Viviana Garcia-Blanco is a Dominican Volunteer serving as an advocacy associate for the Dominican Leadership Conference NGO at the United Nations. She lives in the Bronx, New York, in community with three Dominican sisters and two other Dominican Volunteers. She has a bachelor's degree from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, where she studied political science and corporate communications.

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Being a volunteer gave me a look at the church's inner workings

Notes from the Field - There are nuances and complexities within orders that at times seemed daunting to understand. But from an outsider's perspective and through my experiences talking with men and women religious of a variety of orders, there are changes I wish to see in parishes and religious communities.

Mexican advocates for the indigenous inspire at the UN

Notes from the Field - The visitors from Mexico did more than just change the way I view Mexico, they awoke in me this spiritual longing for a culture I have never known but has been inside me all along. 

Inclusive spaces are essential for conversations about racism

At a recent dinner for persons of color, we shared the experience of overcoming racial dynamics that exist within predominantly white religious institutions. All of us had experienced times when white people would rather see our faces than hear our voices.

The value of relationships is the real lesson

Notes from the Field - Attending the United Nations' 62nd Commission on the Status of Women with my Dominican colleagues taught me more about systemic injustice — including the too-often hidden issues affecting Native Americans — and about empowerment that comes from mutual sharing, from relationship.