As Women’s History Month comes to an end, I wanted to use this space to educate you about the struggle of a mother/daughter duo who has courageously advocated for families of homicide victims over the past six years. I find it most important to provide a fitting Women’s History Month tribute to Aleida García and her daughter Aleida Silva-García and highlight for full public disclosure, the impression they have on the minds of the adults and youth relatives of homicide victims.
The younger Aleida is a homegrown «Philly Girl», born and raised in Philadelphia, graduating from Temple University with a psychology degree. She loves to watch kids learn and interact with them. Before long, she enrolled at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she earned a Master of Science Degree in School Psychology. Currently, she is pursuing a Doctorate in Psychology at this same university.
Mother Aleida came from Cuba as a child, graduated from Temple University with a degree in political science and a master’s degree in Organizational Development. She had called Philadelphia her home since her parents settled in South Philadelphia when she was a child.
Big Aleida and Little Aleida have been studying teamwork and team building since their beloved Alejandro Rojas-García was savagely murdered on January 24, 2015. At the time, Big Aleida was a Supervisor/Program Director with Philadelphia Long-Term Ombudsman Program. Little Aleida worked for Agora Cyber Charter School in King of Prussia as a school psychologist.
The academic achievements of these women represent the struggles and efforts that women of Latino origin must undergo in accomplishing their goals, while women from the “dominant culture” are positioned to do with the necessary resources at their disposal.
Waging a fierce fight for justice to be served in the murder of Alex, the grieving mother and little sister felt a close connection with other families of homicide victims, and their fight was more than academic; it was personal. Leading up to the trial in Alex’s murder, which took place three years later, the duo was thick in the middle of organizing families of all backgrounds and co-founded the National Homicide Justice Alliance, an active and consistent advocacy group that gives a voice to families of homicide victims. So now, when one thinks of common-sense gun measures and homicides, one immediately thinks of this dynamic mother/daughter team. I wanted to pay homage this Women’s History Month to honor Aleida García and Aleida Silva-García as true role-models and make it obvious through this article that the issue of gun shootings and homicides must be fought with all our talents and energies.