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Casilda Luna

Casilda Luna, shown here with her grandson, is a community builder and activist in Washington, D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. Luna immigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic in 1962. She soon began organizing weekly community gatherings which grew into discussions about social issues her community faced. Luna rallied her neighbors and the local Latino community around topics such as fair housing and care for senior citizens. In December of 2021, at 97-years-old, she won the Oscar de la Renta Dominican Emigrant Award.  

Black and white photo of Casilda Luna pushing her toddler grandson in a stroller.
Nancy Shia, 1978. Courtesy of the artist, Nancy Shia 
Nancy Shia, 1978. Courtesy of the artist, Nancy Shia 

Connecting to the Present

Claudia de la Cruz is a community activist, educator, theologian, and the co-executive director of The People’s Forum in New York City. 

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Claudia De la Cruz. Somos , 2021. National Museum of the American Latino
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There is a difference between being an activist and being a community organizer. . . There’s a certain level of trust that comes into doing that work where people need to know each other and need to trust each other and it’s in the building of relationships that you actually find the transformation process and the education process and the possibility of building collective dreams.    

Claudia De La Cruz, Educator, Organizer and Theologian  

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