IRIS MORALES is a lifelong activist, educator, attorney, filmmaker, and author. Her ongoing projects with young people, teachers, and media producers focus on issues of poverty and racism, mass deportation of immigrants, political prisoners, climate justice, and the colonial status of Puerto Rico. She is a frequent consultant to grassroots organizations and presenter to students and other community audiences.
Currently as the founder and executive editor of Red Sugarcane Press, Inc., Ms. Morales publishes books and creates projects about the Puerto Rican and African Diasporas in the Americas. She is a board member of UPROSE, an intergenerational, multi-racial, women-of-color led, grassroots organization based in Brooklyn, New York, that promotes sustainability and resiliency through community organizing, education, leadership development and cultural/artistic expression.
Ms. Morales is the author and editor of the recently released book, Through the Eyes of Rebel Women, The Young Lords: 1969-1976, the first account of women. Her award-winning documentary, !Palante Siempre Palante, The Young Lords! premiered on public television in 1996. She was among the first women to join the Young Lords in New York City and rose through the ranks to become Deputy Minister of Education, co-founder of the Women’s Caucus and Women’s Union, and co-leader the Philadelphia chapter.
Ms. Morales has been widely recognized for her community activism and media work. In 2015, she received the Community Service Award from the Latina 50 Plus organization. She is also the proud recipient of the ImageNation Revolution Award, Teatro Vida Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service, Latin Roots East Harlem – Celebrating the Living History Award from Community Works and the New Heritage Theater, Bayard Rustin Award for Social Justice from the Brotherhood/Sister Sol, and the Outstanding Leadership Award from Hip-Hop Association, Chica Luna Productions, African American Women In Cinema, Sister Outsider Entertainment, and New York Women in Film and Television, among many others.
Photo credit: Jose Angel Figueroa