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Women's History Month: 20 Puerto Rican Women Everyone Should Know

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Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, J.D., 1955 [Photo: Primera Hora]

March is Women’s History Month and La Respuesta magazine proudly celebrates the immense contributions of Boricua women in both Puerto Rico and the Diaspora. For this important event we have selected twenty mujeres boricuas we think everyone should know. While this is far from a comprehensive list, we encourage further research and recognition of the many Boricuas making our people proud and our world a better, more equitable and ethical place.

Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, J.D., 1955

A feminist, activist, and lawyer. She was the third woman and the first Puerto Rican of obvious African descent and openly gay President of Puerto Rico’s Bar Association.
Ana Roque de Duprey, 1853-1933
A teacher and feminist, she founded the first “women’s only” magazine in Puerto Rico. She also helped found the University of Puerto Rico campuses in San Juan and Mayagüez.

Dr. Antonia Pantoja, 1922-2002

An educator and organizer, Pantoja founded the educational institution ASPIRA in 1961, Boricua College in 1970, and several other organizations and institutions throughout her life. She was integral in getting bilingual education in New York City schools and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996.
[Photo: Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños]

Blanca Canales Torresola, 1906-1996

A member of the influential Canales family of Jayuya, Torresola was a teacher and revolutionary, playing a leading role in the 1950 Nationalist Insurrection, where she declared the Second Republic. For this she spent 17 years in prison.

Caridad de la Luz, “La Bruja,” 1977

La Bruja is a Bronx born and raised poet and actress who started performing at the…..
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