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Experts link murdered women and environmental ruin at the border

Final ‘Migration Matters’ program at SMU set for April 26

Daisy L. Machado
Daisy L. Machado

April 24, 2012

DALLAS (SMU) — The ongoing murders of countless women at the U.S.-Mexico border, along with devastating environmental damage inflicted by factories, will be the subject of “Ecocide and Femicide on the Border: Ecofeminism and the Maquiladora Murders” at SMU on Thursday, April 26.

The program, which is free and open to the public, will be 6:30–8:30 p.m. at SMU Perkins School of Theology’s Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall (Room 121), 5901 Bishop Blvd.

Guest speakers will be the Rev. Daisy L. Machado, dean of academic affairs and professor of church history at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and Evelyn Parker, associate professor of practical theology at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology.

Ecofeminists, inspired by renowned theologian and nun Ivone Gebara of Brazil, have called Christians to think about the connections between poverty, violence to both the Earth and humans, and immigration. It is estimated that more than 400 female maquiladora (export assembly plant) workers have been murdered in Ciudad Juárez alone since 1993.

“This desert area, filled with toxic air and water produced by the maquiladoras, and the people who live there — poor and uneducated workers, mostly women — are devalued by a patriarchal society and commodified until they become expendable and invisible,” Machado says.

“This concerns me because these realities remain unresolved,” she adds. “So I ask the Christian community: Why are we not responding? And how can we advocate social, ecological and gender justice?”

Parker is looking forward to her conversation with Machado, with whom she has collaborated in the past. But this powerful subject, she says, “will take on new complexities — and possibilities.”

Supporting the program is SMU’s Office of the Dean, Dedman College; The Geurin-Pettus Program; The Scott-Hawkins Fund; The Embrey Human Rights Program; The Department of English; The George and Mary Foster Distinguished Lecture in Cultural Anthropology; and The Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions at Perkins School of Theology, with funding from The Henry Luce Foundation.

This is the final event in SMU’s seven-part interdisciplinary “Migration Matters” series addressing the most pressing U.S./Mexico-border challenges.

For more details, contact series coordinator Jayson Sae-Saue at 214-768-4369 or

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