Just short of the 5-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria’s landfall in Puerto Rico, Hurricane Fiona has brought devastating floods and power outages once again to the island. Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez and his Brooklyn based independent creative services studio, SOMOS ARTE, created La Borinqueña (pronounced “la Borinˈkenya”) superhero as a symbol of hope from the wake of destruction left by Hurricane Maria. Now, La Borinqueña is, once again, stepping into rescue-mode and is sending out a call to action for those individuals and organizations looking to get involved in the recovery and reconstruction efforts in Puerto Rico.
“In order to make truly transformative work over the years, we have dedicated close to $200,000 in micro-grants that we have awarded to grassroot non-profits in the hardest hit areas on the island by climate change and other recurring social and infrastructural issues”, says Miranda-Rodriguez. “This is an opportunity to take corporate responsibility to another level by partnering with us. We have vetted organizations over the last 5 years and have become a reliable conduit that distributes resources where the most impact can be made and felt. Teaming up with a Puerto Rican owned agency, such as FanGirl Consulting, has opened doors for La Borinqueña and we are doubling our efforts to open more doors together.”
The combined team of FanGirl Consulting and La Borinqueña is calling upon the retail and licensing community to support both short-term and long-term relief efforts resulting from Hurricane Fiona’s destruction in Puerto Rico. The La Borinqueña Grant Program is equipped to receive and distribute immediate cash donations that will be disseminated to the various grass roots organizations throughout the island that have been vetted these last few years. Logistical coordination efforts are currently under way in order to facilitate donations of physical goods. Besides cash, examples to address immediate needs include excess inventory on clothing, accessories, bedding, toys, and hygiene products. As the situation in Puerto Rico stabilizes, the coming months will see a shift to long-term rebuilding and reconstruction activities. Cohesive licensing and retail programs are strategic tactics to stay engaged and provide a consistent flow of proceeds to the grant fund for these affiliated community organizations.
In 2017 as a response to Hurricane Maria, award-winning graphic novelist and creator of La Borinqueña Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, published the best-selling benefit anthology Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico. Sales from this benefit anthology went towards grants that were awarded to non-profit organizations based in Puerto Rico funding work in the areas of child development, arts, women’s health, environmental justice, and sustainable farming. La Borinqueña Grants Program, since its founding in 2018, brings awareness to community-led solutions through a range of fundraising initiatives and partnerships with international artists, brand collaborations, and exhibitions. Inspired by the original graphic novel superhero, La Borinqueña, the grants program also celebrates and works to preserve Afro-Puerto Rican heritage and envisions a Puerto Rico that is self-sufficient and thriving. https://www.la-borinquena.com/