The Puerto Rico flag is flying over Lesley as a reminder that the island continues to suffer from a lack of electricity and resources following Hurricane Maria. And, said President Jeff Weiss, it will continue to fly until electricity, water and reliable communication are restored to 90 percent of Puerto Rico.
“We raise and fly the flag of Puerto Rico as a sign of solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are struggling to recover, a reminder to keep them firmly in mind in the months ahead, and as a call to action within our community to celebrate and support them,” Weiss said at the flag raising on Oct. 30.
Members of the Lesley community are already organizing donation drives and fundraisers for Puerto Rico, including a possible art auction in the spring, said Vice President of Administration Marylou Batt. The Lesley community members also suggested raising the Puerto Rican flag on campus to visually demonstrate our commitment to help those devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Many Puerto Ricans can’t speak for themselves right now, so “it is up to us to keep those messages alive,” said Professor Emerita Vivian Carlo, herself of Puerto Rican descent. “As that flag waves there over these next weeks and months… talk to your neighbors, talk to your officemates, talk to your fellow students, your families. Remind them that we cannot sit back and forget what’s going on.”
Lesley is also organizing a series of educational forums, including a panel presentation on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. to provide a detailed account of the federal legislation surrounding the Jones Act of 1920 and its impact on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
To help with fundraising and relief efforts, email Mary Lou Batt at firstname.lastname@example.org.