Franklin & Marshall College and several Lancaster community organizations will stage events this week to raise awareness of Puerto Rico’s humanitarian crisis in the wake of last year’s devastating hurricane that has left the island struggling to recover.
The event, “Boricua Lancaster,” will highlight the changing demographics of the local Puerto Rican community after Hurricane Maria.
Assistant Professor of American Studies Mark Villegas, an organizer, said the event is designed to bring material relief to those who evacuated the U.S. territory and settled in Lancaster; call attention to the city’s growing Puerto Rican community, a result of those fleeing the island’s debt crisis and natural disasters; and to imagine another future for the Caribbean island.
At 5:30 p.m. on March 21, a Scholars' Colloquium will convene on campus in Bonchek College House’s Great Room with a panel discussion about Puerto Rico and the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The scholars are:
- Marisol Lebrón, assistant professor of American Studies, Carlisle College
- Michele Reid-Vazquez, assistant professor of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh
At 7 p.m. on March 22, the organizers, including F&M, will introduce artist/activists in a Community Arts Action program at La Plaza at San Juan Bautista, 441 S. Lime St. The artists are:
- Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, creator of La Borinqueña, comic book publisher and editor, Puerto Rican diaspora community organizer
- Michelle Angela Ortiz, visual artist and community arts educator
- Grimaldi Baez, visual artist and community arts educator
The events are free and open to the public.