Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


Printable Finding Aid

Search All Finding Aids

Archival Collections

Manuscript Collections
Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids
Collection
Title:Kelley Ready papers
Dates:1981-1994 (bulk 1985-1989)
Call Number:M88

Historical Note

Kelley Ready is a human rights activist and anthropology professor. In 1985, she went to Nicaragua for five weeks to learn about the lives of poor working class Nicaraguans. After this, she became active in various human rights organizations, particularly those benefiting Central American women.

Ready was especially active in the organization Friends of Committee of Mothers and Relatives of Political Prisoners, Disappeared and Assassinated of El Salvador, Monsignor "Oscar Arnulfo Romero" (CoMadres). This group supports the parent organization Committee of Mothers and Relatives of Political Prisoners, Disappeared and Assassinated of El Salvador, Monsignor "Oscar Arnulfo Romero" (CoMadres) by writing letters, holding meetings and events to make their struggles known, and providing financial support. Friends have several chapters through the United States; Ready was a member of the Boston chapter. CoMadres was founded in December 1977 by El Salvadorian women as a support group to help women find family members who had been abducted by the El Salvadorian government as political prisoners. In November 1984, the organization received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. In English, CoMadres roughly translates to Committee of Mothers and Relatives of Political Prisoners, Disappeared and Assassinated of El Salvador, Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero. In El Salvador, a civil war started in 1980 shortly after the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Between the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party and leftist antigovernment guerrilla units, whose leading group was the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). During the 12 year war, 75,000 people were killed.

For CoMadres, Ready helped to organize events and meetings, often giving speeches. She translated letters into Spanish and wrote letters to prominent people, such as singer Bonnie Raitt and U.S. Congressmen, addressing the plight of the El Salvadorian women and seeking financial support. In addition, she helped to bring two El Salvadorian representatives, America Sosa and Maria Teresa Tula, who themselves were tortured and beaten by the El Salvadorian government, to Boston, so they could share first-hand accounts of the atrocities.

CoMadres was a supporter of other organizations, such as Latin American Federation of Families of Disappeared Prisoners (FEDEFAM) and Building with the Voiceless of El Salvador (BVES), and it helped to establish the Women's International Network for Development and Democracy in El Salvador (WINDS). The Latin American Federation of Families of Disappeared Prisoners (FEDEFAM) is a Latin American consortium, including Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Peru, that works to eliminate human rights abuses. Building with the Voiceless of El Salvador (BVES) is an international support campaign that promotes the self-development of rural and urban communities. In March 1989, the group organized a caravan to El Salvador, for which people from American and Canada drove trucks containing humanitarian aid, to the poorest regions of El Salvador. The Women's International Network for Development and Democracy in El Salvador (WINDS) was created in 1990 as a coalition to support human rights and professional, religious, and community development of Salvadoran women from a variety of economic sectors. CoMadres promoted these organizations by letting them use their office space and providing financial support.

Ready was a visiting assistant professor at Northeastern University in the Department of Anthropology from 2000 to 2002.