Join us in celebrating the oldest network of alternative high schools in Illinois!
Spend a night with us recognizing innovators in the field of alternative education.

THIS Thursday, November 13, 2014 at the Garfield Park Conservatory 

(300 N. Central Park Avenue) 6:30 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.

By supporting the Alternative Schools Network's 40th Anniversary you are supporting 23 alternative high schools throughout Chicago which service youth most at need.

Attire: Cocktail, Business, Semi-Formal

Purchase your tickets here!

2014 Holiday Pasteles Sale

To raise holiday commissary for Puerto Rican Political Prisoners 

Oscar López Rivera and Norberto González Claudio

CHICAGO AREA ONLY. SORRY. Pork or Vegetarian available. Reserve your delicious pasteles by emailing Diana Castillo: Download the form and Order today. 

From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

Bridging Communities to Advance a 
Shared Agenda
By Leonard Ramírez. former Director of LARES
"Storming the Gates," a documentary produced by the Illinois African American and Latino Educational Alliance (IALHEA), was recently shown on the UIC campus as part of a series of events celebrating Latin American and Latino Studies' 40th Anniversary. The film reveals a chapter of a sometimes forgotten story of community and student protest that opened the doors of higher education for thousands of Illinois Latino and African American students. Ethnic studies and student recruitment and retention programs were among the many initiatives created by '60s and '70s activists. The Rafael Cintron Ortiz Cultural Center was an appropriate site for the event since it itself was founded through the pressure of Latino students. 

Michael Toney, former director of the Urban Health Program and the Illinois Committee for Black Concerns in Higher Education and a member of the Black Latino Alliance was joined by Karen Su, clinical assistant professor in the Asian American Studies Program. They spoke about the current challenges to preserve and expand on past gains and keep college doors open and campuses hospitable to diverse populations, including the disabled, LGBT communities, and women. Despite advances, Black enrollment has fallen since the '70s to half of its numbers, Asian American programs operate precariously on a shoestring budget and the Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services' decades long successful summer bridge program, the model for similar campus projects, was mysteriously terminated by the Provost's Office. Mario Lucero from the RCOCC Cultural Center engaged the audience in a discussion on what might be the next steps to further develop a collective diversity communities agenda that can continue to build on the legacy left by previous generations of activists. 

Join Us at the UIC -LALS 40th Anniversary Culmination Event at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture This Friday

PRCC's Affordable Care Act Program Prepares for Open Enrollment Nov. 15


As the date for the Marketplace's Open Enrollment Period approaches (November 15), the PRCC's Affordable Care Act staff has been hard at work. Our Navigators have been revisiting previous partners, such as Alderman Roberto Maldonado, the Burbank Unemployment Office, the Logan Square Library, and the Grito Desesperado Shelter. The ACA team has also started developing new partnerships with places such as the Diversey Unemployment Office, the Irving Park Pantry, and the Humboldt Park Library. So far, people's response has been amazing and we hope that Year 2 will be even better. 

On Sale Now

November Chicago Magazine "Why José López Stands Between Gentrification and Humboldt Park"

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.

From Our Community Partners

A School Built on Pride and Equality

by Rosemary Clinton, Senior

Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School

(On Monday, November 3rd, special guests State Representative Greg Harris and State Representative Cynthia Soto visited our school to learn more about a special program that we have in place to support our students. Also in attendance were Jack Wuest, Executive Director of Alternative Schools Network (ASN), Marvin Garcia, President of our school's Board of Directors, Martrice Manuel, Program Director of ASN, and Juan Calderon from the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. Following is the address given by Rosemary Clinton, one of our seniors, who spoke to the guests.)


     When I think of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, I think of more than just your everyday school. I think of hope, a second chance, and opportunities beyond your wildest dreams. I think of a school built on pride and equality, where we're not just peers, but family. How many people can honestly wake-up to be greeted on a first-name basis by their Principal,  to feel as if, after everyone gave up on you, people you had just met picked up the pieces to help you succeed?

     I stand here today to explain to you how amazing my school really is. With After School programs for EVERY subject, with teachers gladly waiting to help you, pushing you everyday to go a little bit farther and to never settle -- because you can achieve so much more. Dr. Campos High School wants nothing but for us to succeed. For example, this past summer I was sitting at home doing nothing. Out of the blue, Judy called (Judy Diaz-Rodriguez is our Dean of Students) asking me what I had been doing.  I explained to her my situation and how I had no summer job. Within a week Judy had set me up with a summer job working more than 30 hours every week. I worked at a doctor's office where I gained experience working in the medical field. The experience gave me groundbreaking background knowledge on what the life of a doctor is really like. Not many teenagers my age are awarded this opportunity. For me to have the advantage of partaking in this was a blessing. So, when I think of my school, I can't help but be grateful for the opportunity to be blessed with such amazing people in my life.

     When I walk across the stage, I know I will have all the tools I need to be successful. Without Dr. Campos High School, I would probably just be another DCFS statistic, an African-American high school drop-out. But today I stand before you as a Senior, graduating early from high school, an Abayarde Scholar, a 17 year-old girl accepted into two colleges with many more to come. After June 6th, I will be an undergraduate student with a Major in Business and a Minor in Accounting, going for my Master's Degree. I'll owe it all To Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School and staff.

Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Earns 'A' in 

Hospital Safety Twice in 2014

November 10, 2014 - Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (PSMEMC) received an "A" for how well the medical center protects patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections, according to The Leapfrog Group, an independent industry watchdog. 


For 2014, this is the second consecutive "A" in patient safety for PSMEMC. The Hospital Safety Score is calculated every six months and is free to patients. Click here to search and compare scores for hospitals in the Chicago area. Click here to review PSMEMC's score.


The Hospital Safety Score uses national performance measures from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Hospital Association's Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement, according to Leapfrog. 


"We have earned another 'A' rating because patient safety remains the highest priority at our medical center," said Martin Judd, Regional President and CEO, PSMEMC. "Our physicians, nurses and health care team work together to ensure a safe patient experience for every individual. We encourage patients to do their homework before coming to a hospital to learn about the hospital's record, just as they would research other information online."


Calculated under criteria identified by Leapfrog's Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single A, B, C, D or F score. The score indicates how well a hospital protects patients from preventable harm and medical errors, such as falls, problems during surgery, medication errors, blood clots, infections and others. 


The methodology has been peer reviewed and published in the Journal of Patient Safety, according to Leapfrog.

Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera


FCI Terre Haute,  PO Box 33

Terre Haute, IN,  47808 

Decisión sobre Oscar López no se afectaría por congreso republicano
Por Daniel Rivera Vargas/

La derrota que sufrió el presidente Barack Obama en las elecciones congresionales de la semana pasada no debería afectar las posibilidades de que el preso político boricua Oscar López Rivera, pueda recibir un indulto y sea excarcelado.

Así lo aseguró Rita Zengotita, del Comité pro Derechos Humanos de Puerto Rico, quien agregó que la decisión de un indulto recae únicamente en manos del presidente de los Estados Unidos.

"Todavía está en manos de él, del presidente, antes de dejar la silla presidencial, de otorgar el indulto. Otros lo han hecho, ¿por qué él no podría hacerlo? Independientemente del cambio en Cámara o Senado, esa es una prerrogativa del presidente", dijo Zengotita.

"No tenemos en nuestras manos si se le va a otorgar o no, no sabemos cómo él lo está visualizando. De igual manera, (Bill) Clinton lo hizo, el secretario de Justicia (Eric) Holder siempre ha sido de la posición que se le otorgue la libertad y nosotros nos imaginamos que su recomendación es reafirmándose en la salida de Oscar", señaló Zengotita.

Clinton indultó a un grupo de presos políticos puertorriqueños en 1999, cuando finalizaba su segundo y último mandato. Obama está en su último término presidencial.

Por primera vez desde 2006 el Partido Republicano logró el pasado martes el control del Senado de Estados Unidos y afianzó su control de la Cámara de Representantes federal en las elecciones congresionales. Obama, demócrata, ahora tendrá que lidiar con un congreso controlado en su totalidad por la oposición.

López Rivera, de 71 años y quien lleva preso desde 1981 con una condena por conspiración sediciosa, es considerado el preso político más antiguo del hemisferio. El reclamo a favor de su excarcelación incluye líderes de todos los partidos políticos en Puerto Rico, artistas y deportistas, entre otros.

Las expresiones de Zengotita surgieron hoy, domingo, mientras participaba del anuncio de la actividad "33 horas de poesía por Oscar" a celebrarse entre el viernes próximo a las 10:00 a.m. hasta el sábado a las 7:00 p.m.

Uno de los portavoces de este evento de poesía, William Pérez Vega, dijo que si Obama opta por no darle el indulto a López Rivera, podría tener repercusiones políticas para los demócratas de grupos que apoyan la excarcelación del puertorriqueño. "Los demócratas podrían perder el apoyo de esos grupos", dijo Pérez Vega.

Igualmente, Zengotita dijo que hay preocupación entre los defensores de los derechos humanos en Puerto Rico por el preso Norberto González Claudio, vinculado por las autoridades federales al robo de un camión de la Wells Fargo en Estados Unidos, en la década de los 80, que supuestamente perpetró la organización Ejército Popular Boricua, mejor conocida como Los Macheteros.

Según Zengotita, González Claudio fue sacado de mínima custodia y trasladado a un área de máxima seguridad sin proveerle razón alguna a su abogada Jan Sussler.

"En estos momentos se confronta una situación difícil. Ha sido sacado de la prisión donde se encuentra en Coleman Florida y trasladado a una institución de máxima seguridad, incomunicado completamente de su familia", indicó Zengotita. "No han dado razones, solamente que por motivos de seguridad y por ser un caso sensitivo", señaló.

Asimismo, según Zengotita, a González Claudio le cambiaron hace unos meses la fecha en la que extinguiría su sentencia en cárcel. Originalmente González Claudio debía salir este mes de noviembre, pero la cambiaron para15 de enero de 2015. Originalmente publicado en El Nuevo Dia.

A Cross-Cultural Conversation on Human, Labor and Civil Rights at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center

Last Thursday, November 4, 2014, a conversation on the intersecting lines running through Labor, Civil and Human Rights struggles, from the 1964 Freedom Summer to the current Dreamer and Immigration Reform movement. From the right to join unions and collective bargaining to the denial of citizenship to undocumented immigrants to the imposition of citizenship on Puerto Ricans, from the African Diaspora to economic inequalities,  panelists and audience discussed the different narratives and perspectives as they explored their different and sometime divergent strategies and tactics for progressive change in their particular fields- from the merits of voter registration to more direct action tactics. Panelists included: Cesar Vargas, co-ed of the Immigration Resource Network, Diane Cantave, member and political organizer, Rona Shapiro, Executive Director of the 1199 SEIU Home care Division, representing more than 80,000 mainly immigrant women in the home care work force, Dr. Alethia Jones, Director of the Educational and Leadership Dept, 1199 SEIU, moderated by Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Esq. Human Rights Attorney. More than 40 activists from the African American Caucus of SEIU, Latinos Unidos, the Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Committee. the National Lawyers Guild, the NYC Vieques Solidarity Committee, 33xMujeresxOscar and the National Boricua Human Rights Network, as well as large number of 1199 SEOU organizers and members, participated in the conversation. 

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

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