From its inception, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center has worked to facilitate the interchange of ideas, worldviews and artistic creations in order to awaken in participants their own power to create social transformations and work to eliminate racism, sexism, homophobia, economic injustice and all types of oppression outside and within our own communities. Our community lawsuits have served as educational platforms to bring large issues to light and to engage the public in active discussions.
The following community struggles touch upon issues such as environmental abuses, race and ethnicity in public arts funding, the erasure and destruction of cultural landmarks, as well as free speech violations.
On November 29, 2007, the City of San Antonio passed an ordinance that puts a price on free speech and our right to march in the streets. In response, members of the International Woman's Day March and Rally Committee and the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition filed a lawsuit against the City challenging this ordinance and organizing against it. Read More
In 1997, City of San Antonio funding for the Esperanza and two of its sponsored organizations, the San Antonio Lesbian & Gay Media Project and VÁN, was eliminated after a series of public and private attacks. In 1998, the three organizations filed suit in federal court against the City of San Antonio and won, alleging violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and of the Texas Open Meetings Act. Read More
For 2 years, the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, the Westside Preservation Alliance (known then as the Westside Historic Preservation Group), Westside residents, and community historians worked to gather the stories and history of Casa Maldonado, aka the Pink Building, 1312 Guadalupe St., and save it from demolition by its owner, the Avenida Guadalupe Association (AGA). Read More