Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating Rosa Clemente

Rosa Clemente has never been one to mince words.

While growing up in the South Bronx, Clemente recognized that marginalized people, like her fellow Puerto Ricans and others, were treated differently.

Her teachers at UAlbany taught her how to channel her tenacity and introduced Clemente to other well-known female activists.

Clemente took that to heart, starting on campus. Her boldness nearly got her expelled. During her time as president of ASUBA, the Black student union group on campus, Clemente used covert measures to bring a former Black Panther named Stokely Carmichael to speak on campus.

She would graduate and go on to campaign for political and social justice across the country. This spans from the death of Admadu Diallo in 1999, to the police killing of Michael Brown in 2014. Clemente was also a constant voice on the treatment of people in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria.

As the vitriol in politics grows, Clemente sometimes brings security with her as she speaks across the country. She has only to look at the activist community she came from, for the energy to move forward without hesitation.