Mission Statement

As a Fellow at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Humboldt Park, Chicago, I am working with a team of people to form an archive for the long-term preservation of materials within the organization’s rich history, as well as materials documenting the collective stories of the Puerto Rican community in the area. The PRCC is a 40+ year-old hub of Puerto Rican anti-colonial activism and community building in Humboldt Park, and this foundational archive will anchor a larger public history initiative with plans to include an oral history program, educational partnerships, research and outreach efforts, public events, and the training of local community archivists. My core goals include conducting an archival survey of the institutional collection in order to gain a clearer understanding of the historic materials, which focus on the radical political history of Puerto Rican Chicago. This survey will also provide the team with a better sense of the resources necessary to preserve and promote this institutional collection; we should be able to identify digitization priorities. Furthermore, I hope to build upon my own understanding of what it means to create and operate a “community archive” in partnership with the community itself, as I participate in a series of outreach forums intended to raise awareness and interest in this history and the project itself. I hope to leave the PRCC with a strong archival foundation for continuing to build a fundamentally community-engaged historic resource.