FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2018
For more information: Anna Gyorgy, 1-978-544-3686 [email protected]
“Communities in Contact on Earth Day: Western Mass. and Puerto Rico”
Activist, author Iris Morales to speak on situation in Puerto Rico
in Wendell and Springfield
Following the disastrous hurricanes in Puerto Rico last fall, longtime New York City activist, writer and publisher Iris Morales focused on the problems there – and getting support from the Puerto Rican diaspora for communities on the stricken island.
She wrote: “This critical situation has been a defining and turning point in Puerto Rican history. Hurricanes Irma and Maria have laid bare the result of centuries of colonial control, austerity, and exploitation. But people in Puerto Rico are organizing themselves, creating communities of support.”
During her visits to the island since the disasters, she was “filled with a mix of emotions from rage to sadness and compassion. I gained strength and inspiration from the resiliency of the Puerto Rican men, women, and children bringing their creativity to overcome extraordinarily difficult circumstances, and showing love and kindness to each other.”
Meet Iris on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, from 5pm at the historic Wendell Town Hall, 6 Center St., for “Communities in Contact: Western Mass. and Puerto Rico.” The program will begin by looking at local environmental struggles, from the historic colonial takeover to the NED pipeline victory. Then to the present, and Puerto Rico. Iris Morales’ talk and discussion will be followed by a 7pm community potluck supper. The event is sponsored by the Wendell Energy Committee; North Quabbin Energy; and the Traprock Center for Peace & Justice (with thanks to the Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice). For information and childcare contact: [email protected]; tel: 1-978-544-3686
Iris with member of the Center for Mutual Aid, Puerto Rico
A youth-led question & answer panel with Iris Morales will be held in Springfield, on Monday, April 23rd, 6-7:30 pm, at Christ Church Cathedral, 35 Chestnut St., organized by ARISE for Social Justice, co-sponsored by Neighbor-to-Neighbor, Pa’lante Restorative Justice, Gardening the Community, and the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition. Childcare is available and a meal will follow the program. (Contact: [email protected])
Iris Morales' newest book is Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA, “A timely collection of poetry and prose reflecting on women’s lived experiences and the ways that Latinas address the relationship between gender and social change,” which she edited and published through her Red Sugarcane Press. The book will be on sale, along with Through the Eyes of Rebel Women: the Young Lords, 1969-1976, which she wrote and edited. Iris Morales was among the first women to join the activist Young Lords in New York City and was Deputy Minister of Education. Her award-winning documentary, !Palante Siempre Palante*, The Young Lords! premiered on public television in 1996 and continues to be screened across the United States and Caribbean.
(* ‘forward, always forward!’)