In the following three segments, Puerto Rican Voices visits tennis legend and Olympic gold medalist Gigi Fernández for a candid interview on her life and career; we also learn about the Norris Square Neighborhood Project, a bilingual community center in Philadelphia; and then we take a look at our Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans diaspora summit held this part spring in New York City.
Winning the gold medal in tennis doubles changed Gigi Fernández’s life. She says so herself in this segment of Puerto Rican Voices. We visited the tennis legend just before the Rio Olympics and Mónica Puig’s historic gold medal for Puerto Rico. She reflects on her early career in Puerto Rico, and later, the difficult decision to represent the United States in tennis doubles. Fernández also discusses her retirement. She currently works as a tennis instructor and helps to promote the sport in Puerto Rico whenever she has the opportunity. In looking to the future of the sport on the island, she even gives a nod to Mónica Puig, among others.
In our next segment, learn about the Norris Square Neighborhood Project (NSNP), which was founded in 1973 in the West Kensington part of Philadelphia, by two educators and a group of Puerto Rican women activists named Grupo Motivos. The bilingual community center focuses on project-based learning, which includes teaching local youth–mostly Latino–how to garden, how to protect the environment, as well as Puerto Rico and other cultures.
Last spring, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies held its first regional diaspora summit to bring together various members of the Puerto Rican diaspora interested in the island’s debt crisis, specifically what the situation is exactly, and what its impact is on stateside communities. Check out this recap of the two-day conference and learn more about the overall purpose of this unique and timely encounter.
That’s it for this week’s segments. Tune in next week for more Puerto Rican Voices!
© Center for Puerto Rican Studies. Published in Centro Voices on 26 September 2016.