For more than 20 years President Jennifer J. Raab has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, overseeing our organization through periods of massive growth and change. The entire team at CENTROs is saddened to hear the announcement that she will step down as the President of Hunter College at the end of this academic year. We wish President Raab continued success as she embarks on a new chapter in her life, and thank her for her constant commitment to our mission.
Under her leadership, CENTRO expanded its footprint in El Barrio in East Harlem and moved its archives to the Silberman School of Social Work, increasing the space for our growing archives and facilitating greater connections with our communities.
During this time, CENTRO became a national convener to organizations, artists, and community leaders from across the nation – particularly in the wake of Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis and multiple disasters. President Raab always said Presente at CENTRO’s activities, consistently backing our advocacy efforts.
In 2022, President Raab named Dr. Yarimar Bonilla as the first woman to direct El CENTRO, and she has since been a steadfast supporter of the changes Dr. Bonilla has brought.
President Raab was key to CENTRO’s growth in the areas of arts and culture: she facilitated the establishment of new artistic residencies, supported new student internships, and helped us launch our new documentary series. She also supported our Directora in obtaining a historic Mellon Foundation grant for our current Bridging the Divides Initiatives, which will continue to bring artists, scholars, and journalists to CENTRO to debate the critical issues of our time.
None of this would have been possible without her support, and we will remain forever grateful and inspired by her leadership.
We are excited to see what lies ahead for President Raab and are confident that she will bring her talents and gifts to important new ventures. We also know that she will remain a committed friend of CENTRO and that her vision and legacy will continue to sustain and influence our work for years to come.