The Young Lords Party (1969–1975) was a movement of young urban activists who organized in East Harlem, New York, in the late 1960s to improve the living conditions for Hispanics and Blacks in New York City while finding a common purpose with other activist groups working in the cultural sector. At the outset the group was allied with the national Young Lords organization based in Chicago. Establishing themselves very rapidly as an action-oriented movement, New York’s Young Lords soon separated themselves from the national organization to form the Young Lords Party. These activists had a profound impact on Puerto Rican/Latino communities in the United States and Puerto Rico. Like the Black Panthers, the Young Lords Party became media icons of 1960s militant urban youth culture. Members like Felipe Luciano were also performance poets and are recognized as part of the Nuyorican poetry movement.
Dr. Marta Moreno Vega is an Afro-Puerto Rican artist, activist, and institution builder. Born in El Barrio (East Harlem), New York City, Dr. Moreno Vega has dedicated her professional life to developing culturally grounded institutions that place the history and culture of African descendants in the Americas in world history. She founded the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, an international not-for-profit organization located in New York City in 1976 where she currently serves as president of the board. Vega also founded the Amigos del Museo del Barrio (Friends of El Museo del Barrio), and was the second director of El Museo del Barrio. She is also one of the founding members, and the first director, of the Association of Hispanic Arts, The Network of Centers of People of Color, and the Roundtable of People of Color. She also curated major visual arts exhibitions, including Santería and Vodun in the Americas, and organized three international conferences on Orisha Tradition and Culture. She has written several books including an autobiography entitled The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santeria.