On October 21, 2016, young Clemente leaders joined two other schools (Pedro Albizu Campos & West Town Academy) at the National Museum for Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC) to participate in a critical conversation around race with one of the co-founders of the Young Lords – Felipe Luciano. Luciano covered issues like police brutality, drug trafficking, poverty, and black and brown unity. After Luciano covered these issues through personal storytelling, our young people asked Luciano critical questions about youth activism.
“What role do we, young women of color, play in movements like the ones you are discussing?”
-Daijah Halton, 11th Grade
In Luciano’s discussion, he made it very evident that young women were not being given the credit they deserve for the contributions they have made to movements all over the world. Luciano praised Daijah for such a critical question, because the absence of this question would result in a story untold. All of the young people in the room joined the conversation with questions that pushed Luciano and other activists in the room to rethink what activism looks like.
“How can black and brown people support each other rather than trying to prove who is oppressed more?”
-Antoine Harris, 12th Grade
Luciano articulated that Latina/o’s should be in the front lines with our black brothers and sisters in the Black Lives Matters movement and that African Americans should be in the front lines of the Immigration movement with our Latina/o brother and sisters. He also said that the oppressions that both groups face are the same, just played out differently, and without unity, justice would not be achieved. After the discussion, Clemente leaders continued the discussion with one another, talking about their ideas and critiques. Our young people make us proud as they conversed and discovered their own beliefs and ideals.