Special issue of CENTRO Journal


Call for Papers

Guest editors: Maura I. Toro-Morn (Illinois State University), Ivis Garcia Zambrana (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Marisa Alicea (DePaul University)


The Chicago Puerto Rican experience represents a significant chapter of the Puerto Rican diaspora. Sixty years after the initial waves of migration, Puerto Ricans nd themselves in a paradoxical place. Relative to other ethnic and racial groups in the city and despite their status as U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans still have among the lowest incomes, educational attainment, and homeownership rates. Yet, Puerto Ricans in Chicago have mobilized themselves and other communities in the struggles against gentrification, poverty, poor access to health care and immigrant rights. This special issue seeks to explore some of the realities of the Chicago Puerto Rican community today. We are looking for new scholarship that both revisits some of the issues that Puerto Ricans face as long-term residents and explores new problems and challenges the community is confronting. We are also seeking articles that speak to the

community's response to its social and economic realities.


Download the invitation to submit academic papers here.


Deadline for abstract submissions of no more than 250 words

with paper title and keywords is October 15, 2014.

Deadline for nal paper submission is January 31, 2015.

Send abstracts and submissions to: centro-journal@hunter.cuny.edu

We invite academic papers addressing, among other possibilities, the following questions:

Call for Papers


For more information contact: Xavier F.Toi, Editor

CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies

Phone:  212-772-5690 Fax:  212-650-3673


From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

On Sale Now

November Chicago Magazine "José López Last Stand"

Be sure to pick up the November issue of Chicago Magazine, which features an interview by Puerto Rican Cultural Center ED José E. López conducted by Elly Fishman.

13th Annual Haunted Paseo Boricua

Featuring Carnival Circus Extravaganza &

Healthy Treats for Children of All Ages


Chicago, IL - October 1, 2014- hosts the 13th Annual Haunted Paseo Boricua on Friday, October 31st in the Humboldt Park neighborhood along Division Street from Western to California, between the giant Paseo Boricua Gateway Flag monuments. The festivities begin at 4:00pm and go until 7:30pm. Admission is free and open to the public. We provide a safe space for hundreds of families to enjoy the Halloween festivities, trick or treating and have plenty of fun. 

This year's festival includes over dozen of "halloweenesque" stations inspired by the carnival circus theme infused with a bit of Puerto Rican culture such as: a Haunted Casita, Scary Graveyard, Spooky Dancing & Thriller Stations, Healthy Treats Station, and the infamous and devilish Puerto Rican VEJIGANTE Station. 


This is the second year that Haunted Paseo launches the initiative " Healthy Treats for Healthier Kids" a campaign to inform children and their families about moderation and healthier snacks choices. We encourage our businesses to offer alternatives to candy in order to help prevent diabetes and obesity among our youth and in our community.


This event is being co-sponsored by: Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos H.S., West Town Bikes/Ciclo Urbano (Boys & Girls Bike Club), AfriCaribe Cultural Center, The Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Batey Urbano, Roberto Clemente High School, Muevete - Diabetes Empowerment Center, VIDA SIDA, The Chicago Park District, Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th Ward), Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, and The Greater Humboldt Park Community of Wellness.  


Visit: www.paseoboricua.org

Find us on Facebook:Haunted Paseo

or Flickr: Haunted Paseo 2012




Did you know that the average kid consumes 3 cups of sugar during Halloween?             

Last year Haunted Paseo launched an extraordinary campaign to promote healthy alternatives and moderation during and beyond the Halloween celebration. Children all ages and families were genuinely happy to receive more than candy, but also delicious treats that won't scare good health away.


We are encouraging donations of every kind within this category to help realize this initiative. 


Some examples are:

  • Fruit Gummies
  • Pretzels
  • Juice boxes
  • Mini water bottles 
  • Plain cookies (graham crackers, Teddy Grahams, vanilla wafers, etc.)
  • Baked chips, baked tortilla chips
  • Popcorn
  • Low-fat granola or cereal bars
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Small toys (be conscious of small children)
  • Stickers


Donations can be dropped off at DSBDA, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, Erie Elementary Charter School, Diabetes Empowerment Center and many others. 


Lets make it happen!

Centro Infantil Children Around the World


Natalie and Ava were given a brand new puzzle to complete it was a little challenging for them but they both completed with each others help. The puzzle was called Children Around the World, they learned quite a lot from this puzzle they learned what certain flags look like and they also understood that everybody is the same no matter where they come from. The puzzle showed them that even if they appear different everybody is equal which is why they are in a circle with there hands out to each other. They both loved this puzzle so much they took it apart and put it together again. Good job Natalie and Ava!

From Our Community Partners


Winning students capture "headlines" at Bulls game for Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School



 Juwan Scott, Captain of the Albizu Campos Basketball Team

, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School

(Students at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School compete in monthly "Attendance Challenges" by supporting each other in their PANA groups (Peers Advising to New Achievements). Following are comments by a student who earned a place on September's prize-winning adventure trip, which went to the Jayuya Pana, with an attendance rate of 90.5%.)


Students who won the school's September Attendance Challenge, by earning highest percentage for on-time daily attendance, won tickets to go to the United Center on October 6th  to cheer the Chicago Bulls against the Washington Wizards. We started by taking photos in front of the Michael Jordan statue. After we took our seats, we watched players shooting on the court. The whole time watching, I was thinking about how our team at Albizu Campos compares with the Chicago Bulls. The Albizu Campos team thrives on defense, just like the Bulls. As I watched, I was thinking about leading our own team through the upcoming season. Then the lights went out and it was silent. After we gave the "Power Clap,"  it was Game Time! Highlights of the game included every basket by Derrick Rose, who came back from a two-year injury to prove himself. After the first quarter, the spotlight was on us, when the huge "Mini-Tron" display showed students from our school with signs in the air. The best moment was during half-time, when our school was acknowledged and welcomed to the "Mad-House on Madison," with our school name in lights, broadcast to the 21,000 people in the arena and across the nation.

Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera


FCI Terre Haute,  PO Box 33

Terre Haute, IN,  47808 

¡Felix Shafer, Presente!

By Judith Mirkinson

On a hot Sunday afternoon, 250 gathered in Oakland, CA on October 12, to celebrate the life of Felix Shafer who died on April 15, of lung cancer at the age of 63.  In a hall filled with photographs of his life, speakers remembered Felix as a brother, a husband, a father and comrade.

"He was a political person to his very core. His commitment to the political prisoners remained a constant his entire life,", said Judith Mirkinson, his former partner.

His wife, the muralist, Miranda Bergman remembered his strength, his intellect, his creativity and his great love for people.  We had the most amazing relationship for almost 30 years, we thought we'd grow old together but it was not to be. Ona, Gemma and Jack Mirkinson and Max Forman-Mullin, his children, spoke of his perseverance and grace in this last period of his life and talked about the chasms left by his passing.

There were also tributes by former and current political prisoners, Palestinian and New Afrikan activists. 

Alejandro Molina of the PRCC and the National Boricua Human Rights network spoke of Felix's commitment to the Puerto Rican people. His remarks are printed below.

The evening ended with bomba from Aguacero. As one attendee put it.  "It was a most beautiful event.  It reminded us of our community and movement that believes that another world is possible."


Remarks by Alejandro Luis Molina

Good afternoon everyone; 

On behalf of Oscar López Rivera and the National Boricua Human Rights Network, its wonderful to see so many faces of comrades, compañeros(as) and family. Also our respect and love, on my personal behalf, and on behalf of the former Puerto Rican political prisoners freed by President Clinton in 1999, to all of the former political prisoners that are present today.

I personally met Felix, along with a host of other comrades from the East and West Coasts, in the late 70s during a difficult time for the Puerto Rican solidarity movement, which was severely divided as a result of the actions of the FALN and later, other armed Puerto Rican organizations. Needless to say, the divisions in the solidarity movement reflected the divisions in the independence movement. It was a difficult period, and the practice, principles and community they built, which he came to exemplify of that political tendency, became the cornerstone for our relationship in the years to come.

22 years ago last weekend, the American Indian Movement convened The International Tribunal of Indigenous Peoples and Oppressed Nations in the USA as the culmination of national counter quincentennial events in which a broad coalition of activists, and national movements came together to kill the Ghost of Columbus yet again. Felix and his comrades, some of whom are here today, were an important part of that coalition, bringing together the work on other political prisoners whose freedom we was also committed to: Geronimo Pratt, Marilyn Buck and Silvia Baraldini, among others. The series of events gathered broad publicity and further stirred the national debate on Columbus, Colonialism, Genocide and Political Prisoners in the US.

After the Tribunal, Felix gifted me a poem by Walt Whitman, "To a Foil'd European Revolutionaire" and on the other side he wrote a simple message, which has managed to stay with me to this day, about solidarity, consistency and principles, once again closing the circle that bound us then, and which binds us now.

Comrade Felix, we stand on the shoulders of giants.

 Free Oscar López Rivera

Free Puerto Rico 
Originally in El Post Antillano

The day we became a nation: García Padilla visits Oscar López

By Daniel Nina

 Last Saturday, October 4, without having announced it, the governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro García Padilla, went to the federal prison in Terre Haute (high ground, in Spanish), in the state of Indiana, and met with Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. He went out to pay a visit to Rivera López, out of his moral and collective conviction that this imprisonment, after 33 years, of someone convicted of non-violent acts, "is excessive." Even more, the governor pointed out by way of a press release, that "his appearance at this meeting was as a representative of the people of Puerto Rico." In other words, it wasn't about a singular "I," but about a collective "I." We the people, as the first sentence of the Constitution of the Free Associated State of Puerto Rico says so well. 


We don't know the importance of this meeting. It was an official visit. The governor sought permission as the governor of the Island to see one of its citizens most affected by a fact that is now recognized as injustice. The governor didn't go to see him as a private attorney; that would be a violation of the Law of Governmental Ethics. Nor did he go to see him as a friend. He went to see him as governor, and considering that Oscar López Rivera is a citizen of Puerto Rico, which has been acknowledged since the Treaty of Paris in 1898. That gesture, then, has monumental significance: in the absence of a State, one is only citizen of a nation. 


We value, then, the hidden languages of the act carried out by the governor last Saturday. That is why the fact that the governor declared that he went in the name of that social collective called the People of Puerto Rico takes on such importance. It isn't something without meaning, we repeat: it is the affirmation of a will called people, that represents a differentiated identity, being the nation, and that values its sons and daughters as citizens of Puerto Rico. 


Given that it was an official vist, we would now like a transcript of what governor García Padilla and Oscar López Rivera talked about. It has to do with a conversation that isn't privileged, in which we, the Puerto Rican nation, were part of. Therefore, we deserve to know what they talked about. Why? Because it would help us understand the forms and ways that national subjects, who are sovereign, are being shaped.


By this act, which is a historic fact and unique in its class, Governor Alejandro García Padilla became strong as chief of State. This is quite an statement, in spite of not having a State, sovereignty or independence. Cosas veréis*.


* In the old Spanish language tradition, "things you will see".

The parole hearing that wasn't: Norberto González Claudio

October 10, 2014

On October 9, U.S. Parole Commission and Federal Bureau of Prisons [BOP] personnel had arranged for a parole hearing for Puerto Rican political prisoner Norberto González Claudio at FCI Coleman Low, Florida, where he is serving a 5 year sentence related to the Macheteros' 1983 expropriation of more than $7 million from a Wells Fargo Depot in Hartford, Connecticut. 

In April of 2014, the U.S. Parole Commission determined that Norberto would not be released on parole, and that he would have to serve the remainder of his sentence behind bars. The October hearing was scheduled to coincide with Norberto's having served two-thirds of his 5 year sentence.

Norberto's release date, according to the BOP, is January 15, 2015, after which he must serve 180 days on supervision. He must then serve the term of 3 years supervised release, which was part of his sentence. 

Given that the Parole Commission was not likely to change its decision, and that even if it did, it was more advantageous not to proceed with the parole hearing, Norberto decided to waive the parole hearing. He will walk out of prison on January 15, 2015, to the waiting arms of his family and the people of Puerto Rico. 


He sent this message to his people:

Compañeros and compañeras, I'm doing just fine and things are improving. We'll see each other soon. My out date continues to be the same, January 15. My thoughts are always with you and my Puerto Rican working class. I love all of you. The struggle continues. 


The Orlando Chapter of the NBHRN hosted political prisoner Norberto Gonzalez's family who is incarcerated in Coleman, Florida. Coming from Puerto Rico with the surprise visit was an overwhelming delight for everyone.

Puerto Rican Cultural Center
o. 773/342-8023 f. 773/342-6609

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