despierta boricua at yale archive

Despierta Boricua in the Archives

Register Here:   www.tinyurl.com/DBArchives.

For several decades, cardboard boxes of documents relaying the history of Despierta Boricua, the student organization at Yale, were housed at La Casa Cultural Julia de Burgos on 301 Crown Street.  Many generations of Puerto Rican students at Yale, particularly those affiliated with the student group Despierta Boricua (DB), contributed to the growth of those archives over the fifty years of the organization, preserving minutes, event planning, community letters, documents related to admissions and hiring, program agendas, as testament of community building.  As part of a joint effort between Yale alumni, current students (like those enrolled in the ERM class Latinx Ethnography), faculty/staff, La Casa, and Sterling Memorial Library archivists, the “Despierta Boricua at Sterling” archival/oral history project” was set in motion.

We are now thrilled to invite you to “Despierta Boricua in the Archives: Puerto Rican History and Activism at Yale University,” a one-day hybrid symposium held on campus and streamed online on Friday, April 15, 2022 from 8am-3pm ET to celebrate the completion of the first stage of this.  Yale faculty and staff, New Haven community members, Latinx Ethnography students, and DB current and former members will share their academic and personal reflections on the role of DB, La Casa, and historical memory in their lives. You can check out our schedule of events here.

In this multi-stage, ongoing project, the first stage consisted of organizing/indexing, and curating the existing boxes and initiating the process of videorecording oral history interviews with about 20-25 alumni of DB.  In the spring of 2022 and into the following academic year (2022-23), we will continue to conduct oral history interviews while also asking alumni to donate any DB documents they may have in their personal collections.

The goal of the “Despierta Boricua in the Archives” is manyfold:  To document the history of one of the earliest Latinx Student organizations on a US university campus; to centralize documents that would be accessible for research by scholars and community members;  to raise the visibility of Puerto Ricans both at Yale and in New Haven, CT, a prominent migration hub for this population; to activate networks of Despierta Boricua members, current and past; and to raise awareness of the achievements and ongoing challenges of Puerto Rican/Latinx students in elite institutions.

We hope you can join us in this momentous occasion, which is a collaborative event co-sponsored by:
La Casa Cultural Julia de Burgos
Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration,
Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Program at Yale,
Yale Latino Alumni Network.

You can register today by visiting www.tinyurl.com/DBArchives. Registration is open until April 11, 2022.

!Nos Vemos pronto!

Thank you.
Magda

Magda T. Vergara, ’82 PhD
Director, Shared Interest Groups
Yale Alumni Association