Ms. Elba Cabrera, social activist and legendary advocate for Puerto Rican and Latino arts and culture, will receive an Associate in Humane Letters degree at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College’s 52nd Commencement Ceremony.
“Ms. Cabrera has a long and storied history with Hostos,” President Daisy Cocco De Filippis said. “Her unstinting work on behalf of Puerto Rican and Latino artists in the South Bronx, her passionate commitment to educational reform, and her example as a community activist have inspired generations. Few are more deserving of such an honor.”
Ms. Cabrera’s family migrated from Puerto Rico to New York City during the Great Depression. Social and educational activism and community service are a family trait;  Ms. Cabrera is the sister of the activist Evelina Antonetty (1922-84) and library administrator Lillian López (1928-2005).
Starting in the 1970s, Ms. Cabrera served as administrative assistant for the Association of Hispanic Arts, Inc. (AHA), a not-for-profit arts service organization –– and soon became the organization’s assistant director. More work as an arts administrator followed at such institutions as the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts; the Center for the Media Arts; and the Bronx Council on the Arts. Ms. Cabrera has often been referred to as “La Madrina de las Artes” (Godmother or Patroness of the Arts).
She also worked in a variety of roles with the Girl Scouts of the USA and with the New York City Department for the Aging, as well as the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, Comité Noviembre, and All Care Provider Services.
Ms. Cabrera’s relationship with Hostos began three decades ago; she is a founding member of the Hostos Community College Foundation and a long-time supporter of the College’s Center for the Arts & Culture, which ranks as one of the nation’s most respected leaders in Latino/a/x and African-based programming.
“Ms. Cabrera is a vibrant embodiment of the principles that animate Hostos and the CUNY system,” President Cocco De Filippis said, “And we are proud to number her among the most cherished members of the Hostos family.”
The College’s Commencement Ceremonies will take place in the form of two semi-traditional gatherings: Ceremony #1, Tuesday, May 31, 2022 (for Fall and Winter Semester graduates), at 2 p.m.; and Ceremony # 2, Thursday, June 2, 2022 (for Spring Semester graduates), at 11 a.m. Both ceremonies will be held in the College’s Main Theater, which is located at 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451.
About Hostos Community College
Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change, transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. Hostos serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, and a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique "student success coach" program, which partners students with individualized guidance, is emblematic of the premier emphasis on student support and services.
Hostos offers 28 associate degree programs and 2 certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture (HCAC) is one of the pre-eminent Latino arts centers of the northeast. The HCAC has distinguished itself for showcasing traditional art forms as well as emerging and internationally renowned artists.
Hostos Community College is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university serving more than 500,000 students at 25 colleges.