Memorial for William Nieves

May 13, 2010
6:00 pm

Thursday, May 13, 2010
6:00pm

Memorial
for William Nieves
Thursday, May 13, 2010
6:00pm
1199 SEIU, 13th Floor Penthouse
330 West 42nd Street, NYC

Photo by Carlos Diaz

Celebrities, political and labor leaders, attorneys, journalists, educators, artists and students will come together on Thursday, May 13th at 6pm in New York to honor the memory of Willie Nieves, who, throughout his life, was a public figure of great importance and leadership in the Puerto Rican and Latino community in this city.

He became a university leader promoting academic reforms and the inclusion of courses on Puerto Rican and Latino studies in the CUNY curriculum during the 1970s when he was a student at the City College of New York.

He also was part of the struggle to defend the civil rights of African-Americans; participated in the anti-war movement in peace marches during the Vietnam War, as did so many young people during this counter-cultural period.

He later became part of the brigades of the Peace Corp in South America, and was one of the early leaders of ASPIRA of New York, becoming one of the top Puerto Ricans during the administration of Mayor David Dinkins, where he was in charge of Hispanic affairs.

Along with these many achievements, he promoted many musical productions, taking the theater to the streets during the summer in the city. He also distinguished himself as a patriotic defender of independence and defender of Puerto Rican nation and its struggles for freedom both in the United States and Puerto Rico, his home country.

The sudden disappearance of Willie Nieves had surprised and left his compatriots, friends and colleagues struck by a profound sadness for the loss it represents. He passed away on March 24, 2010 in Puerto Rico, his body was cremated and, at his request, his ashes shall be spread over a brook in his beloved Borinquen.

For further information, contact:
Soledad at marisoles.romer@gmail.com

8 Responses to “Memorial for William Nieves”

  1. Carmen D. Lucca says:

    William Nieves was a true Puerto Rican original.

  2. Carlos Diaz says:

    Thank you Mario Romero for organizing this well deserved tribute to our beloved colleague and friend William Nieves. And thank you to Angelo Falcon for helping to inform the many who knew and loved William Nieves of his untimely death in Puerto Rico. William is gone, but he will forever live in the hearts and minds of all whose life he touched so deeply.

  3. Carlos Diaz says:

    Correction: The acknowledgement above was intended for Maria Romero. I apologize for the error.

  4. Maria Tamarelle says:

    Thank you, Maria Romero, for organizing the memorial for Willie Nieves. Although, I am neither a celebrity nor a politician, I had the honor to meet Willie when we studied in Granada, Spain in 1970. We formed a deep friendship that lasted for all these years. I participated in the creation of the Caney in its two
    incarnations and followed his political life. But throughout it all, it was mostly a close friendship. Willy, would call me regularly and let me know what he was working on. It is sad that he will never be able to complete his last project, the film festival that he was so interested in creating. I missed Willie immensely.

  5. Rudy Vargas says:

    I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of Willie Nieves. In my time as an employee of Aspira, Willie was a great inspiration and organizer of events that nurtured our identity with pride as Puerto Ricans, and as Latinos in general. He will be remembered for the way he collectively open pathways for others to walk through with orgullo.

  6. Dennis Camacho says:

    When I heard the news about his death, It really made me feel sad. I meet Willie Nieves in Aspira, when I was an Aspirante and he show us how much he really care about his people. Willie Nieves was a great person who would go out of his way to help anyone, his passion and dedication in helping out for his community made a great inpact on my life. As I had the opportunity of meeting many great people in Aspira Willie Nieves was a true leader and a great Puerto Rican. I am so proud to say that I had the opportunity to have meet him and to have been touch by his leadership and creativity in working for the community and Aspira. May God bless him, may God bless his family and let us remember the good things that he did and do to others as well as he did for us. Con mucho orgullo God bless you Willie Nieves

  7. ISMAEL (PILO) GONZALEZ says:

    I HAVE BEEN STRICKEN WITH THE SAD NEWS OF SO MANY PUERTO RICAN IN THE “FARANDULA” FIRST, IRMA MORILLO IN 2004, THE IRAIDA POLANCO, IN 2008 AND SON…POLLY ROGERS, AND NOW WILLIE NIEVES IN 2011. NEW YORK IS A DIFFERENT PLACE WITHOUT THEM. I MISS THEM, RIP!

    PILO

  8. Manuel Lara says:

    Our community has lost a visionary, a leader, an inspiration to all who had the great fortune of knowing this great man. I travel frequently via E 116 St., and a flood of memories come to mind when I pass by the locale for “El Caney del Barrio”, a place where Willie would present many of the great things Puerto Rico is known for: Culture, Heritage and Puerto Rican Identity. I miss him greatly, and I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to know him and call him my friend.

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