leadership Studies 101: The Leader Within
"I thought Alexia was charming and committed, and a storyteller par excellence. She was an interesting and inspiring person to whom to listen and to know."
-Cliff Cain, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
"What I heard: Be aware, persist, but be patient. Her stories remind us that people who have had significant impact in the world, do so with periods of challenge and frustration. Case in point: Assuming that she made it to Philly , persist - you will make it through the storm (even if she didn't make it to Philly)!"
-Therese Miller, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair of Physical Education & Health
"Alexia continued the tradition of Westminster hosting inspirational leaders who demonstrate to our students that individuals CAN make a difference in this world. For three days, I watched Alexia turn our students on to social action."
-Bob Hansen, Ph. D.
Executive Director, Emerson Center for Leadership & Service
About Rev. Alexia Salvatierra
Rev. Salvatierra is an ordained Pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American. She was the Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice for eleven years and then the first director of CLUE-CA, a statewide alliance of religious leaders who come together to respond to the crisis of working poverty. Before her work with CLUE-CA, Alexia founded multiple programs and organizations, including a gang prevention program for at-risk immigrant youth in Fresno and migrant farmworker camps in Watsonville.
In the Philippines, she trained urban poor women in Manila to serve as chaplains to their neighbors. Rev. Salvatierra has taught at Vanguard and Biola Universities in Orange County and New York Theological Seminary in New York, as well as spoken at many other universities and colleges. She has received many awards including the Changemaker award from the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation, the Amos Award from Sojourners, and the Giants of Justice Award from CLUE LA.
Rev. Salvatierra is currently writing a book on Faith-Rooted Organizing for Intervarsity Press and consulting with national organizations. She is also the Director of Justice Ministries for the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
About Global Leaders in Residence
The Global Leaders in Residence program is designed to bring leaders from a variety of academic and professional fields to campus for 2-3 days during which time they will speak to classes, interact socially with our students, consult with our faculty/staff, and deliver a campus-wide presentation on their efforts to make a difference in today's world.