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From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

National Convening in Florida for a 
National Puerto Rican Agenda
By the "Unidos por Puerto Rico" Coalition
The coalition "Unidos Por Puerto Rico De Florida," in conjunction with leaders of the stateside Puerto Rican community are calling for a national convening in Orlando, Florida on October 13-14, 2015 to develop a National Puerto Rican Agenda in support of Puerto Rico and stateside Puerto Ricans. This national gathering will bring together government and civic leaders from Florida and throughout the US, as well as the Island, who lead Puerto Rican movements and networks aimed at providing solutions for the current crisis issues in Puerto Rico and in the US.

The objective of the National Convening is to create a comprehensive National Puerto Rican Agenda which encompasses the problems affecting Puerto Ricans both in the island and in the U.S. The Florida event will focus on the crisis in Puerto Rico. Currently, there are multiple ongoing local initiatives in the United States calling for and in support of Congressional and Presidential action to solve the fiscal and economic crisis in Puerto Rico.
The emergent national coalition will discuss the issues of the Fiscal Crisis, Health Care Crisis, Climate Change and Infrastructure Support, and Human Rights and Civic Engagement, all critical to the revitalization of Puerto Rico. A National Puerto Rican Agenda will serve as a guide for Puerto Ricans interested in taking an active role in the solutions and for elected officials advocating for the interests of Puerto Rico and the Diaspora.
"Unidos Por Puerto Rico," is the organizing committee which encompasses a broad coalition of Central Florida groups that includes Iniciativa Acción Puertorriqueña, Hispanic Federation, Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida, PRFAA, Asociación de Puertorriqueños Viviendo en la Florida, and other leaders. Acacia's El Centro Borinqueño (formerly Asociación Borinqueña) will host the event. Support groups for "Unidos Por Puerto Rico" have been formed in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Orlando and New Jersey though it is expected that delegates from other states will join the event.
The program starts with a Welcome Reception on Tuesday evening (6pm-9pm), where representatives from the local "Unidos Por Puerto Rico" will discuss the impact of the current migratory wave from Puerto Rico is having in the region, the political and social challenges facing the community, and the multiple ongoing initiatives addressing these problems. On Wednesday the program begins with a Congressional Briefing Panel, where Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), and Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) will discuss pending legislation in Congress and other ongoing national initiatives.
After the Congressional Briefing Panel concludes, the deliberations proceed in breakout sessions as follows. The expected outcome of these breakout sessions is the action agenda for each of the topics.

For more information:
Midwest: Cristina Pacione-Zayas (pacionezayas@gmail.com)
Northeast and Southeast US: Betsy Franceshini (bfranceschini@prfaa.pr.gov)
During Speech in Harlem
President Maduro Reiterates Support for "Latin America's Mandela"
acknowledges presence of José E. López, Oscar's brother
By PRCC Staff
President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, once again, manifested his unconditional support for the release of Puerto Rican patriot Oscar López Rivera during a keynote address to the Afro-Descendent Peoples of African Descent Leadership Summit held in Harlem's National Black theater on Monday, September 28, 2015. The event was sponsored by Transafrica and 1199SEIU and included such African American luminaries as Dr. Ron Daniels, President, Institute of the Black World, 21st Century, NY State Senator Bill Perkins, Opal Tometi, Co-founder, #BlackLivesMatter, and actor Danny Glover, among others.

Before a completely filled auditorium, President Maduro publicly acknowledged the presence of José E. López, brother of Oscar López Rivera, and also called for the patriot's release, once again referring to him as the Nelson Mandela of Latin America. At the end of the program President Maduro personally told López that he wanted to send Oscar a personal abrazo, and that he was totally committed to his release.
Centro Voices
Aida Maisonet Giachello: A career transforming health for Puerto Ricans in Chicago
Aida Giachello is a respected educator and researcher on Hispanic/Latino health who has long been involved in community mobilization and action. She founded several organizations including the Midwest Hispanic AIDS Coalition  and the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC). She has served on numerous local and national boards, and is involved in countless grassroots efforts to address health and human services issues of racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, women as a group, and other vulnerable populations. Currently, she is a research professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago. She has received over 44 awards and recognitions throughout the years, including being honored in 2005 by Time Magazine's as One of 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America, in 2010 being named as One of Ten Persons Who Inspire by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). She has also been published in and recognized by various Latino and Hispanic publications, including National Hispanic Magazine, and People En Español.
El Rescate Advocates for Homeless
By Jackie González, El Rescate
El Rescate Program, participated in  the  downtown rally that was coordinated by The Chicago Coalition For Homelessness, where About 130 homeless youths, service providers, advocates, and community members rallied outside the Thompson Center last Wednesday . We called on Gov. Rauner to work with the General Assembly to end the state budget stalemate and resume funding vital human service programs, including shelters and services to homeless youth in Illinois. " Please support this initiative by contacting Gov. Rauner and your state legislators to ask for a fair budget"
The 2015 Chicago AIDS Run & Walk: A Success!
By Pedro Mercado

This past Saturday, Vida/SIDA participated in The 2015 Chicago AIDS Run & Walk. The event was held at Soldier Field, and was organized by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. The AIDS Run & Walk Chicago stands firmly against the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, allowing progress to continue toward ending the epidemic. The Run & Walk invigorates the sector by increasing awareness for the cause, growing our passionate community and allowing new leaders to emerge. This year, Vida/SIDA was able to raise over $2,500 in online & offline donations.  Vida/SIDA is a community direct partner, so 90% of the fundraising efforts will directly come back to the Organization. Online donations will continue to be open until October 31st. You can donate by clicking the link below.

 Donate to VidaSIDA's Lifesavers today.
At the Centro Infantil Corretjer, the Vejigante Classroom Learns!
By Sandra Chavez, CIC Staff
Ariana is one of the students from Vejigante classroom. At the begging of this school year she is continuing to work on her skill motor development in the computer. She is using the headphones to be more consentraded on her work. She is also learning how to use the mouse. 

At the beginning of the year one group of students from the Vejigante class is learning how to use the scissors for the motor skill development. In this activity they are cutting out magazine pictures and pasting them in paper. They are doing this with the help of the teachers.
Interested in urban gardening, 
farmers' markets and healthy eating?

Interested in learning more about urban gardening and farmers' markets? Have some free time to help your community? Looking for urban farming service learning opportunity? Juan Antonio Corretjer Puerto Rican Cultural Center has gardens throughout Humboldt Park and we are looking for volunteers. Whether you are a people person, a gardening person or a community member eager to learn something new, please contact, Urban Garden Team Members, Erika G Abad at either erikaa@prcc-chgo.org or (773) 850-2467 (text or call) for more information.  


Le interesaria ayudar a su comunidad? Quisiera hablar con miembros de la comunidad acerca de comprar comida organica? Quisiera compartir su sabiduria acerca de sembrando comida? El Centro Cultural Puertorriqueño Juan Antonio Corretjer, tiene jardines en el barrio de donde se vende comida para asistir en ayudar a los jardines. Se necesita ayuda en los jardines y en alcanzar a miembros de la comunidad durante los mercados. Si nos puede ayudar, comuniquese con Erika G Abad al erikaa@prcc-chgo.org or (773) 850-2467 (text o llame) para mas informacion.


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.

Los Tequis
How to stay secure on Facebook
Take these five steps to enhance 
your social security.
Facebook creates the illusion that we are sharing posts and photos in a safe space, among friends and family. But in reality, if we're not careful, outsiders can swipe our personal info to gain access to our email, banking, and credit card accounts; to steal our identities; or even to spam and scam our friends. Follow these five steps to secure your sensitive info on Facebook.

From Our Community Partners

Alfonso Román, paladín de justicia social, transformación comunitaria, compromiso educativo y desarrollo empresarial
By Fèlix Cruz, ahora
La pasión de su verbo y la sinceridad de sus palabras son solo el inicio de una conversación sin tiempo ni espacio donde el servicio comunitario, el amor al prójimo y el recuerdo de amigos eternos marcan cuarenta años de acuerdos, triunfos y esperanzas de los puertorriqueños en la diáspora en Nueva Jersey. El reverendo Alfonso Román Morales simboliza la lucha, la fe y el compromiso de una generación gloriosa de puertorriqueños que dio la milla extra por conseguir derechos civiles, políticos, sociales y económicos.
Román llegó a Newark en 1971. Fue a una entrevista para un puesto pastoral con la ¨Metropolitan Echumenical Ministry¨, grupo religioso que luchaba por reunificar una ciudad que había sido destruida por la revuelta de los afroamericanos en 1967. El grupo era dirigido por un pastor irlandés, uno afroamericano y estaban en busca de un puertorriqueño que representara a la comunidad hispana.
RCCA World Media Center
By RCCA Communications Committee
The RCCA World Media Center is an area within our school housing multiple tools to assist our students in creating dynamic, media-driven projects. Within the Media Center, students can explore different tools related to musical recording, video and film production, graphic arts, photography, and mixed media art. To differentiate for these various pursuits, the Media Center is divided into 4 separate lab areas: the Film Lab, Audio Lab, Production Lab, and Art Lab.
  • The Audio Lab engages students in the art of sound engineering. Here students are able to use studio tools like Pro tools, Sure brand studio microphones, and a 24 channel Avid sound controller for mixing and engineering. All of these tools help the students in creating podcasts, film scores, and music albums. Many students appreciate this creative outlet as a way to express themselves in non-traditional forms. They can also channel this passion toward class projects or the sophomore-year Personal Project.
  • The Art Lab introduces students to digital tools that will help them create traditional and computer-generated artwork. Here students can utilize industry tools and programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create digital artwork and graphics. The Art Lab also doubles as an art gallery where students can proudly display their favorite artwork, and have creative spaces to produce physical art like drawings or paintings. Knowing that others will see their artwork provides great motivation for the students to create.
  • The Production Lab helps students explore scriptwriting and gives them a place where they can research their ideas. The Production Lab houses a fleet of Mac computers with software to support research, word processing, and video editing through Adobe Premiere.
  • The Film Lab uses the medium of video to help express a student's idea visually. Here they can create newsroom style podcasts episodes, or even create short films. The film Lab also has access to cameras that can be used for photography or even documentary style film projects.
The RCCA World Media Center is not only a tool for individual students. It is also a resource available for teachers who wish to enrich and expand the classroom. The tools can be easily implemented into lessons and give an interactive edge to learning, as well as providing areas for different presentation formats. It is a space that can evolve to support a wide range of projects, and can help student tap into their innate creativity to strengthen their learning experiences. The possibilities are endless!

The Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera has its own 
e-newsletter: The Water's Edge/La Orilla del Mar
Published approximately every two weeks
View past issues here.

Write to Oscar:
Oscar López Rivera, #87651
FCI Terre Haute
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
Residente pide al Papa que interceda para liberar a preso en EU
Periódico La Jornada, 24 de septiembre, 2015
Miami. El cantante de la popular banda puertorriqueña Calle 13 pidió al papa Francisco que abogue ante Barack Obama por la liberación del independentista puertorriqueño Óscar López Rivera, preso desde hace 34 años en Estados Unidos por conspiración sediciosa. En un video en su página de Facebook, René Pérez,Residente, pidió al pontífice que interceda ante Obama para lograr la liberación de López Rivera, considerado por sectores de Puerto Rico preso político. Le pido al Papa y a toda la gente que nos dé al apoyo, para que hable con Obama sobre la excarcelación de López Rivera, afirmó Pérez en el video grabado antes de una reunión que sostuvieron el miércoles en Washington el mandatario y el Papa, quien visita esta semana Estados Unidos. Quizá lo escuchen a él (a Francisco) más que a nosotros, señaló el cantante, quien vestía una camiseta negra con letras blancas que leían ¡Liberen a Óscar López Rivera ahora!Todos queremos la libertad para Óscar, si pueden ayudarnos por el Twitter para recordárselo, pidió a sus seguidores Pérez desde China, donde graba un disco como solista.
Entrega al papa Francisco pintura hecha por Oscar López
Presidenta del Concejo Municipal de Nueva York, Melissa Mark-Viverito, le dio el obsequio al sumo pontífice durante el paso de este por el sector El Barrio

NUEVA YORK - La lucha por la excarcelación de  Oscar López Rivera  cobró una nueva forma durante el viaje del papa Francisco a Estados Unidos cuando la presidenta del Concejo Municipal de Nueva York,  Melissa Mark-Viverito, le entregó al sumo pontífice un retrato inspirado en él y dibujado por el prisionero político puertorriqueño.
Mark-Viverito aprovechó la visita del papa Francisco a El Barrio, distrito que ella representa, para entregarle el regalo de López Rivera, acompañado de una carta en la que expuso que el militante nacionalista ha permanecido 34 años encarcelado en Estados Unidos, y en la que indicó que esperaba que pudiera "alentar" al presidente estadounidense  Barack Obama  para que conmute su sentencia de 70 años de prisión. 
Además, en la misiva, de la que El Nuevo Día obtuvo copia, resaltó el movimiento civil que desde hace años reclama la liberación inmediata de López Rivera, y precisó que la causa cuenta con el apoyo "de mucha gente de fe, oficiales electos, sindicatos laborales, académicos y activistas de derechos humanos en los Estados Unidos y a través del mundo.
By Gloria Pazmino, PoliticoNewYork
When City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito got Pope Francis' ear for a few minutes during his visit to a school in East Harlem on Friday, she asked him to to pray for a jailed Puerto Rican nationalist.
In a series of tweets late Friday evening after the pope's mass in Madison Square Garden, she revealed she had also presented Francis with a painting of Oscar Lopez Rivera - a member of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) in Puerto Rico, who was convicted and sentenced to 55 years in prison for conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property, among other charges, in the 1980s.
For years, human rights advocates and political supporters have demanded Rivera's release, saying he is being held for his political beliefs.
"I was able to meet @Pontifex, welcomed him to my district, presented him Oscar's gift & shared a letter re: his case," Mark-Viverito tweeted.
By Organizers of Days of Action Against the Blockade on Sept. 20, 2105
Organizers of the Days of Action against the Blockade of Cuba which took place this past week in Washington D.C. issued a statement in response to Cuban President Raul Castro's humanitarian gesture of releasing 3,255 prisoners in anticipation of the visit of Pope Francis. The organizers made a call to President Obama to follow Cuban President Raul Castro's lead... and release some of the more than 2.5 million prisoners currently in jails and prisons in the United States.
To mark Pope Francis's upcoming visit to Cuba, the Cuban government has announced the release of 3,522 people in that country's jails. This humanitarian gesture will include prisoners over 60, younger than 20, those with chronic illnesses, women and those close to their release dates.
"Why can't Obama follow the Cuban example before Pope Francis continues on his tour to the US on Sept. 22?" asked Alicia Jrapko, a spokesperson for the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity for the Peoples, which is co-sponsoring the Days of Action in Washington this week. The goal is to pressure the United States to end its failed blockade against Cuba.
Oscar López exhorta a celebrar el Grito de Lares
Dice que es una reafirmación de la continuación de la lucha contra el coloniaje

WASHINGTON.- El prisionero político Oscar López Rivera exhortó a los puertorriqueños a celebrar el miércoles el Grito de Lares, cuya conmemoración considera una reafirmación de la lucha contra el coloniaje.
"Es muy importante celebrar el Grito de Lares, sobre todo aprender más acerca de ese evento glorioso y tener una buena apreciación de los hombres y mujeres valientes que se atrevieron a sembrar la semilla de la lucha por la independencia y la soberanía de nuestra querida patria", indicó López Rivera, en una declaración que circuló hoy la campaña a favor de su excarcelación.
López Rivera, de 72 años, lleva 34 años y cuatro meses en cárceles estadounidenses, tras ser convicto de sedición por sus vínculos con las Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN).
El prisionero independentista afirmó que el Grito de Lares "es el símbolo más importante de la lucha anticolonial puertorriqueña".
Rev. Samuel Cruz mentions Oscar López Rivera on Alex Witter (MSNBC) on Occasion of Pope's Visit

BULGARIA: ¡Libertad para Oscar!

En Bulgaria creemos en la libertad e independencia de un país! Más aún por los que luchan por ella y creemos en la libertad de Óscar López Rivera ahora!!!!!!! - withNicolle Diaz GildeRubioТотка ЛомеваNikola SpassovJani LomevaLourdes LopezVanya Kancheva and Sonya Zheleva.
"Buscando a Oscar" desde la "Imalabra" de Martorell
By NOTICEL Cybernews
Cayey - A partir del 2 de septiembre, el Museo Las Américas del Cuartel de Ballajá abre sus puertas a la exposición retrospectiva del maestro Antonio Martorell, Imalabra.  
Imalabra, palabra inventada por el artista que surge de la imagen y la palabra, se exhiben más de un centenar de obras realizadas a lo largo de medio siglo de trayectoria del artista residente de la Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR) en Cayey. Una de estas es Buscando a Oscar. 
"Buscando a Oscar es una nueva versión de letras que hice grabadas en madera e impresas sobre tela, parte de las cuales cuelgan como mural en una escuela en Washington Heights en Nueva York", cuenta Martorell acerca de cómo re-creó su propuesta. Esta versión, explica el maestro, es una sopa de letras que provoca buscar oraciones. "Es una cita del prisionero político puertorriqueño en cárceles estadounidenses Oscar López", adelanta Martorell de la muestra restrospectiva que se extiende a galerías y museos alrededor de Puerto Rico, como el Museo de Arte doctor Pío López Martínez en el recinto universitario de Cayey.
Puerto Rican Cultural Center
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