Name: Cecilia Aguilar Ortiz
Year Joined MKLM: 1998
Focus: Civil and Human Rights
Project: AMAN Peace and Inter-Religious Dialogue Program
Project Goal: Support efforts promoting inter-religious dialogue and sustainable peace, especially involving youth.
Cecilia (Ceci) joined MKLM with her husband Dan in 1998. Originally Ceci is from Tucson, AZ. Most recently she and Dan lived in Houston, TX. Ceci was involved there in St. Joseph’s parish, Diocese of Galveston-Houston. Ceci graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA.
From September 2013 a Agosto del 2016 she was the Program Coordinator at Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
Ceci lived and worked in Thailand throughout her entire MKLM experience. She collaborated with AMAN—the Asian Muslim Action Network. Many country/conflicts are around religious conflicts with Muslim peoples being portrayed as terrorists and extremists. Inter-religious dialogue and peace efforts are extremely important, especially from within the Muslim community.
Since 2004 there has been escalating violence between Muslim separatists and Thai authorities resulting in hundreds of deaths. AMAN was one of the few programs that worked directly with grassroots communities to address these issues from a community-based perspective. In particular this initiative of AMAN focused on involving youth directly in responding to issues of violence, human rights abuses, as well at religious, cultural and economic marginalization.
Ceci was directly involved in developing the youth for peace network. Her peace and justice experience, combined with her organizational skills contributed greatly to the project.