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Diana Caballero Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 33

Scope and Contents

These papers are important for the information they provide and the insight they offer concerning the right to equal educational opportunities in the Puerto Rican and Latino community of New York City. Advocacy for bilingual education, community efforts to get Latino representation on the Board of Education of the City of New York, and the reform of district boards are all highlighted here. The collection also provides a history of the Puerto Rican/Latino Education Roundtable and perspective on the role Diana Caballero played in civil rights organizations such as the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights.

The types of materials contained include administrative files such as financial documents, minutes, news clippings, reports and press releases. The folders are organized alphabetically and the documents in chronological order.

Dates

  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-1999
  • Creation: 1967-1999

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers. Some restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by Centro.

Biographical / Historical

Diana Caballero is an educator, community organizer and activist. She has dedicated much of her life to developing civil rights and educational reform organizations. She was a member of the Young Lords Party (1970s), President of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights (1983-1987) and Director of the Puerto Rican/Latino Education Roundtable (1984-1997).

Caballero was born and raised in the South Bronx area of New York and went to public schools. After receiving an Associate Degree from the Borough of Manhattan Community College in Secretarial Studies (1967) she went on to complete a BA in elementary education at City College of the City University of New York (1970). In 1978 she graduated suma cum laude with a Masters Degree in Elementary and Bilingual Education from Long Island University and obtained both an MA and Ed. D in Educational Administration and Bilingual Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1996. From Hofstra University, she received a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration.

In 1972 Caballero successfully coordinated the efforts of a coalition formed to pressure WNET, channel 13, to produce and fund “Realidades,” the first bilingual television series transmitted in the United States. Later as a member of the project team, she helped develop program philosophy and content. From 1972-1984, Caballero worked in different settings, but always as an advocate for bilingual education. She was, for example, an elementary school teacher, and as a trainer and resource specialist gave workshops for teachers, administrators and parents.

As the Director of the Puerto Rican/Latino Education Roundtable based at the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, she was an effective advocate for educational reform and the needs of Latino students throughout the public school system. As a strong proponent of the right to bilingual education, she served as coordinator of the Bilingual Education Task Force of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights and the New York Coalition for Bilingual Education. Caballero participated in numerous boards, committees and commissions concerned with public education such as the Manhattan Borough President’s Task Force on Education and Decentralization, Chancellor Fernández’ Multi-Cultural Advisory Board, and the City-Wide Community School Board Elections Committee. She also served on Education Commissioner Sobol’s Task Force on Minorities: Equity and Excellence that published the controversial report “Curriculum of Inclusion” which was highly critical of the exclusionary school curriculum in effect throughout the system. Her activism went beyond educational advocacy, as is demonstrated by her work with the Committee Against Fort Apache (1980-1981) (formed to counter media racism and oppose the film “Fort Apache: The Bronx”) and the Black and Latino Coalition Against Police Brutality (1979-1980).

Caballero has been widely recognized for her educational advocacy, her organizational leadership and her dedication to upholding the democratic and civil rights of Puerto Ricans and other Latinos. In 1990, she received an award from the Women for Racial and Economic Equality and in 1989 from the Parents Coalition for Education of New York City. She was also the recipient of the Charles Bannerman Memorial Fellowship Award in 1988.

Caballero is currently an Assistant Professor in the Bilingual Education Program of the Department of Childhood Education at the City College of New York.

Extent

19.72 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

English

Spanish; Castilian

Abstract

Educator, community organizer and activist. Developed civil rights and educational reform organizations. Collection documents the right to equal educational opportunities in the Puerto Rican and Latino community of New York City, advocacy for bilingual education, community efforts to get Latino representation on the Board of Education of the City of New York, and the reform of district boards. Also provides history of the Puerto Rican/Latino Education Roundtable and the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights. Consists of administrative files, financial documents, minutes, news clippings, reports, proposals and press releases.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into the following series:

I. Biographical and Personal Information

II. Correspondence

III. Writings

IV. Puerto Rican/ Latino Education Roundtable

V. National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights

VI. Organizations

VII. Subject Files

VIII. Photographs

IX. Audiovisual Materials

X. Artifacts

XI. Electronic Records

Other Finding Aids

English / Spanish bilingual finding aid available, see External Documents.

Title
Diana Caballero Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Ismael García with the assistance of Izzy De Moya, Damary González, Myrna Tinoco and Noelia Urbano.
Date
March 2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Processed with a grant from The National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Funding was also provided by a congressional directed initiative sponsored by Congressman José Serrano and administered by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Revision Statements

  • 2005: Guide was revised in 2005 by Pedro Juan Hernández and Nélida Pérez.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora Repository

Contact:
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.