Community Engagement and Activism for Abolition and Decolonization

Event Sponsor
Haas Center for Public Service, Center for Latin American Studies, El Centro Chicano y Latino, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
El Centro Chicano y Latino
Community Engagement and Activism for Abolition and Decolonization

Learn what organizations and people like Oscar López Rivera are doing about Puerto Rico’s Recovery.

Topics Discussed:

  • Recent examples of resistance
  • The Puerto Rican Diaspora
  • The Prison Experience in the US
  • Community Organizing in Puerto Rico
  • The Struggle to Audit the Colonial Debt
  • Decolonizing Puerto Rico


Born in 1943 in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico, Oscar López Rivera emigrated to Chicago with his family at the age of 14. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1965 and, profoundly impacted by how he saw the Vietnamese treated, upon his return he began to organize with other young Puerto Ricans. He was arrested in 1981 and convicted of seditious conspiracy. Sentenced to 55 years in prison, he became the longest held Puerto Rican political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico’s struggle for independence, regarded as the “Nelson Mandela of the Americas.” In 2017, as the result of a broad human rights campaign and after serving almost 36 years in prison, President Obama commuted his sentence. Since then, he has continued to energetically advocate an end to U.S. colonialism and has resumed his role as a community organizer.

Light refreshments will be provided.

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