Parent University at Clemente High School Opens its Doors

By Michael Kurshan Emmer, Safe Passage staff, PRCC

Dr. José E. Lopez, first lady of Chicago Amy Rule, and 

Clemente principal Marcey Sorenson

March 26, 2015 marked the grand opening of the Parent University at Clemente High School, something the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) and the Community as a Campus initiative (CAAC) have been working on bringing to fruition for quite some time now. A new concept in education, the Parent University at Clemente in Humboldt Park is the very first of its kind, serving as a model for other programs with similar objectives.


As the Master of Ceremonies of today's grand kickoff, Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) Dr. Shaun Jackson introduced a video showing Parent University participants hard at work, followed by speeches by Professor José E. Lopez and CEO of Chicago Public Schools Ms. Barbara Byrd-Bennett.



CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Jose Rico of United Way, Dr. José E. Lopez of  the Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Also addressing the media and the crowd in attendance were Jose Rico of United Way, Sybil Madison Boyd of the Digital Youth Network at De Paul University, and Matthew Summy of Comcast, all important partners working in collaboration with CPS, the PRCC, and the Parent University at Clemente. Also presiding over the event was Clemente principal Marcey Sorenson, without whom the Parent University at Clemente would not be able to function.



In attendance were such noted guests as Amy Rule, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's wife, Alderman Roberto Maldonado, former Alderman Billy Ocasio, as well as over a hundred community partners, participants, and guests.


As the speeches concluded guests were given intimate tours of each Parent University classroom, with each classroom spotlighting a particular Parent University course. Among the courses presented were Erie House's manufacturing bridge program, Grace media's digital video mini-course, a culinary arts mini-course, and an African drumming mini-course.


In addition, as the inauguration of the very first Parent University in the city was getting set to begin, guests were served delicious hors d'oeuvres made by Clemente students participating in Clemente's amazing culinary arts program. While guests tasted the delicacies made by Clemente students, they were also treated to a feast of the eyes. In addition to the beautifully presented photos of Safe Passage parent participants, Puerto Rican art from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies from the Hunter College art collection was on display.


As the very first program of it's kind, Humboldt Park's Clemente Community Academy's Parent University is a remarkable model. Married to the Safe Passage Program at Clemente and Wells High schools, and founded on the concept of community as a campus and in tandem with the Parent Popular Initiative, it is sure to be a model followed by other educational institutions and community organizations across Chicago and beyond.

When you do your Holiday shopping at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop.

From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

Puerto Rican Cultural Center


By Sylvia Aldrete, AT&T External Affairs Manager
Chicago, IL March 16, 2015 -  AT&T Illinois today announced the Puerto Rican Cultural Center is the winner of an "AT&T Investing in Illinois Award."


The Puerto Rican Cultural Center receives public recognition and a contribution of $2,500.00 from AT&T to be used for the  Consuelo Lee Corretjer Day Care Center which supports 50 children.  

"In a digital world and an Internet economy, AT&T is helping consumers and businesses move forward by delivering wired and wireless broadband solutions.  We're also helping the communities we serve move forward through corporate contributions to Illinois non-profit groups and programs that are making a difference locally," said Sylvia Aldrete, AT&T External Affairs Manager. 

  Illinois State Representative Cynthia Soto nominated the organization for the recognition from AT&T Illinois. 

The AT&T Investing in Illinois Awards provide resources and recognition to organizations and programs that are improving lives in their communities and the state by advancing education, economic growth, new technologies and other essential community services.

Research Presentation on Civic Engagement among Puerto Rican Youth in Humboldt Park

By Mayra Estrella, Program Director ACA

Dr. Michele Kelly, UIC School of Public Health, Dr. Mayra Estrella, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, and Amber Kraft, student UIC Department of Psychology and volunteer with the PRCC's anti-underage drinking campaign recently presented research at the Fourth Global Congress for Qualitative Health Research in Mérida, Yacatán, Mexico.

 They presented qualitative research on the process of social and political development of Puerto Rican youth in the Humboldt Park community, as well as the role of community settings in influencing youth's civic engagement and sociopolitical development. The authors discussed the significance of the community context for social justice as a factor that influences and promotes local youth civic engagement.

 The theme of the Congress, hosted by the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, was "Dialogues for Intercultural Health." It was organized by a group of qualitative researchers who wish to learn, communicate, and share qualitative inquiry as it pertains to health. The Congress is not a formal organization. It is a movement of researchers who are committed to advancing the field of qualitative health research.

Resident's participation in Story Corps

By Jackie Gonzalez, El Rescate

Ms. Mitra Bonshashi, editor from Story Corps, organization which is a non-profit organization that collects and archives interviews of random individual throughout the United States, contacted El Rescate to share her interest towards the work that is done at El Rescate  with the homeless LGBTQ/ HIV- positive youth. She wanted to interview and record Kayla Toledo, one of the program residents that is a success stories and the Program Director- Jackie Gonzalez. The conversation was recorded in a sound proof recording studio, the CD of the interview will be shared, and is preserved at the American Folk life Center at the Library of Congress. The recording took place on March 15, 2015, in down town at the Chicago Culture Center. It was a fun and interesting experience, because the interviews were conducted by Kayla and myself among each other; And we were able to learn more about each other and our lives including our childhood experiences. In the near future, we will coordinate an in house interview sections with all the resident as part of many other upcoming fun activities that we are planning to  incorporate at El Rescate for our residents (youth).

BACCA Mentor and HS Activist Earns Spot in 
Chicago Metro HS Regional History Fair
By Diana Castillo, National Boricua Human Rights Network
Congratulations to BACCA youth mentor Mia Espinosa, a high school junior student at George Westinghouse College Prep, has earned a coveted spot in the Chicago Metro High School Regional History Fair. The fair seeks to encourage young people to explore Chicago's history through performances, documentaries, exhibits, research papers and websites. Mia's research paper-Chicago's Puerto Rican Independence Movement and the FBI-takes in depth look at FBI tactics to discredit the movement to prevent it from developing supporters who challenged U.S. authority in Puerto Rico.



As a young Puerto Rican activist, Mia is not completely foreign to the history of the Puerto Rican movement in Chicago, but wanted to get more in depth knowledge of her own history and community. Mia has been able to expose her peers and teachers and has the opportunity of reaching an even larger audience in the City of Chicago.Mia's achievement as a young researcher invites other young people to inquire and question the history of their own communities.

Move for Life! Coming April 4th


By Leony Calderón

Move for Life!  is an annual one day community-driven outdoor event to kick-off the Spring/Summer physical activity seasons. Saturday, April 4th 2015, from 12:00pm-4:00pm. Join us as we Kick-off the Spring with an afternoon of physical activity; walking, biking, Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, games, boot camp, nutrition information, music, games and much more.

Free and For all Ages!

Service Providers join us and showcase your physical activity, nutrition program to the community. To register or volunteer 773-342-0855


Batey Urbano Film Series

By Christian Roldan, Batey Urbano

Along with tutoring and recreational and activities, Batey Urbano is presenting a series of films, starting today. These films take place each Wednesday at 5:00pm, after tutoring at Batey Urbano. In addition to providing entertainment to community youth, they call for critical reflection and social imagination.

At each showing, we present films as well as tasty refreshments from Nellie's Restaurant to accompany the evening. Invite your friends so they can also enjoy this entertainment. Significantly, we have healthy recreational activities such as table tennis, chess, art, board games and card games.

Health Education at the 

Diabetes Empowerment Center Every Wednesday!

By Leony Calderón

Health Education Every Wednesday, from 12:00pm to 1:00pm.

Manage, Control and Prevent Diabetes.  Ask Doctors, Residents, Nutritionist, Pharmacist and Dietitian Your Pressing Health Questions.

Weekly Topics

  • *       Diabetes 101
  • *       Medication Education
  • *       Nutrition Class
  • *       Intro to Diabetes & How the Body Works
  • *       Protecting Your Eyes
  • *       Protecting Your Feet
  • *       Oral Health
  • *       Using The Glucose Meter & Meds
  • *       Heart Health Education
  • *       Physical Activity and Diabetes

Diabetes Empowerment Center, 2753 W. Division St. 773-342-0855

Free and Bilingual.


Educación de Salud todos los Miércoles de 12:00pm a 1:00pm

Manege, Controle y Prevenga la Diabetes. Haga Preguntas a los Médicos, Residentes, Nutricionistas, Farmacéuticos y Dietista Acerca de Su de Salud.

Temas Semanales

  • *       Diabetes 101
  • *       Educación Medicamentos
  • *       Clase de Nutrición
  • *       Introducción a la Diabetes y Cómo funciona el cuerpo
  • *       Proteja sus ojos
  • *       La protección de sus pies
  • *       Salud Oral
  • *       Uso del medidor de glucosa y Medicamentos
  • *       Educación para la Salud del Corazón
  • *       Actividad física y la diabetes 

Gratuito y Bilingüe.

Centro de Empoderamiento Contra la Diabetes, 2753 W. Division St. 773-342-0855


Illinois State University Students and Faculty visit Paseo Boricua

By Michael Kurshan-Emmer, Safe Passage Staff, PRCC

On Wednesday March 11, 2015 a group of students and faculty members from Illinois State University visited the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and engaged its executive director José E. Lopez in a lively conversation and forum about the greater Humboldt Park community, and particularly the economic and cultural enclave known as Paseo Boricua.


The focus of the discussion centered on the Puerto Rican diaspora, the challenges of gentrification, sustainable community building, and even the future of the city itself.

The group toured Paseo Boricua and ate lunch at Nellies Puerto Rican restaurant.

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.

Puerto Rican Cultural Center Calendar of Community Events

Thur. Apr. 2nd, 6pm National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture and Puerto Rico Tourism Company open exhibit "Calibán", 3015 W. Division St.


Fri. Apr 3rd 2pm, Luncheon w/Nelson Denis, author, War Against All Puerto Ricans, $15 donation, Nellie's Restaurant, 2458 W. Division St.


Sat. Apr 4th 12pm-4pm, Move for Life in Humboldt Park, sponsored by Diabetes Empowerment Center


Mon Apr 6th Luncheon/Forum with President of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, Mark Bimbela and Alejandro Torres Rivera, 2701 W. Division St. ($15-$25 Sliding scale donation.)


Apr 6th -10th  Pa'lante Conference at UIC/UPRS, "Puerto Rican Identity in the Age of the Diaspora."

* Mon. Apr. 6th, 9-10am, Nelson Denis, author, War Against All Puerto Ricans, Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center (LC-B2)

* Tues. Apr. 7th, Cultural Presentation

* Wed. Apr. 8th, 9-10am, Film, ISABEL, and presentation by Melissa Montero, filmmaker. Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center (LC-B2)

* Thu. Apr. 9th, 5:30pm, Noche de Poetas featuring Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Gabriel Miranda. Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center (LC-B2)

* Fri. Apr. 10th, 9-10am, Music/Forum featuring Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Gabriel Miranda. Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center (LC-B2)


Fri. Apr. 17th 6pm-7pm, Book Presentation by Dr. Edwin Meléndez, Puerto Ricans at the Dawn of the New Millennium at 2701 W. Division St.  Co-sponsor: Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College.


Sat. Apr. 18th, 1pm, Luncheon, A Panel Discussion with Drs. Antonia Darder and Angela Valenzuela "Towards a New Discourse on Latino Pedagogy." Co-sponsor: National Latino Education Research and Policy Project (NLERAP) ($10-$15 Sliding scale donation). Nellie's Restaurant, 2458 W. Division St.


Sat. Apr 25th Hostos College, 500 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY

National Conversation on Puerto Ricans in the Age of the Diaspora on the 50th Anniversary of the Death of Albizu Campos with a community concert featuring Roy Brown and El Topo (leaving Chicago on Fri. Apr. 24th)


Fri. Apr. 30th, 6pm, Rollout of CPS Latin American Curriculum with CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett at National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, 3015 W. Division St.


Tues. May 19th Naming of Dr. Steve Whitman Greenhouse at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School. (Time TBA)


Fri. May 29th Event commemorating Oscar López Rivera's 34 yr. Anniversary of his arrest, La Casita de Don Pedro & Doña Lolita, 2625 W. Division St.


Sat May 30th NY Rally for Oscar Lopez Rivera's 34 yr. anniversary of his arrest (leaving Chicago on Fri May 29th)


SAVE THE FOLLOWING DATES * 2015 Puerto Rican Cultural Center * Annual Events

Puerto Rican People's Parade                    22nd Fiesta Boricua "De Bandera a Bandera"

Sat June 20, 2015                                        Sept 5 - 6, 2015 * 12pm - 8:30pm

Starting 2PM-Division/Western                Honoring: Cayey, Puerto Rico, Orlando, Florida


Haunted Paseo Boricua, Sat Oct 31, 2015 

Early Birds
By Hope Poireir, CIC staff
Violeta, Sara and Ydalis are the first three kids to be at school. The daycare opens at 7:00 and everyday they come early. The three of them are in different classrooms and by them coming in early everyday they really got to know each other and now they are the bestest friends and when they see each other they always say hi to one another.
Los Tequis


Bunkr is a fully web-based presentation site. Make presentations the same as you would on PowerPoint or Keynote, but add all sorts of elements - like videos, articles, social media posts, or you can even code something yourself - and it'll show up in your deck. 


This has all kinds of cool applications. For example, if you're presenting something that changes over time, like a GitHub repo or Twitter feed, you won't need to update the deck to keep it current. You can even sync Bunkr with slide decks on other services, like 


  • From Our Community Partners

    Second round of IB Applications opened at Roberto Clemente Community Academy

    By Elizabeth Kelley, RCCA

    The second round of IB applications have opened!  If you are a student that did not apply to IB in the first round, or did not apply to Roberto Clemente Community Academy but would like to attend our school, please have fill out the IB Second Round Application (download) and return to Roberto Clemente Community Academy (either to or  via e-mail, fax, in person, or mail) by next Thursday, April 2nd.

    Norwegian American Foundation Fundraiser will Benefit Community Health Outreach
    Norwegian American Hospital

    Join the Norwegian American Hospital Foundation for an exciting evening as they host their inaugural "The Power of Community" benefit at the Mid-America Club. This delicious dinner will be held on Thursday, June 25, from 6 - 9 p.m. and everyone is invited to attend.


    Dinner proceeds will benefit the Norwegian American Hospital Pediatric Dental Van. Norwegian's newest innovative resource is a mobile facility that provides dental care throughout the area and is based on the enormous success of the Pediatric Care-A-Van. The Pediatric Dental Van will provide vital restorative dentistry (x-rays, exams, fillings, root canals, etc.) to more than 1,200 low-income children at their schools and community sites each year, as well as provide referrals for ongoing dental care and bilingual oral health instruction.


    "This is an exciting and special event for the hospital and the community we serve. By attending you are not only indulging yourself with spectacular food, but also giving back to Norwegian American Hospital and this special program," says Edward Dernulc, Norwegian American Hospital Foundation executive director.


    Tickets are $200 and a table of 10 is $2,000. For more information, please call the Norwegian American Hospital Foundation office at (773) 292-8509.


    A Charlie Minn Film

    Opens at the Patio Theatre in Chicago

    on Friday, April 3rd for a minimum one week run

    The Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera has 

    its own e-newsletter- The Water's Edge/La Orilla del Mar

    Published every two weeks- next issue will be published 3-24-2015


    WRITE TO OSCAR LOPEZ, #87651-024

    FCI Terre Haute,  PO Box 33

    Terre Haute, IN,  47808 

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

    "Live and Help to Live"