Renee Fasanero '08
Devoted to Truth
Senior communications major Renee Fasanero has been drawn to the area near the U.S./Mexico border multiple times throughout her college career, as a student, a volunteer and a traveler. Eventually, she’ll likely find herself pulled back there again, this time as a humanitarian journalist devoted to truth.
Renee’s vision has largely been inspired by her wide-ranging educational experiences. After spending a month in Mexico in a Spanish immersion program, she picked up the language and an interest in the culture rather quickly. The Oneonta, NY, native then took a semester in Arizona at Prescott College—a member of the Eco League and one of GMC’s sister colleges—where she not only managed her college studies, but also spent much of her time providing food, teaching English, and volunteering a variety of other services to benefit the migrant workers in the nearby Spanish barrios.
Returning to Mexico this past winter break gave Renee even more first-hand knowledge about the area. She learned about the hardships of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), a civilian army consisting of mostly indigenous Indians who have taken up arms because their land and resources are being taken away by the government. They are committed to bringing democracy, liberty and justice not only to the people of Mexico, but to all common people who are being treated unfairly by their governments. “It was an amazingly powerful experience!” Renee says. “There were so many people united in solidarity in hopes for a better world—a world where many worlds exist—without neoliberal capitalism.”
Renee recently brought these concepts of humanitarian change and truth to Green Mountain College by co-directing a production of Howard Zinn’s “The People Speak” with junior Alexandra Cadete. This production consists of a compilation of monologues that tells the story of American history through the voices of the oppressed. “History is written by the victors, and there are many people—citizens just like us—that have shaped the world we live in. We as a generation need inspiration; we need context,” she says regarding her motivation for the production. “Furthermore, I think the production conveyed that we as a culture need to stop looking at history as this intangible entity for reflection's sake only: We have to see that we are living history now.”
Renee has also worked on The Mountaineer -- the college’s student newspaper—for the past three years and is currently the co-editor. After graduating, she plans on working on a medicinal herb farm in Colorado so that she can eventually work and/or volunteer on organic farms. She would then like to perfect her Spanish so that she can be a journalist around the U.S/ Mexican border and devote herself to exposing the economic oppression that has created havoc in the area.
She would like to see the media operate on a different model, one centered on cooperation: “I envision a place where people specializing in many different kinds of media—such as newspaper, television, or the Internet—can all come together and get down to the truth of what’s really going on around us.”