Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

United Bronx Parents Records, 1966-2011, bulk 1985-2011

Summary Information

Abstract

United Bronx Parents (UBP) was founded in 1965 as a grassroots organization of parents and local businesses advocating for improved education for children in South Bronx public schools. In 1984, under executive director Lorraine Montenegro, the organization shifted focus to address other issues facing Bronx residents, including homelessness, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS. The United Bronx Parents, Inc. Records document the organization's work for social services in the Puerto Rican community of the South Bronx from the 1960s to the 2010s.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1770
Bib ID 11527437 View CLIO record
Creator(s) United Bronx Parents
Title United Bronx Parents Records, 1966-2011, bulk 1985-2011
Physical Description 26 linear feet (19 record cartons, 1 transfile)
Language(s) Material is primarily in English, with some items in Spanish.
Access

This collection is located off-site. Researchers will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Box 4, Folder 18 contains client identifiable information and is restricted until 2095.

Arrangement

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in four series. Materials in series I and II are arranged alphabetically and materials in series III and IV are arranged chronologically.

Description

Scope and Contents

The United Bronx Parents, Inc. (UBP) Records document the organization's work for social services in the Puerto Rican community of the South Bronx from the 1960s to the 2010s. Most of the collection covers the years from 1985-2011, when founder Evelina López Antonetty's daughter, Lorraine Montenegro, took over as executive director. They highlight the organization's move away from educational activism to address other issues facing the community including substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, child care, and hunger. Some of the records document important long-lasting programs and facilities, notably La Casita, the first residential drug treatment program for women and their children in the United States. Others relate to the management of the central office, grant management and fundraising, and short term events, activities, and partnerships. There are also a number of boxes of photographs from United Bronx Parents events and from Montenegro's personal and family collections.

Additional records from the 1960s-1970s document UBP's educational activism from 1966 to the early 1980s. These include flyers, handouts from parent workshops, funding proposals, meeting notes, and planning documents from Universidad Urayoán. They are closed to researchers until after conservation treatment to remove mold.

  • Series I: Administration

    Series I contains records related to management, human resources, training, and operations at United Bronx Parents (UBP). These administrative files document activities from the United Bronx Parents central office under the organization's second executive director, Lorraine Montenegro, as well as La Casita and other major projects. There are groups of Board of Trustees meeting minutes and internal and external memos, but neither is a comprehensive set of records. The human resources files provide insight into employee policies and practices at UBP, where many employees were family and friends. A small number of records from 2007-2009 document a major funder's investigation into complaints about Lorraine Montenegro's management of the organization and her reaction to the process. Series I also contains official UBP publications with histories and descriptions of each program area.

  • Series II: Programming and Grants

    Series II documents United Bronx Parents (UBP) activities from the 1980s to the 2010s. The programs represented most frequently include their Child Care Food Program, La Casita, Women's Supportive Services, and supports for people with HIV/AIDS. Records of other substance abuse, adult education, and health care projects are included, as well as some one-time events and activities. Many of these records are grant applications and reports, which highlight the organization's goals for specific programs and track their successes and numbers of clients served. These also provide insight into UBP relationships with investors and work with New York City and State agencies. Other documents include work plans, menus, supply budgets and invoices, and some case notes.

  • Series III: Photographs

    Series III contains photographs of United Bronx Parents events and programs. They are not labeled and the specific event or people depicted is not clear. Photographs are primarily from community celebratory events and field trips as well as graduations and other parties.

  • Series IV: Family Documents

    Series IV contains documents from the Antonetty/López/Montenegro family. These reflect the fact that many family members worked at the organization and there was overlap between personal and professional matters. There are photographs and cards sent to Lorraine Montenegro and a set of personal photographs and school documents from her aunt (Evelina López Antonetty's sister) Lillian López. López was also an activist and was one of the first Puerto Rican librarians in New York City.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. Researchers will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Box 4, Folder 18 contains client identifiable information and is restricted until 2095.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Researchers must wear gloves when handling photographs in boxes 12-15.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); United Bronx Parents Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

United Bronx Parents, Inc. records, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, CUNY: The United Bronx Parents, Inc. records document the organization's early work from 1966-1980s.

Lillian López papers, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, CUNY: the papers of Evelina López Antonetty's sister, including correspondence and interviews with Antonetty.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative.

This collection was processed by Rachel Klepper. Finding aid written by Rachel Klepper in June 2019.

Half of the materials acquired were moldy. The bulk of these were discarded, but five boxes of materials with high research value were kept and remain to be cleaned and processed. Once processed, they will add materials from United Bronx Parents' work with families and educational activism in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the organization's plan to open a bilingual university called Universidad Urayoán. Other items were discarded due to confidential patient information. These include medical records, case notes with patient full names and diagnoses, or forms applying for services at UBP. In addition, boxes containing routine financial records from the 1990s-2000s such as bank statements and check requests were discarded.

Documents within each box were retained in the order in which they arrived at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Transfiles and moving boxes were replaced with new record cartons. Most of the collection was placed in new acid-free folders and original folder titles were retained.

Separated Materials

5 boxes were separated due to mold infestation and will be reintegrated into the collection once cleaned. Once processed, they will add materials from United Bronx Parents' work with parents and educational activism in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the organization's plan to open a bilingual university called Universidad Urayoán.

35 boxes of materials were discarded due to mold damage, medical privacy concerns, or limited research value. These include documents with personally identifiable information about clients and routine financial papers such as bank statements and payment requests.

Revision Description

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Brochures Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Budgets Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Case files Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Color photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fliers (printed matter) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Grant proposals Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Memorandums Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reports Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
minutes (administrative records) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
AIDS (Disease) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Antonetty, Evelina, 1922-1984 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Child care services Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Community based social services Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Community development -- New York (State) -- New York. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Educational change Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
HIV infections Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Occupation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Puerto Ricans -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Social service and race relations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Southeast Bronx Community Organization Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Substance abuse -- Treatment Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United Bronx Parents Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

United Bronx Parents (UBP) was founded in 1965 by Evelina López Antonetty. It began as a grassroots organization of parents and local businesses advocating for improved education for children in South Bronx public schools. Its original funding came from the War on Poverty's Office of Economic Opportunity. Working primarily with Puerto Rican parents, Antonetty began a training program that encouraged parents to evaluate their schools and to exercise collective power to change the educational system. The organization advocated for increased resources, bilingual schooling, and community control over education. As it grew in the 1970s, UBP opened a daycare center, implemented a free summer lunch program serving over 150,000 children, and started adult education programs.

After Antonetty's death in 1984, her daughter, Lorraine Montenegro, became UBP's new executive director. Under Montenegro, the organization expanded, becoming one of the biggest non-profits in the Bronx and hiring hundreds of employees. It also shifted focus to address other issues facing Bronx residents, including homelessness, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS. In 1990, UBP opened La Casita, a drug-free residential treatment program for homeless substance-abusing women and their children. La Casita was the first program in the United States to allow women to care for their children while in treatment. Other UBP programs and facilities included Mrs. A's place (a multi-service center with substance abuse and HIV-related services), Women's Supportive Services, La Casa de Salud, COBRA HIV management, Casita Esperanza (facility for various HIV prevention programs), The Peer Training Institute (a collaborative city project to train HIV prevention workers) and the Day Care Center. It continued to emphasize community development and its role as a "community grown organization."

UBP's work was funded by a wide range of grants, many from New York City and State offices as well as private foundations. It faced periods of financial uncertainty but found ways to continue to sustain its work with new grants and partnerships. In 2011, the organization became an affiliate of the Bronx-based Acacia Networks, which continues several of UBP's programs. In 2017, Lorraine Montenegro passed away in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In her honor, the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and Acacia Networks opened the Lorraine Montenegro Women and Children's Program Facility on Prospect Avenue in the Bronx.