Hampshire College, Holyoke Community College, and Smith College host visits this week from community activist Iris Morales, who rose to prominence in the Vietnam era. As a teenage activist in New York City, Morales joined the paramilitary Young Lords Party, a multiethnic, primarily Puerto Rican organization. The party, which disbanded in 1976, addressed the many socioeconomic needs of the working-class Puerto Rican community and the decolonization of Puerto Rico. Today, Morales continues her esteemed career as an attorney, filmmaker, author, educator, and community organizer. Morales will speak about her insights and approaches to feminist organizing within Latin@/Latinx communities and talk about ways in which the Young Lords Party and the Black Panther Party offer today’s young activists a foundation to think about collaborative organizing for social change. Her appearance at Hampshire includes a screening of her award-winning film ¡Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords, and her appearance at Smith includes an introductory reading by performance poet Magdalena Gómez, cofounder and artistic director of Teatro V!da, in Springfield.
Young Lord Iris Morales: Wednesday, March 22, 11 a.m. (Kittredge Center Room 301, Holyoke Community College) and 7 p.m. (Franklin Patterson Hall, Hampshire College); Thursday, March 23 at 7 p.m. (Seelye Hall Room 106, Smith College). Free. irismoralesnyc.wordpress.com.
UPDATE: In addition to her campus stops, Morales will visit Holyoke’s El Mercado to give a talk on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. El Mercado is located at 401 Main St. in Holyoke.
— Hunter Styles