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Award-winning poet and professor Martín Espada joined us to commemorate the anniversary of activist Luis Garden Acosta’s death. Acosta was known as one of the most prolific Latino community rights activists in New York City. After joining the Young Lords Party in 1970, he later founded the Massachusetts chapter while he was a student at Harvard Medical School. Acosta was the founder and president of El Puente, a youth and community leadership program aimed at combating violence and improving local public services in Brooklyn. A longtime opponent of violence and segregation in schools, he and his wife Frances Lucerna also opened El Puente Academy of Peace and Justice, a high school in Williamsburg. The Brooklyn activist passed away in January 2019 at the age of 72. Here, Espada recites his poem “To Die Dreaming” or “Morir Soñando,” which he wrote in memory of his friend and mentor.


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