Why Are We Abandoning Americans? Putting Puerto Rico on the Map

Why Are We Abandoning Americans? Putting Puerto Rico on the Map

Rosa Clemente
2008 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate, Journalist, Political Commentator

Rosa Clemente has first-hand knowledge of the conditions Puerto Ricans have been living in since Hurricane Maria destroyed the island in September of 2017. To this day, Puerto Rico, a commonwealth of the United States, is still in dire straits. As Americans without the same voting rights as U.S. citizens living on the continent, Puerto Ricans are being abandoned by the federal government. Many families are forced to migrate to the continent instead of living without electricity, water, and food. Clemente started a project called “PR on the Map,” where she and a group of Latinx journalists went to Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria to tell the untold stories of the commonwealth’s people.

Clemente has been a relentless, unstoppable force in activism, academia, and politics for over 20 years. She is a leading scholar on the issues of Afro-Latinx identity and political issues in hip-hop. She ran for Green Party Vice President in 2008 with Cynthia McKinney, making them the first women of color ticket in American history.

At the 2018 Golden Globes ceremony, Clemente was joined by celebrities Michelle Williams, Emma Watson, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Amy Poehler, and Emma Stone to bring attention to Puerto Rico as well as to express solidarity with women who have been victims of sexual assault with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

Drawing on the development of the statuses of Puerto Rico and the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, she connects the importance of recognizing the voices of marginalized people.

This talk was proposed by Mark Villegas and is sponsored by the North Foundation; Alice Drum Women's Center; and the departments of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; American Studies; History; Latin American Studies; Anthropology; Spanish and Government (Public Affairs Lecture Fund).

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