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April 10, 2006

CUNY-DOMINICAN STUDIES INSTITUTE’S ARCHIVES RECEIVE DOCUMENT COLLECTION OF ATTORNEY, ACTIVIST HOPE R. STEVENS

NEW YORK, April 10, 2006 – The Dominican Archives of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at The City College of New York has received a donation of a very special collection of historical documents pertaining to Hope R. Stevens, noted Harlem lawyer and civil rights activist, it was announced today by Dr. Ramona Hernández, the Institute’s Director. 

Mr. Stevens, a native of Tortola, British Virgin Islands, who was raised in the island of Nevis, the home of his family, was also a key figure in the pro-independence movement of several Caribbean islands including Barbados, Saint Kitts, and Nevis.  He passed away in 1982. 

The collection, consisting of papers, photographs, correspondence, notes, and memorabilia associated with Mr. Stevens’ professional work, as well as his civic and social life from the 1930s to the late 1970s, was donated to the CUNY DSI’s Dominican Archives by a surviving son, Anthony R. Stevens-Acevedo.

“The Dominican Archives is launching an aggressive effort in pursue of all documents directly or indirectly related to the Dominican community in the United States,” said Dr. Hernández.  “This donation is part of the results of that effort.”  Mr. Stevens, who spent several years in the Dominican Republic as a young man before migrating to the United States in 1929, where he engaged in a four-decades career as an attorney and activist in New York, especially Harlem, remained in touch with Dominican friends and acquaintances residing in New York City throughout his life.”

“After being processed by the Dominican Archives, these papers will be available for all researchers to consult,” said Mr. Stevens-Acevedo.  “They will certainly add something to the construction of the history of Harlem’s struggles for social justice, as well as to the history of the efforts of the Caribbean peoples to achieve independence during the Twentieth Century.”

“This is a collection that we will process and care for with absolute inspiration,” added Idilio Gracia-Peña, Chief Archivist of the Dominican Archives, and a former Archivist of the City of New York and New York City’s Commissioner of Records under Mayor David Dinkins.

Mr. Gracia-Peña, a Puerto Rican New Yorker familiar with the histories of the African American, Puerto Rican, and Dominican communities, also migrated to the United States when young.  He noted that the collection reflected this feature of Twentieth Century New York City as a hub for immigrants from the Caribbean who made the most progressive struggles taking place in the United States their own.

Dominican Studies Institute Contact: Idilio Gracia-Peña, 212-650-8865.

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