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Kathy Goldman Puerto Rican Community Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 291

Scope and Contents

Kathy Goldman Puerto Rican Community Papers would be of interest to any researcher seeking to understand how the New York City Puerto Rican community in the mid-1960s fought to gain community control of local school districts from the Department of Education. Segregation and inferior education persisted in minority districts a decade after the Supreme Court decision on Brown v. Board of Education that ruled against “separate but equal schooling”. Goldman and like-minded activists advocated for various programs including decentralization of the Board of Education, establishment of citywide summer meals program, and adoption of the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). The bulk of the material is from 1964 – 2003 and documents social and political oganizations in the five boroughs of New York City. It contains correspondence, memoranda, clippings, flyers, menus, and community newspapers focused on the organizations where Goldman worked and led throughout her professional career.

This collection includes EQUAL (1964-1967) where Goldman was chairman and coordinated seven Bronx parent and citizen groups interested in bettering public education. Highlights include documents advocating for the Educational Park Concept. Equal also published reading scores and ethnic date for each school district in New York City compiled from Board of Education data and the New York Times.

There are also documents from Goldman’s time as coordinator with United Bronx Parents Inc. (UBP) (1967-1972). Details on the three experimental districts: IS-120 in East Harlem, Two Bridges in Lower East Side, and Ocean-Hill Brownsville in Brooklyn. This collection documents how Goldman was able to launch the first Summer Lunch Program in New York City in 1971 by attaining a $3.2 million dollar grant for the United States Department of Agriculture. The program provided 6 million lunches through 1,000 sites in all 5 boroughs in a span of 44 days.

The collection documents Community School Board District One – Lower East Side (1972-1974). The Lower East Side known as Loisaida was home to a large Puerto Rican population served by District One. Parents sought local control of the Community School Board to gain decision- making power over budget, personnel, and curriculum. This series contains materials pertaining to the For the Children Slate (Por Los Niños) of nine members running for the local school board. While the slate did not win, the flyers, newspaper ad, and poster (see OS) show an organized campaign with racial and gender diversity. As Director of Food Service Programs for District One, Goldman was responsible for developing and implementing the City’s only decentralized and community run breakfast and lunch program.

This collection also focuses on Community Food Resource Center (CFRC), (1980-2000s). Goldman founded CFRC as a nonprofit organization in 1980 with the primary goal of helping low income New Yorkers gain access to nutritious food. The materials in this series relate to the direct services CFRC provided: Community Kitchen of West Harlem, Entitlements Clinic, Senior Dinner Programs, and Eviction Prevention. Also included are materials that chronicled CFRC advocacy and policy on issues of child nutrition and food stamps.

Finally, the collection includes documents from Goldman’s time at Community Food Advocates (CFA), (2004-2006), post CFRC.


  • Creation: 1964-2006


Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by CENTRO.

Biographical / Historical

Kathy Goldman is a longtime advocate and community activist for issues related to food, hunger, and poverty. Born in the Bronx in the 1930s to Jewish immigrants of Polish and Hungarian descent, she witnessed her parent’s social activism. As Chairman of Equal, Goldman coordinated seven Bronx parent and citizen groups interested in bettering public education through school integration and community control. In 1965, she joined the United Bronx Parents (UBP), an organization dedicated to promoting quality and desegregated schools in the Bronx. Goldman was only one of two white people in the organization. Goldman’s conviction for social and economic justice lead, her to join Evelina Lopez Antonetty, a kindred spirit and the founder of UBP. The Puerto Rican community frequently found themselves at odds and in confrontation with the powerful Jewish majority United Federal Teachers (UFT), it was a testimony to the inclusive nature of UBP that a Jewish woman would be a part of their leadership.

In 1971 together with UBP leaders, Goldman was instrumental in the creation of New York City’s first Summer Meals Program for children, the success of which led to the establishment of school breakfast and lunch program in Community School District 1 on the Lower East Side (or Loisaida) the following year. This progressive program was later adopted citywide.

As her advocacy for food program reformation advanced, Goldman founded the Community Food Resource Center (CFRC) in 1980. Throughout her term as its Executive Director until 2003, she advocated for passage of federal food programs with emphasis on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and nutrition programs for children. CFRC started as a one-woman operation and expanded into a multi-million dollar organization that provided resources and services to the community, and acted as a watchdog for the administration of federal programs and their impact on the 2 million low-income residents of New York City. CFRC is now a part of Food Bank for New York City, where Goldman serves as a board member.

Goldman majored in physiology and minored in education as an undergraduate in Hunter College. She holds a masters degree in Urban Studies from Queens College. She has been recognized nationally for her dedication to community activism. In 2012, President Obama honored Kathy Goldman as a “Champion of Change” at the White House for her advocacy regarding issues of food security. As of 2018, Goldman serves as co-director of Community Food Advocates, Inc. She resides in Manhattan and has three children and five grandchildren.


2 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


Kathy Goldman is a community activist whose advocacy on New York City public school integration, school meals program, city-side summer lunch program and food security for low income New Yorkers span five decades. For many years, her work was centered in East Harlem “El Barrio” and the Lower East Side or “Loisaida” where an increasing Puerto Rican population fought for community control of local school boards and improving public school curriculum. This collection contains correspondence, articles, photographs, flyers, and printed materials pertaining to the participation of Kathy Goldman in grass roots organizations including EQUAL, United Bronx Parents, Inc. (UBP), Community Food Resource Center (CFRC), and Community Food Advocates (CFA).


The collection is divided into the following series chronologically according to the years Goldman worked with them:

I. EQUAL, 1964-1967 II. United Bronx Parents Inc. (UBP), 1967-1972 III. Community School Board District One – Lower East Side(1972-1974) IV. Community Food Resource Center (CFRC), 1980- 2000s V. Community Food Advocates (CFA), 2004-2006

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Kathy Goldman.


Kathy Goldman Puerto Rican Community Papers
Herbert Duran
September 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora Repository

Silberman Building, Hunter College
2180 Third Ave. Rm. 122
New York New York 10065

About the Collections

Our collections consist of personal papers from prominent Puerto Rican artists, elected officials, social activists, writers, as well as the records of community-based organizations. Our largest collection, the Offices of the Government of Puerto Rico in the United States (OGPRUS) Records, measures approximately 2,900 cubic feet and contains an extraordinary amount of information regarding Puerto Rican migrants and the government institutions established to assist them. The collections date from the 1890s to the present, and document Puerto Rican communities in the Northeast, Midwest, Florida, California and Hawaii.