Santa Fe Living Treasures â€“ Elder Stories
Agnes & Bob
Honored June, 2011
Agnes Gomez and Bob Moses
With kind hearts and strong, gentle spirits, Agnes and Bob Moses are community activists for social justice and human rightsâ€”working passionately through education, outreach, and political action.
From early days in Oakland, California, Agnes wanted to prove herself in school as â€śbestâ€ť at reading, spelling, running and drawing. In high school during WW II, she volunteered as a junior hostess at the USO for African-Americans. She married and began a family that grew to nine children. She became a neighborhood organizer, then worked as field director for Camp Fire Girls. Agnes also became a consumer advocate and consumer education instructor, organizing buying clubs to lower food costs.
Bobâ€™s father was governor of North Dakota for three terms, a big influence on his sonâ€™s political passion. Bob joined the U.S. Army, then studied at the University of North Dakota, graduating in political science. He was a radio commentator and news director before opening a public relations firm. In the midst of student protests in 1968, Bob organized â€śFreedom from Hunger,â€ť the first student walkathon in the country.
Agnes and Bob met in 1970 when Bob came to Los Angeles with the National Institute for Cooperative and Economic Development. The second marriage for both of them, â€śWe clickedâ€”we knew how to put people together and organize,â€ť Agnes said. They complemented each other as they worked for causes ranging from Girl Scouts to the United Nations.
During a visit to Santa Fe, Agnes and Bob fell in love with the city, and moved here in 1992. The couple became tutors in the public schools, mentors at Santa Fe Community College, and worked with Open Hands and Girl Scouts, and other local agencies. In 2002, Agnes was elected NAACP President. Bob served as NAACP vice president and chair of the political action committee. Agnes led the Santa Fe relief and support effort for Hurricane Katrina victims. Bob and Agnes were instrumental in organizing the Family Justice Campaign, working to pass the ban on bias-based policing, and the ban on the Death Penalty in 2009. They have organized several Martin Luther King Jr. commemorations at the capitol. They are supporters of the New Mexico Department of Peace Initiative that teaches the message of non-violence.
â€śBob and Agnes are truly loving, caring, warm generators of greater human consciousness and cooperation for a better world. Their light shines bright and strong to make this world a better place.â€ť
Story by Barbara Harrelson
Photo Â© 2011 by Genevieve Russell