Creating a Currency to Raise Awareness

Editor's note:

Professor Frances Negrón-Muntaner is the co-creator of  Valor y Cambio, a community-based storytelling and community-building project. In a video below, she talks about how the project, which is introducing a community currency for Puerto Ricans, is raising questions about societal values in debt-ridden Puerto Rico. The currency will be introduced to New Yorkers on Sunday, May 26, at the Loisaida Festival, the largest Latinx celebration in Lower Manhattan. 

Below is an article from earlier this month when Columbia announced that Negrón-Muntaner was the recipient of the 2019 LASA Latina/o Studies Frank Bonilla Public Intellectual Award. 

Jessica Reyes
May 09, 2019

Columbia University congratulates Professor Frances Negrón-Muntaner, recipient of the 2019 LASA Latina/o Studies Frank Bonilla Public Intellectual Award.

She is being recognized for her outstanding contributions to the Latino Studies field and the Latinx community, as a trailblazer on LGBTQ rights and AIDS awareness in the El Barrio neighborhood in East Harlem. Most recently, she was the co-creator of  Valor y Cambio, a community-based storytelling and community-building project about Puerto Rican values surrounding social and economic transformations in the midst of the current debt crisis.

Negrón-Muntaner is an award-winning filmmaker, author and professor in the English and Comparative Literature Department at Columbia University. She is also founding curator of the Latino Arts and Activism Archive at Columbia’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. Currently, she is spearheading the Unpayable Debt public engagement project to raise awareness of the effect of debt on vulnerable populations. 

Negrón-Muntaner will receive the award on May 26 at the Latin American Studies Association meeting in Boston.