In the wake of Hurricane María, the Department of English would like to recognize and affirm the significant work being accomplished by the Brigada Solidaria del Oeste/the Solidarity Brigade of the West (https://www.facebook.com/brigadasolidariaoeste/) on a daily basis. This grassroots organization, comprised of a collective of distinct groups across the western coast of Puerto Rico, has taken a hands-on, pro-active approach to address the resulting humanitarian and social crisis. The Brigada collectively meets each Friday in Mayagüez, identifying communities severely affected by the hurricane, taking a census of needs, and ensuring that provisions have been delivered – or other aid provided- to meet these needs.
We strongly encourage our English Department community (near and far) to donate materials and/or contribute financial resources to enable the Brigada to continue its outstanding efforts in serving highly vulnerable communities across our western coast. For alumnae, retired faculty, and friends in the States or elsewhere who have asked how you might help us in Puerto Rico, this is one way to ensure you monetary and material donations are fast-tracked and get to those who most need them…right now. Please check out the Brigada’s FB page (which publishes bilingually) to see what they have accomplished and their continuing program of strategically targeted action! Their “About” tab indicates where to send your donations. If you have any questions, however, contact our Interim Associate Director, Mary E. Sefranek Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 787.832.3847.