Eduardo “Pancho” Cruz Lopez (May 10, 1948 – June 21, 2015)

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The Passing of a LEGEND In Memory of Eduardo Rafael Cruz Lopez, aka Pancho CruzThe Passing of a LEGEND:
In Memory of Eduardo Rafael Cruz Lopez, aka Pancho Cruz

por Edwin Molina para Información al Desnudo, 26 junio, 2015

Eduardo “Pancho” Cruz was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on May 10, 1948, but grew up in the Lower East Side of New York City. The youngest of four siblings, Eduardo attended school at Our Lady of Sorrows and then went on to Seward Park High School. He graduated from the City College of New York (CUNY), and later from the Seton Hall University School of Law in New Jersey.

In 1968, while attending City College of New York, Eduardo became a leader of PRISA (Puerto Ricans Involved in Student Affairs), a Puerto Rican student group dedicated to Puerto Rican self-determination and community organizing. In April1969, as a leader of the “Committee of Ten,” he led the famous student takeover of the City College Campus demanding Black and Puerto Rican Studies, increased Black and Puerto Rican admissions, and student participation in decision making for the SEEK program at City College. For months, with community support throughout New York City, the students held the South Campus until the City College administration conceded to their demands. Previous to this takeover, the minority student body at CUNY was small and usually limited to the SEEK program for “underprivileged” students. The City College takeover led to the development of an Open Admissions program in 1970 and to Black and Puerto Rican Studies departments at CUNY and other universities. Minority students at CUNY today can trace their enrollment at CUNY to the legacy of the struggle led by Eduardo Cruz and other students at City College in 1969. This struggle, based on interviews with Eduardo Cruz and other student activists, is documented in “The Puerto Rican Student Union,” a chapter in The Puerto Rican Movement: Voices from the Diaspora, (Temple U. Press, 1998) and in “Puerto Ricans and Educational Civil Rights” (CENTRO Journal, 2009). Read more…

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