The Archives and Special Collections Department recently acquired the Hispanic Office of Planning and Evaluation, Inc. (HOPE) records, a vital Latino collection that the Archives had been pursuing for over a decade. While valuable in its own right, the HOPE collection can serve as an important teaching tool, demonstrating grassroots activism and on-the-ground public health and education work, as well as the history of Boston’s Latino community.
Poder Latino AIDS/HIV training session, ca. 1995, from the HOPE collection
In 1998 the Archives was awarded a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant to identify and secure at risk-historical records from local African-American, Latino, Asian-American, and LGBT communities. The award launched the Archives’ current collecting focus on local underrepresented communities. As part of the project, advisory boards identified key organizations and activists for each of the four groups, and HOPE was identified as a crucial organization for its service to the Latino community.
Established in 1971, HOPE united local community members, activists, social workers, and academics to study, coordinate, improve, and establish services and programs to benefit Massachusetts’ Hispanic community. The organization not only created several health-promotion and disease-prevention programs, but also worked to educate the Latino community about the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases through peer education programs like Poder Latino (Latin Youth Power) and PLENA (Padres Latinos Educando Nuestros Adolescentes/Latino Parents Educating Our Youth). HOPE also established educational programs to help youths to stay in school and pursue higher education through GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) and HOPE for Youth Mentoring.
This important addition to the Archives’ collection is a testimony to HOPE’s work in research and advocacy, technical assistance and training, leadership development, educational counseling, and health promotion and disease prevention.
For more information on the HOPE collection, or to learn more about teaching opportunities with this and other Archives and Special Collections material, please m.romero [at] neu.edu (email Michelle Romero), or call (617) 373 – 7656.