You would not be likely to pick Evelin Santos out of a crowd: she’d be in the back, in the shadows of the room, her long curly hair tied out of her eyes, quietly scanning the crowd to make sure everyone’s needs get met. Reasonable fleece in a mild color atop a modest shirt and conservative slacks. Nothing flashy.
In truth, it is people like Evelin Santos you want to learn to see: the collectors, the assistants, the facilitators; the women who don’t want their names plastered on everything, or a megaphone, or attention. Such people understand that real power lies not in visibility. They know that real power lies in the act of listening.
The young Ms. Santos is on the support team at Whittier Bilingual Elementary School.
I’m a community member, and I’m here helping the moms. I’ve been helping them for a while. I’m a DePaul student, and I’ve been helping them out. I’m a volunteer. I’m helping them organize and giving them the support that they need. I study psychology right now, so when it gets hard, I’m here picking them up and telling them, It’s OK. Don’t cry. We’re doing a good thing.