Latinas Event


Born out of social movements in the South Bronx in 1968, Hostos Community College is no stranger to the power of the people.

Two events on Oct. 10 and Oct. 11 proved how powerful the right to exercise our rights can be as “Latina Activism: Sisters and Daughters - Past & Present” and “From Where We Came to Where We Are Going,” helped Hostos mark its 50th Anniversary celebration with a nod to the1960s and an empowering exclamation point.

“Latina Activism” was the second of the two-part series of faculty-created and led forum discussions on issues affecting the Latino and Latina community. Moderated by professors Joan Beckerman and Hector Soto, it brought special guest speakers, Dr. Iris Morales, author, grassroots activist, and former Young Lord; Angy Paola Rivera, a powerful voice for the undocumented; and Peggy Robles Alvarado, a poet, writer and teacher, for sharing their expertise, passions and powerful messages.

Students Jassiel Mena Paulino, Tiana Cordero, and Miriam Rodríguez also took center stage and read excerpts from Morales’ collection of works titled, “Latinas: An Anthology of Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA.” The power of education and personal empowerment were important takeaways each speaker emphasized.
Maritza Martínez, a 23-year-old liberal arts major and member of the Common Ground & Re-Imagining Justice Clubs, left the event feeling empowered. “These women are so strong and their stories can help guide our futures and inspire others,” Martínez said.

“Latina Activism” was co-sponsored by the President’s Office, the Common Ground & Re-Imagining Justice Clubs, in collaboration with the Carlos L. Gonzalez Counseling Center, Student Activities Office, and professors Joan Beckerman, Héctor Soto, Lauren Wolf. The lecture was coordinated by professor Lizette Colón.
A day later, “From Where We Came to Where We Are Going,” explored the various social movements in the 1960s and the parallels between past and current day social movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. It featured two panels: “Activism of the 60s” that also dealt with open admissions policies at The City University of New York and Hostos Community College, remediation policies, and accessibility to higher education.

That panel included Hostos faculty Sandy Figueroa, Tom Joyce, Inmaculada Lara-Bonilla, Hector Soto, as well the return of Dr. Iris Morales.

Panel Two: “From Civil Rights and Feminism to Black Lives Matter and #MeToo” explored the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960s. Panelists included Hostos faculty Linda Anderson, Kristopher Burrell, Linda Hirsch, Howard Jordan, and Ana López. “From Where We Came to Where We Are Going” was the brainchild of mathematics professor Bronislaw Czarnocha, who organized the events as a way to connect Hostos’ past and present with current social and political events and movements. A reception and special concert closed the day in what was an important look back and ahead.