Monday, November 27, 2006

The Richie Perez Archives

Friday, December 1, 2006 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Hunter College-School of Social Work Auditorium
129 East 79th Street (between Lexington and Park Avenues)
New York City

In light of the recent police killing I would like to present the following about a man whom was at the forefront of the struggle (and search) for social justice, especially in the area of police brutality.
On Friday December 1st, The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College will unveil the Richie Perez archives. Richie Perez left us a great amount of documents, tapes, transcripts, etc. These are a goldmine of history, political analysis and views of the future from which we can all benefit. It was very important for Richie to document our stuggle and organizing, so that the next generation will learn from our mistakes and not repeat them.

Please Join us on Friday December the 1st when the Richie Perez archives are unveiled.
Below is a brief biography of Richie followed by some quotes of Richie.

Richie Pérez (1944-2004)

A longtime activist and leader in the struggle for global human rights, Richie Pérez was a leading exponent for social justice and political participation. A former Young Lord and National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights co-founder, Richie brought his unique mix of integrity, zeal and unity to the diverse ethnic and racial communities of New York City and beyond.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Richie graduated from the NYC public school system and the City University of New York. He also earned an MA in Business Economics from NYU and completed course work toward a Ph.D. in Bilingual Education.

He taught at Monroe High School and was involved in the movement for community control of the schools. He also taught college courses on the Puerto Rican urban experience, the mass media, social policy in the United States, the history of the Civil Rights and labor movements at institutions like Hunter and Brooklyn Colleges, the College of New Rochelle, and the Center for Legal Education and Urban Policy.

As a member of the Young Lords Party, he served as editor of its weekly newspaper Pa’lante and was the party’s Deputy Minister of Information. He was also active in the Anti Bakke Decision; the New York Committee to Free the Puerto Rican Nationalist Prisoners; and founded and led the Committee Against Fort Apache (the movie).

Richie spent the last 21 years working at the Community Service Society where he was the Director of Political Development and where he shared responsibility for the agency’s urban agenda. Over the last decade, grassroots projects he designed and ran registered more than 250,000 new voters. Most recently, Richie worked closely with the CSS Legal Department on the issue of felon disenfranchisement.

As a founder and co chair of the Justice Committee, he was responsible for organizing efforts against police brutality and racially motivated violence. He worked closely with youth organizations and families of victims.

He was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit aimed at abolishing the NYPD’s Street Crimes Unit. In addition, he was a founder of People’s Justice 2000, a coalition formed to mobilize support during the trials of the police officers who killed Amadou Diallo and tortured Abner Louima.
Richie also wrote and lectured extensively on topics including urban problems, restructuring of the US economy, race relations, media stereotyping, electoral politics, community organizing, youth leadership development and political empowerment. His views were frequently sought by the media and his interviews were shown on programs including 60 Minutes, NY I, Like It Is, Visiones, Positively Black and Tiempo.

Richie is survived by his wife, Martha Laureano, son, Danny and his mother Ann Pérez.

Cientos de Personas Dan el Último Adiós a Richie Pérez

Hola Hoy, March 2004

Richie Pérez, el legendario activista puertorriqueño que por más de tres décadas lucho contra las injusticias y la discriminación, fue despedido ayer en el cementerio St. Raymond de El Bronx entre lágrimas y aplausos.

Justo antes de que se diera por terminada la ceremonia fúnebre, un fuerte viento levantó un arreglo floral con la forma de la bandera puertorriqueña y la puso sobre el ataúd. La Naturaleza se adelantó a lo que los mortales tenían preparado para el final y por eso las lágrimas y el aplauso invadieron el ambiente.

“Fue como que Richie dijo, esto se viene pa’aca,” señalo Gina Arias, miembro del Community Service Society donde Pérez trabajaba como director de políticas: El último adiós a Pérez comenzó temprano en la Iglesia San Ignacio Loyola a las 11:00 a.m. Allí la comunidad boricua, amigos y compañeros celebraron una misa en honor a quien fuera uno de los fundadores del Congreso Nacional para los Derechos Puertorriqueños.

La ceremonia, que fue oficiada por el Monseñor John Powais, contó con la participación de unas 500 personas; entre ellas, miembros del movimiento contra la brutalidad policial (que organizó durante los años 80), dirigentes políticos, representantes de la ciudad, como el concejal Chuck Barron y el abogado Norman Segal y lideres comunitarios.

En la liturgia hubo oradores que recordaron la vida y obra de Pérez en un ambiente de tristeza y admiración. Intervinieron sus amigos más cercanos y comprometidos con su causa como el padre Luis Barrios (que abrió el discurso hablando de Jesús y Pérez), Vicente Alba “Panamá,” Luis Garden Acosta, Jessica San Clemente y su esposa Martha Laureano, quien recordó la dedicación a su familia a pesar de sus muchas actividades.

Luego, una enorme caravana de carros (que no fue escoltada por la policía) llego hasta el cementerio St. Raymond donde todos colocaron una rosa sobre el ataúd del activista.
En el cementerio, el padre Barrios ofreció una pequeña oración que fue coronada por un sonoro “Pa’lante, siempre pa’lante.”

A Young Lord Remembers (Richie Pérez, 2000)
Presentation on Police Brutality & Misconduct (Richie Pérez, 1997)
Every move you make … (ColorLines, 2003)
Richie, Racism and Hip Hop (Can't Stop, Won't Stop, April 2004)
Cast a Vote for Social Justice (El Diario-La Prensa, 27 de Septiembre de 2004)
A Rainbow Comes Together to Honor a Bronx Legend (, September 28, 2004)
Un luchador de toda la vida, indispensable en Nueva York (El Diario-La Prensa, 27 de Septiembre de 2004)
Recuerdan legado de Richie Pérez (El Diario-La Prensa, 27 de Septiembre de 2004)
Honrando la vida de Richie (El Diario-La Prensa, 24 de Septiembre de 2004)
Long-Time Activist, Richie Pérez Honored at City Hall (Caribbean News, June 8, 2004)
La Lucha de Richie Sigue Pa’lante (El Diario-La Prensa, 13 Junio de 2004)
Pietri and Pérez Para Siempre (Hola Hoy, 4 de junio 2004)
NY Times Obituary (David Gonzalez)
Richard Perez, Advocate For Minority Rights, Dies at 59 (NY Times, March 29, 2004)
Richie Pérez: Advocate for People of Color (David R. Jones)
Acknolwedgement (Vicente Panama Alba)
Revson Fellows remember Richie Perez
Poem by Tato Laviera
Richie Perez, Lord of the Barrio (Urban Latino Magazine, May 10, 2004)
Richie: ‘Pa’lalante, Siempre Pa’lante’ (El Diario-La Prensa, March 28, 2004)
Una Vida Dedicada a Servir (El Diario-La Prensa, March 28, 2004)
Deceso de Legendario Activista Enlutase a Los Hispanos de Nueva York (El Diario-La Prensa, March 28, 2004)
Obituary: Activist Richie Perez (NY Daily News, March 29, 2004)
Activist Richie Pérez Joins the Ancestors (Amsterdam News, March 2004)
Community Activist Perez, 59, Dies (NY Newsday, March 27, 2004)
Packed Auditorium Celebrates Activist Richie Perez (Indymedia, March 5, 2004)
Join the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights
Support the Community Service Society

Richie Perez

Revolutionary, teacher, mentor, lifetime visionary and leader in the struggle for global human rights and social justice

"The arc of history is that every generation has to fight the liberation struggle. Every generation, it doesn't matter what the generation before you did or didn't do. You're going to have to deal with it."
"It helps if there is a connection between the previous generation and the new generation.
It helps; it doesn't prevent you from making mistakes. Every generation will make their own mistakes, will create its own organizations, and will create its own cultural forms, its own expression everything. And every generation will have its own rhythm."
"See that's what I want to be for this generation. At this point, I figure that's what my role is. I mean I'm a great organizer and I'm an activist and I still like to kick ass, but how I can make my greatest contribution is I got to be part of that transmission of history. Because the time that you're on the historical stage is short, man." R. Perez

On Friday, December 1, 2006 those of us who shared Richie’s life, who struggled side-by-side with him, those who came in contact with him in the many arenas of work and those who never had the opportunity to cross paths with him, but share a common goal and destiny, should plan to come together and celebrate his life and legacy as The Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños/Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College inducts into the Centro’s Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora,

The Richie Perez Collection

We welcome you to this chronological representation of his vision, work and activism, that spans nearly four decades

Friday, December 1, 2006 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Hunter College-School of Social Work Auditorium
129 East 79th Street (between Lexington and Park Avenues)
New York City

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