ICYMI: Open Society Foundations announces 2023 Puerto Rico Youth Fellows

From the Philanthropy News Digest: The Open Society Foundations has announced the 2023 recipients of its Puerto Rico Youth Fellowships.

Launched in 2018, the program supports Puerto Rican leaders between the ages of 21 and 35 working to elevate climate justice and food sovereignty, promote human rights, and advance decolonization efforts in Puerto Rico.

The third cohort of eight fellows will each receive $45,000 over 18 months to work full-time on their projects, which include teaching young people about food sovereignty, community farming, archival initiatives aimed at documenting the histories of the archipelago, strengthening support for trans and nonbinary people, and launching an art project around menstrual and HIV awareness.

Recipients include Dana Esquilín Rosario (she/her/he), who will work on La Brecha, a project offering healing tools and resources for communities and relatives of incarcerated people; Nicolás X. Gómez Andújar (he/him), who will facilitate the self-management of an inclusive, educational, and cooperative space through the Culebra Fishing Association to address the problems of the fishermen on the island; Carlo André (they/she, him/us), who will develop the queer Barrioization cultural platform and help build the community archive of the town of Manatí, in collaboration with the José S. Alegría Cultural Center; Yira M. Rodríguez Martínez (she/her), who will participate in the development of La Aldea—an initiative that works to preserve and rescue disused spaces in Ponce—from an agroecological, artistic, and educational perspective; Jade M. Algarín Corcino (they, them), who will organize the farming communities of Vieques, Puerto Rico, and Santa Cruz, Virgin Islands, to create an alliance that reflects the shared colonial, cultural, and archeological histories of the two island communities and exchange knowledge to build an authentic Caribbean food system; Lale Namerrow Pastor (they/he), who will work on the Transmasc Network of Puerto Rico, an initiative that proposes to develop links between trans and non-binary people whose gender identity or expression is male; Stephanie Monserrate Torres (she), who will create spaces on the Guakia farm for community empowerment and produce agroecological food with agroforestry practices; and L’orangelis Thomas Negrón (she/they), who will work on Matrilíneo, a project focused on menstrual and HIV awareness, through art, documentation, and narrative justice.

“This year, we have chosen eight fellows that are leading critical projects across Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra,” said Karina Claudio Betancourt, outgoing director of OSF’s Puerto Rico Project. “Their innovation and creativity are what Puerto Rico needs right now to continue to inspire generations to stay on the island and fight for our resources and for our fundamental right to self-determination.”

Learn more about the program and fellows here.