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Luz Rodriguez papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00539

Scope and Contents

The Luz Marina Rodriguez Papers contain 8.5 linear feet of organization, conference, and symposia materials; appointment books; writings; educational records; correspondence; photographs; and memorabilia. The papers are particularly strong in documenting her many professional activities, especially her activism in health and education for women of color, including SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective and the Latina Roundtable on Health and Reproductive Rights. In addition they document her activities on behalf of Hispanics in New York City such as Baile Boricua Dance Company, Charas, and Dominican Womens' Development Center; as well as other neighborhood, educational, family-oriented, and health-related organizations and initiatives. There are also family materials, New York University course work and student papers, early correspondence, speeches, and writings.

Dates of Materials

  • 1945-2006
  • Majority of material found within 1968-2006

Creator

Language of Materials

English, Spanish

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Luz Rodriguez retains copyright to material authored by her until her death, then her children retain rights to plays, original literary work, and academic term papers. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by [donor], researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

Luz Marina Rodriguez was born in New York City on March 7, 1956, and grew up on the Lower East Side. She was the eldest of three children of Elsa Rodriguez Vazquez and Luis Rodriguez Nieto, Sr., who had both recently emigrated from Puerto Rico as part of Operation Bootstrap, a government economic investment into the Puerto Rican economy. Her father held a variety of jobs, including electronics repair and night security work, while her mother sold Avon products.

After graduating from Seward Park High School in 1974, Rodriguez spent two years immersed in social and cultural activities in her Puerto Rican neighborhood, which became known as Loisaida (a Latino pronunciation of the Lower East Side). She was deeply involved in The Real Great Society, a gang outreach and community empowerment organization created in 1964 to engage youth in addressing local needs, especially sweat equity projects to create affordable housing. She was also an active participant in Charas/El Bohio, a cultural center where she taught Puerto Rican folkloric dance.

After studying dance at Pratt Institute, Rodriguez graduated from New York University as a dance therapy major in 1982. College research into the sterilization of, and birth control experimentation on, Puerto Rican women planted the seed of later reproductive rights activism.

Rodriguez defines herself as a servant-leader. She has continued to combine grassroots social justice work with administrative leadership in non-profit organizations, including Henry Street Settlement, East Side Family Resource Center, Dominican Women's Development Center, and Casa Atabex. In 1996 she became Executive Director of the Latina Roundtable on Health and Reproductive Rights and played a critical role in the formation of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective. In 2011, she become co-chair of the Management Circle of that organization. A specialist in organizational development and non-profit sustainability, Rodriguez currently serves as bilingual training coordinator at the New York City headquarters of the Foundation Center.

In 1994 in recognition for her advocacy work, Rodriguez was awarded a Windcall Residency, a retreat program for those who work for social justice. She is a published poet, playwright, aspiring sculptor, and she remains active in SisterSong. She was married to Norbeto Cruz and later divorced. She has two sons, Gabriel and Abran-Lumi, a step-son, a foster daughter, a kinship foster child, and four grandchildren.

Extent

10 boxes (8.5 linear feet)

Abstract

Reproductive rights advocate. Papers include organization, conference, and symposia materials; appointment books; writings; educational records; correspondence; photographs; and memorabilia. They document Rodriguez's many professional activities, especially her activism in health and education for women of color, including SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective and the Latina Roundtable on Health and Reproductive Rights. In addition they document her activities on behalf of Hispanics in New York City such as Baile Boricua Dance Company, Charas, and Dominican Womens' Development Center; as well as other neighborhood, educational, family-oriented, and health-related organizations and initiatives. There are also family materials, New York University course work and student papers, early correspondence, speeches, and writings.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into seven series:

  1. I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS (1974-2003)
  2. II. CORRESPONDENCE (1968-1970)
  3. III. SPEECHES AND WRITINGS (1986-97)
  4. IV. PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES (1973-06)
  5. V. SUBJECT FILES (1974-1998)
  6. VI. PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEMORABILIA (1945-2005)
  7. VII. AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS (1997-1999)

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff or email specialcollections@smith.edu to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Luz Marina Rodriguez, 2006.

Existence and Location of Copies

Original audiovisual recordings have been transferred to digital format for research use.

Related Materials

Additional material on Luz Rodriqeuz can be found in her interview for the Sophia Smith Collection's Voices of Feminism Oral History Project and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective.

Processing Information

Processed by Susan Boone, 2010.

Title
Luz Rodriguez papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Finding aid prepared by Susan Boone.
Date
2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Processing of the Luz Marina Rodriguez Papers was made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:19-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063