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“We Shall Not Be Moved”: IBA’s 50-Year Dedication to Equitable Community Development

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In 1968, the words “no nos mudaremos/we shall not be moved” rang throughout the South End, as a group of Puerto Rican activists – the future founders of IBA – fought against an urban renewal initiative threatening to displace residents from the Boston Redevelopment Authority designated Parcel 19. Having fought to preserve the influence and accessibility of the South End’s Puerto Rican and Latino community, the legacy of our founders continues to inspire our efforts to provide equal residential, educational, economic and cultural opportunities for all residents.

In honor of our 50th Anniversary year, here are three historic milestones that have made critical community services available to low-income families and individuals across the South End.

  • 1970: As a result of passionate grassroots activism, IBA won the right to develop Parcel 19 into Villa Victoria. Designed by architect John Sharrat and funded in part by The Boston Foundation, Villa Victoria today provides affordable housing for more than 1,000 residents. Since its establishment, Villa Victoria has become internationally-renowned as an example of inclusive community development, as the property’s high-quality units and residential services – which combine recreational, health, case coordination, cultural and educational programming – promote safe and empowered living.
  • 1976: Early on, IBA understood the importance of early childhood education that promotes cultural and linguistic diversity. The first accredited bilingual preschool in Massachusetts, Escuelita Agüeybaná – now called IBA Preschool – fosters literacy, creative and critical thinking, compassion, independence and cultural acceptance.
  • 1986: Originally named after a former executive director of IBA, IBA opened the Jorge Hernández Cultural Center (now Villa Victoria Center for the Arts) to act as a vibrant community gathering place. Hosting musical, literary, artistic and theatrical performances predominantly led by Latino artists, Villa Victoria Center for the Arts welcomes community members of all income levels to enjoy the creativity of local and international Latino culture.

Ever since 1968, IBA has established a sense of community in the South End by ensuring that residents have access to the resources they need to feel socially, economically, intellectually and culturally empowered. Looking ahead to the next 50 years, we invite you to join our mission, as we aim to cultivate an environment where culture, educational opportunities, affordable living and economic empowerment thrive.

We are proud to be working to develop housing opportunities for low-income households and minority residents in Boston. For more information on how you can support IBA, please visit our page: http://www.ibaboston.org/donate/

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