Testimony from “Civil Rights Implications of Disaster Relief: Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico”

On December 10th, 2021, Centro Directora, Yarimar Bonilla, and Centro Director of Research, Jennifer Hinojosa spoke at the panel presented by the United States Commission on Civil Rights on the topic of the Civil Rights Implications of Disaster Relief: Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Bonilla and Hinojosa provided testimony on the long-standing impacts of Hurricane Maria on the archipelago.

They spoke on the importance of using an intersectional lens when accounting for the discrimination against Puerto Ricans as they recover from disaster. Also discussed was the importance of transparency in the data provided by federal agencies so that infringement of people’s civil rights could be properly documented.

Key takeaways from this testimony include:

“..decolonization is not just a matter of a flag, and a coin, and a stamp, and an anthem, it’s about the possibility to create new worlds on our own terms with the economic and social principles that we think our important to our communities…” – Dr. Yarimar Bonilla.

“Data is very important, especially reliable data and specially to see if any civil rights implications to disaster relief were violated”. – Jennifer Hinojosa

We are beyond proud of our team for the research and advocacy work that they do! Thank you for being at the forefront of Centro!

The testimony documents are available to read. You can download them here

You can watch the testimonies here

Civil Rights Implications of Disaster Relief: Hurricane María in Puerto Rico