In Memory of Juan V. Alvarez

Juanalvarez2By Robert Miranda

Some people watch history, some people make history. Our beloved friend and fellow activist, Juan V. Alvarez I would argue made history in our community through his life’s work, and in doing so, secured for himself standing in the kingdom of God.

His was always about the work for justice in his community. A man of God not only in his character but also in his commitment to serve his community.

His community leadership in the 1960’s and 1970’s was needed because during this time, the struggle for Latino Civil Rights in Milwaukee was met with stiff and often racist opposition.

Juan’s fight is our fight. Juan’s triumph is our triumph. Our dignity, hope and freedom is his cherished legacy.

It is hard to write about any good person – to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make his or her life, but the essential truth of a person – their private lives; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate that person’s soul.

How much harder to do so for Juan who moved our community toward justice, and in the process helped to secure our community’s future in Wisconsin.

There will not be a bust made of marble made in his honor; indeed, in the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in our history through struggle, persistence and faith.

Juan showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals.

We honor him by continuing that legacy of action in the hope that one day all will share in the dream that is America.

Rest in peace my friend.

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