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National Voice on Poverty to Give Public Lecture at Westminster

Emerson Center

SalvatierraA California pastor who battles poverty will deliver a free public lecture at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 21, in the Hermann Lounge of the Hunter Activity Center on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton , MO.

Rev. Alexandra Salvatierra, an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will speak on "Doing Justice from a Spiritual Perspective."

Rev. Salvatierra is quickly emerging as a national leader and well known activist in the fields of economic justice and immigration policy.

"Rev. Salvatierra has extensive international experience in these areas, says Dr. Bob Hansen, Executive Director of the Emerson Center for Leadership & Service. "She has over 30 years of experience in ecumenical, multi-faith and community ministry, community organizing and legislative advocacy."

She will be on the Westminster campus February 18-21, meeting with student groups and classes on issues such as political science, leadership, economics, education, sociology, religion, philosophy and transnational studies as a part of the Global Leaders in Residence program at Westminster.

This program is designed to bring leaders from a variety of academic and professional fields to campus for two to three days to speak to classes, interact socially with students, consult with faculty and staff and deliver a campus-wide presentation on their efforts to make a difference in the world.

Global Leaders in Residence is under the auspices of The Churchill Institute and has two components-the Global Leaders in Residence and the Global Scholars in Residence programs.

Rev. Salvatierra will interact at meals with students from the Remley Women's Center, the Interfaith House, Service Corps, CIVICUS and the Westminster philosophy and religion departments as well as faculty. She will speak with leadership and transnational studies classes and leadership and spiritual life groups during her stay on campus.

For over eleven years, Rev. Salvatierra was the Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, beginning as the Director of CLUE in Los Angeles and then as the first CLUE-CA Director. CLUE-CA is a statewide alliance of organizations of religious leaders who respond to the crisis of working poverty by joining low-wage workers in their struggle for a living wage, health insurance, fair working conditions and a voice in the decisions that affect them and brings a "faith-rooted" approach to the issues of immigration and civil rights.

Previously to her work with CLUE-CA, she founded numerous programs and organizations in the United States and overseas such as at-risk youth programs, a program that integrated services for the homeless that was replicated in six other cities and a training program for poor urban women in the Philippines to become chaplains.

Currently, she is Director of Justice Ministries for the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
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