Alaí Reyes-Santos

Eye of the storm: UO students reach out to hard-hit Puerto Rico

Alai Reyes-Santos

From Around the O

April 13, 2018—UO ethnic studies professor Alaí Reyes-Santos made a major revision to the curriculum for her “Race, Ethics, Justice” course last fall: She added a trip to Puerto Rico.

It was week three of the term and Reyes-Santos, a native Puerto Rican, was frustrated with the lack of federal aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It had been weeks since the storm devastated the island and there were still widespread power outages and severely limited access to potable water and medical care.   

She saw an opportunity to have her students consider how the overarching questions they were examining about race, ethics and justice were applicable to the crisis, and to use that analysis and knowledge to create resources to help educate the public and spur conversations about those issues. The resources the class created were just published on a new website, “The UO Puerto Rico Project: Hurricane Maria and its Aftermath.” › Continue reading

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Why Oregon should care about Puerto Rico

Alaí Reyes-Santos

CLLAS Editor’s Note: Alaí Reyes-Santos is a member of the CLLAS Executive Board and an associate professor in the University of Oregon’s Department of Ethnic Studies.

Source: Why Oregon should care about Puerto Rico

By Alaí Reyes-Santos

For The Register-Guard

SEPT. 28, 2017—Puerto Rico is an archipelago in the Caribbean and a U.S. territory since 1898. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, serve in the U.S. military and have contributed to the economic growth and defense of the United States. Yet most Americans on the mainland ignore Puerto Rico’s existence and its significant place in U.S. history.

This is dangerous at a time when Category 4 Hurricane Maria has left the island and the U.S. Virgin Islands devastated — without electricity or water; with limited access to food, water, medicines and transportation; with thousands of people displaced from their homes; and with floods and ruptured dams that threaten its most vulnerable populations. Public health and safety are compromised more by the minute. › Continue reading

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