Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace laureate

Nobel Peace Prize winner’s message strengthens Daisha Versaw’s resolve to make an impact

The two women came from different walks of life, but the connection was still evident as they strolled together across Regis’ North Denver (Lowell) Campus.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace laureate, brought with her decades of experience fighting for social justice, human rights and the protection of indigenous people in her native Guatemala and around the globe. The other, Daisha Versaw – a wife and mother of three whose desire to serve others led her to Regis’ Master of Nonprofit Management program – brought her ambition to be a change agent and an eagerness to learn how.

“How does one person impact their community and the world?” she asked Menchú during their walk. Menchú’s answer was simple: Strength in numbers.

Menchú reiterated that message later as she stood before a crowd of nearly 400 in the St. John Francis Regis Chapel as part of an appearance organized by Regis’ Institute on the Common Good in partnership with theRigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace laureate Denver-based PeaceJam and the Boulder-based Center for Juvenile Justice.

Menchú emphasized that transformation starts with self-awareness. She stressed the necessity of spirituality. And she offered hope that individuals who know how to connect with others who share the same goals hold the power to bring about real change.

“All of you have a special energy, a special mission and together we can (spur) change,” Menchú said.

It’s an inspiring message, said Daisha, who dreams of doing international nonprofit work. And, she added, it’s reassuring to hear that even a woman with such a powerful voice acknowledges that her own strides wouldn’t have been made if not for others.

And for Daisha, it’s motivation for her own journey.

“It gives me a lot of excitement to be part of something bigger,” she said.