Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Harlem Street Renamed to Honor Puerto Rican Activist

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A pioneer activist in the Puerto Rican community was honored with a street re-naming in Harlem.

City officials and dozens of people gathered to rename 120th Street at Lenox Avenue after Yolanda Sánchez, who died in 2012.

Sánchez was born in East Harlem and spent more than 50 years helping to build community-based organizations that gave a voice to the Latino empowerment movement in the city.

Family members and those who worked with Sánchez remembered her impact on the community.

"She sponsored many conferences on youth empowerment, women's empowerment, on improving our neighborhood. She was one of those people that when she walked into a room, everyone listened," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney.

"The force to be reckoned with with mama was that she didn't like injustice. And she knows that in American we have what we want and our dreams are completed and she made sure that our dreams were completed," said Sánchez's daughter, Luz Celeste Reyes-Sánchez.

Sánchez helped found the Puerto Rican Association for Community Affairs, co-founded the National Latinas Caucus and was on the staff of ASPIRA, a group dedicated to helping Hispanic youth.

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