Born in New York in 1925 of parents who migrated to the U.S. from Puerto Rico, Frank Bonilla grew up in East Harlem and the Bronx, spending several of his middle and high school years in Tennessee and Illinois. Following his graduation from Morris High School in the South Bronx, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, served with the 190th Infantry Regiment, the 65th Infantry, and fought in World War II’s Battle of the Bulge. When an injury removed him from the front lines, he joined the ranks of the Puerto Rican National Guard in Germany. Upon returning to the U.S., he earned his B.B.A. in 1949, graduating cum laude from the College of the City of New York, his M.A. in Sociology from New York University in 1954, and his doctorate in Sociology from Harvard University in 1959. Bonilla worked on research projects in New York’s Puerto Rican community, various Latin American countries, and Latino/as nationwide. As the founding director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies in the City University of New York, he took a leading role in shaping the field of Puerto Rican studies. Frank was committed to giving voice to Latinos and other populations underrepresented in academia and to turning Centro into the most vital scholarly and community resource of its kind. In 1997, after a lifetime of dedicated advocacy and research, which culminated in the founding of Centro and the Inter-University Program for Latino Research, Dr. Bonilla retired to California to reside closer to family. He continued to work on independent projects until 2002 when illness led him to retire from all professional activities. He is survived by three children, Sandra M. Bailey of Cleburne Texas, Natasha Bonilla Martinez of San Marcos, California, and Dr. Francisco Antonio Bonilla of Canton, Massachusetts; five grandchildren, Elena Pohl, Luisa Detwiler, Marina Martinez, Sara Bonilla, and Rosa Bonilla; and a great-grandson, John Alan Corley.

     Teachers can access the following teaching guide on Dr. Bonilla: Centro Teaching Guide



    Sonia Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954, in the Bronx borough of New York City. Her desire to be a judge was first inspired by the TV show Perry Mason. She graduated from Yale Law School and passed the bar in 1980. She became a U.S. District Court Judge in 1992 and was elevated to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998. In 2009, she became the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history. Review resource: Sotomayor_News ELASupreme Court Judge Confirmation Hearing



    Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Lin-Manuel Miranda is an award-winning composer, lyricist, and actor. He is the creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning musicals, Hamilton and In the Heights. Hamilton - with book, music, and lyrics by Mr. Miranda, in addition to him originating the title role - was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and earned a record-breaking 16 Tony Nominations, winning 11 Tony Awards including two personally for Mr. Miranda for Book and Score of a Musical. The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton won the 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Both Mr. Miranda and Hamilton won the 2016 Drama League Awards for Distinguished Performance and Outstanding Production of a Musical, respectively. Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Alex Lacamoire were awarded a 2018 Kennedy Center Honors for their collaborative achievement in Hamilton and its continued artist impact. Hamilton connects American history, musical theatre, and hip-hop to present an experience that is exciting and fresh for theatergoers. While playwrights and composers may have made progress bringing rock and pop into Broadway, none have dared ventured as deeply as Miranda into Hip-Hop, the genre of music that has a style and culture of its own. Indeed, Miranda himself has been quite experienced in this culture since his youth and in Hamilton, he delivers a lifetime‘s worth of immersion and study. Cast albums as well as rap artists like Jay-Z inspired Miranda for they were able to convey a narrative with rhyme, albeit with different times. Young Lin-Manuel found that he had a talent for both as well, and in Hamilton, he has brought together music and history with a plot that stands more than 200 years outside of what is considered the typical culture of hip-hop. The genius of Miranda, who also stars as Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, is nowhere more evident than in the way he has translated this historical tale into 21st century musical exuberance — the kind of sound today's urban swashbucklers already have streaming into their ears (Besmir, 2019).

    Review the following excerpt on Hamilton: Story  Hamilton/Act I: Hamilton              Hamilton: History in the Making:  Collections  History of Hamilton:  Chernow

    Resources for Teaching HamiltonLinn-Manuel Miranda Common Lit Exercise


    Pantoja An iconic figure in the Puerto Rican community, Antonia Pantoja reigns as one of the leaders in community development and as a key figure in the founding of several seminal Puerto Rican institutions. Best known for the inception and creation of ASPIRA, Pantoja was also instrumental in the founding of the Puerto Rican Association for Community Affairs (PRACA) (previously known as the Hispanic Young Adult Association [HYAA]), the Puerto Rican Research and Resources Center, Boricua College (Universidad Boricua), the Graduate School for Community Development and Producir, Inc. Dedicated to the self-determination of the Puerto Rican community, in particular, and communities of color and working-class communities, in general, Pantoja sought to empower those around her by enabling them to create their own solutions to the poverty, unemployment, and discrimination they faced. Coming from an impoverished background herself, Pantoja was particularly sensitive to and knowledgeable of the lack of opportunities available to these marginalized communities and maintained the need for them to be agents in the creation of avenues of change and opportunity for themselves.

    Review the following resources to Antonia Pantoja's Memoir: Pantoja  

    PBS: Antonia Pantoja ¡Presente!Guide to the Antonia Pantoja Papers