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Casino WomenCourage in Unexpected Places$
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Susan Chandler and Jill B. Jones

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450143

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450143.001.0001

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Liberation Theology, Pit Boss Style

Liberation Theology, Pit Boss Style

(p.97) 7 Liberation Theology, Pit Boss Style
Casino Women

Susan Chandler

Jill B. Jones

Cornell University Press

This chapter tells the story of Edna Harman. Born into the poverty and bigotry of a rural Nevada town, Edna spent her early adult years following a well-trod path to casino work and addiction. She hated her work as a dealer, then as a pit boss, and numbed her alienation and despair with ample quantities of alcohol and tranquilizers. But in the 1980s in a small miracle she found the Maryknoll sisters and a whole world opened up to her: one of commitment to justice in Central America and service to the poor. She eventually went on eight Maryknoll missions to Mexico, Bolivia, and Nicaragua. The missions changed Edna's relationships with her fellow employees, including the many Central Americans who in the 1980s were flooding north for sanctuary and jobs. Edna also began to bring liberation theology right into the pit, and became engaged in other causes, particularly domestic violence and low wages.

Keywords:   Edna Harman, pit bosses, casino workers, Maryknoll sisters, liberation theology

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