The Rev. Daisy Machado, Week Four chaplain at Chautauqua, studies the borderlands — locations such as the United States-Mexico border. For her, the term also refers to the social and economic place that Latinas and other women of color inhabit in American culture.
Machado likes to make her audience think about religion and faith from a different perspective. She teaches church history — specifically American and U.S. church history from the perspective of the borderlands. Among the questions she asks are: what does the prosperity gospel mean for Latino and immigrant communities, and what does it mean for U.S. mainline communities to see the Gospel they exported return with a different energy and leadership?
In an October 2013 Georgia Harkness Lecture delivered at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion, Machado spoke on “Borderlands and Disposable Women: Ecological Ruin and the Maquiladora Murders.”
She said it was topic she felt “deep within” her soul.
“I am talking about the realities of Mexican women because I understand their stories. They are connected to my story,” she said. “It’s a story, since the Mexican-American War … about belonging and not belonging, about being left out and left out of a narrative of a nation and a racial dialogue that has existed as a black-and-white debate.”
For more than a decade she has been taking students on an immersion course to the U.S.-Mexico border, where the focus of the class includes globalization and women’s labor as found in the maquiladora industry of Northern Mexico, immigration policy and immigrant reality, migrant workers’ rights and struggles, issues around housing, education and health services in south Texas’ poorest counties, and the importance of popular religion for the borderlands people.
Machado serves as professor of the American History of Christianity at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Having just completed her tenure as dean for academic affairs, she is the second woman and first Latina to hold this position.
Machado will preach at the morning worship service and sermon at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, and at 9:15 a.m. in the Amphitheater every week day during Week Four.
Her sermon titles for the week include: “Never Consent to Creep,” “The God-Shaped Hole,” “When Seeing is Not Enough,” “An Extravagant Hospitality,” “And Still Rachel Weeps,” and “You Are.”
In 2012, El Diario/La Prensa in New York City honored Machado with its Destacadas Award, which honors influential Latinas who have made great strides in business, entertainment, sports and other fields. Other recipients have included Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, journalist Soledad O’Brien, author Esmeralda Santiago and Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez.
She has served as vice president for academic affairs and dean at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky, the first woman and first Latina to hold this position. Machado holds a Bachelor of Arts from Brooklyn College, a Master of Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work, Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She is an ordained minister of the Disciples of Christ and has served congregations in New York City, Houston and Fort Worth.
This will be her third visit to Chautauqua, having served as Chaplain in 2008 and 2013.