Interview with Lydia Valencia on May 10, 2016, Segment 7

CENTRO: 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, 2013-

Valencia talks about the experiences that led her to a life of social activism, beginning with a culturally abusive husband, the need to identify positively with herself and her culture, and the desire to help others. Valencia divorced her husband in 1976, left their wealth, and returned to Lakewood with four children. She describes her use of welfare to get on her feet, contrasting the welfare system of the 1970’s with the welfare system as it is today. At the same time, a movement in Lakewood was forming to advocate for social justice for the Puerto Rican/Latino community. Valencia joined up specifically to work toward addressing the notion that Puerto Ricans and Latinos are somehow inferior. Spearheaded by community and church leaders, that movement would become the Hispanic Association of Ocean County. Rosa López, the leader of the movement, would become the Association’s first President. Rosa was also the Director of the Bi-lingual/Bi-Cultural Education Program at Georgian Court University. She offered Valencia the chance to go to college, tuition-free and with a stipend, an opportunity Valencia jumped at. Valencia’s father had refused to allow her to go to college: “He wasn’t going to educate me to be a keeper of a man.”


Date
May 10, 2016, Recording date
1970s, Date created
1976, Date created
Interviewee
Lydia Valencia
Interviewer
Elizabeth A. Burbach Gallardo
Duration
6m 47.0s
Location of interview

Puerto Rican Congress of New Jersey

Language
English
Object Type
Moving Image
Identifier
LyVa.2016.5.10.7
Related Keywords
Activism, Emotional Abuse, Identity, Social justice, Welfare, Women
Individuals or Organizations Mentioned
Hispanic Association of Ocean County, Georgian Court University, Washington Irving High School, Rosa López, Juan Aurelio Valencia Aguardio
Related Places
Lakewood, NJ (interview location), Egypt (is referenced), Paterson, NJ (is referenced), Lakewood, NJ (is referenced), New York City (is referenced), Ocean County, NJ (is referenced)
Citation
CENTRO: 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, 2013-. Interview with Lydia Valencia on May 10, 2016, Segment 7: LyVa.2016.5.10.7. Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives, Hunter College, CUNY. Web. 15 Sep 2019.
Use Restrictions

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted

Rights Holder
Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Library & Archive
Repository
Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Library and Archives
Center for Puerto Rican Studies | Hunter College | 695 Park Ave | New York, NY 10065
c 2015 Center for Puerto Rican Studies | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer