Photo of Glenda Rae Hernandez


“Don’t let yourself be limited by anyone else’s ideas.”

Before moving to South Bend, Glenda Rae Hernandez’s life bounced throughout various parts of the Midwest. Her move to South Bend occurred through a twist of fate in which she said she “wasn’t ready to go back to moving.” A few months later this declaration resulted in she and her husband moving and settling in South Bend. At a time when the “anti-poverty mind” was just coming to the forefront of national discussions, Glenda Rae started providing day care services for migrant workers, the start of years of working with inner city children. Glenda Rae has dedicated her life to fighting for the forgotten and underprivileged, including children, migrant workers, soldiers and many others.

According to Glenda Rae she always felt her “calling had something to do with race relations.” She lives her calling by consciously choosing to live in a racially diverse and economically impoverished neighborhood so that her “neighborhood has been a real education.” Glenda Rae has been a vocal and active advocate for peace since the Vietnam War era and traveled to Nicaragua as part of Witness to Peace. To help others learn to move beyond their limits, Glenda Rae helped bring Study Circles to South Bend in which individuals from different religions, races, and economic classes come together for six sessions to transcend their differences and find points of commonality that continue long after the six Study Circle sessions end.

More recently in conjunction with other community leaders, Glenda Rae has instituted Little Taste of Peace sessions to allow diverse groups of individuals to come together for food and conversation. Glenda Rae continues not to let others limit her by participating weekly in peace protests and being an active advocate for the underprivileged in multiple forums.

  • South Bend Hall of Fame
  • Board member, YWCA
  • Board member, Habitat for Humanity
  • Founding Member, 4 C’s (Community Coordinated Childcare)
  • Founder, Tough Love, International, South Bend Division
  • Member, Human Rights Commission
  • Founder, Study Circles
  • Founder, Little Taste of Peace
  • Member, Michiana Peace and Justice Coalition
  • Board member, League of Women Voters
  • Member, Witness for Peace
  • Member, Community Religious Effort Against Violence
  • Member, Urban Coalition Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Information compiled from oral history collected by The Michiana Women Leaders Project.