Synopses & Reviews
"Vargas, a longtime corporate and community consultant, approaches social activism with high ideals, a positive viewpoint and, most helpfully, a practical and gratifying plan of action, based in his personal experience and cultural heritage. The 'Familia Approach' treats activism not as a solo enterprise but as 'a way of living so as to teach love and activate the positive power of our families and communities.' Vargas unpacks the Mexican idea of familia and finds enfolded within its notion of the extended family-'everyone you care for and who cares for you'-the American passion for social activism. Each chapter expands on this idea, including reflection questions and bullet-point 'practices,' with much insight into Vargas's own family and Latino culture in general (both modern and ancient). Though not religious, Vargas is 'spiritual,' and does consider prayer and indigenous religious practices (like unity circles) important and powerful. Equally important, however, is real human understanding, for which he introduces the surprisingly complex concept of conocimento-conversation meant to deepen participants' knowledge of each other. Vargas's text, full of new agisms like 'transformation,' 'energy' and 'synergy,' will strike some readers as redundant, but those ready to share in Vargas's passion will find much to learn." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
We tend to focus on trying to solve big societal problems, the big barriers that separate us, but, as Roberto Vargas argues, the most promising path to change is actually the most accessible and the most universal: the family. In our daily family and friendship circles, we experience countless opportunities to empower, inspire, and support positive change in others. What if we could look at those experiences as the seeds of bigger, broader change? In this new guide for change advocates, Vargas explains how fostering familiathe feeling of connection we have with our relatives or with those we choose to call familyin all our relationships is the first step toward tackling broader problems in our community, our nation, and the world. When we start working for change at this most local of local levels, the relationships we build, and the respect and love that we show one another within the boundaries of family, becomes a model for all interactions with all people.