A TEAM OF MEDIA MAKERS ARE DOCUMENTING THE UNTOLD STORIES OF THE PUERTO RICAN PEOPLE
Rosa Clemente and the PR on the Map Team are Sharing Images and Videos of People in Crisis
San Juan, P.R. – October 12, 2017 – Puerto Rico is experiencing a devastating humanitarian crisis. Media Cloud, a database that collects metrics on news published daily, shows that the devastation in Puerto Rico is getting relatively little attention from news outlets compared to its coverage on Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
Last week, not being able to sit back any longer, social activist, independent journalist, and 2008 Vice-President nominee for the Green Party, Rosa Clemente, quickly pulled together a dedicated and talented group of media makers, including, videographer Daniel Hernandez, video producer Kat Lazo, print reporter Raquel Reichard, videographer/photographer from DefendPR Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, videographer, creative director Mateo Zapato, organizer Stephanie Martin-Llanes and communications Strategist Yanira Castro.
Through Rosa’s production company, Know They Self Productions, initial money to support the cause was collected via peer-to-peer payment platforms. As the campaign began to grow, the team set-up a GoFundMe page to collect additional donations to cover travel and accommodations for seven people, ground transportation, food, gas, relief supplies, and cash for grassroots organizations, such as AgitArte, in Puerto Rico. With a generous donation from Tony Award Winner Eve Ensler, the team could put their plan in high gear.
“Rosa Clemente is an incredibly brave and brilliant independent journalist who is reporting the stories we need to hear now, from the field in Puerto Rico,” stated Eve Ensler. “As the president threatens to cut off aid to Puerto Rico we must rise in solidarity with brothers and sisters there who are living through a nightmare. Supporting Rosa’s work means supporting stories that will tell the truth about what is happening, and what is not happening on the ground – stories that will ultimately lead to aid for the Puerto Rican people.”
As people with family and friends living on the island, they have had direct access to those who have been impacted – going where others won’t. They are each personally and academically schooled in the politics, history and colonization of Puerto Rico, and bring an important, and currently unseen, lens to the reporting. They will continue to interact with the people and document the devastation, producing a short film, several written articles and a feature-length documentary from the trip and research.
The partner and fiscal agents of the fund is the well-known Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), founded by Dr. Marta Morena Vega and head by Deputy Director Melody Capote. Once the team returns from the first trip to Puerto Rico, the CCCADI will provide initial accounting and ongoing reporting of the funds.
Follow the team’s coverage in the following places:
- PRontheMap Website: http://pronthemap.com/
- FB Page: Rosa Clemente https://www.facebook.com/rosa.clemente.779
- FB Page: Report, Reimagine, Revive https://www.facebook.com/ReportReimagineRevive
- Twitter Page: @rrr_PR https://twitter.com/rrr_pr
You can continue to support their work: https://www.gofundme.com/reportreimaginerevive-puerto-rico
PUERTO RICO MEDIA CONTACT
MAINLAND MEDIA CONTACT
Rosa Clemente opens up about her difficult decision that was sparked by the newly-revealed Hurricane Maria casualties.
By Tessa Stuart
On Sunday, throngs of people lined Sixth Avenue in Manhattan for the 61st annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade. Rosa Clemente wasn’t one of them. “I made a choice this year. I couldn’t march,” the Bronx-born Boricua activist and former Green Party candidate for vice president tells Rolling Stone. “I really think this should have been a day of mourning.”
Clemente, who is 46, has attended the parade almost every year of her life, and marched in it twice. Parade day, Clemente says, is typically the day of the year that she is “the most proud and happy to be a Puerto Rican – and everyone else who is not Puerto Rican is respecting that.”
Clemente is a longtime organizer in the community and advocate for Puerto Rican causes. Last year, she marched alongside the members of Defend Puerto Rico, in the past she’s marched to raise awareness about the U.S. Navy’s activities in Vieques. She knew lots of fellow activists who saw the parade as an opportunity to draw more attention to the under-covered tragedy in Puerto Rico, and while she supports their efforts, Clemente says, “I just couldn’t do it.”
She made the decision to protest the parade two weeks ago, when the New England Journal of Medicine published a Harvard study estimating that the U.S. government had dramatically undercounted the number of people who died on the island as a result of Hurricane Maria. The study estimated that 4,645 Puerto Ricans lost their lives because of the hurricane – 4,581 more than the official government estimate of 64 deaths. The number is only slightly less than the total deaths of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina combined.
The study confirmed fears Clemente had harbored since three weeks after the hurricane, when she traveled to Puerto Rico with other activists to film the aftermath of the storm and recovery effort. She became convinced after spending 10 days interviewing island residents that the death toll was much higher than what was being reported. “I believe what the people of Puerto Rico were telling me,” she says. “They saw it, they know what’s happening.”
The revised tally was published the same week ABC canceled Roseanne after its namesake star tweeted that if “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby” the result would be former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett. The major television networks – NBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox News – devoted eight-and-a-half-hours to the fallout from Barr’s tweet and just 32 minutes to the Harvard study, according to a count by Media Matters. The reaction, galling as Clemente found it, didn’t exactly shock her.
Invite Rosa Clemente to moderate, host or speak at your event:
In September 2017, Hurricane Maria caused massive infrastructural damage to Puerto Rico, but its effect on mortality remains contentious. The official death count is 64.
Economists are estimating that it could be more than a decade before Puerto Rico recovers from the hurricane damage.