Sunday, November 15, 2009

Longtime Rutgers Professor, Community Activist, Gay-Rights Pioneer Hilda Hidalgo Loses Cancer Fight – by Carla Capizzi – Rutgers

(Newark, N.J., Nov. 12, 2009)Professor Emerita Hilda Hidalgo, 81, is being mourned by the Rutgers University community, scores of former students, and numerous others, including many who never met her. Hilda Hidalgo, who died Nov. 8, was both a distinguished scholar at Rutgers and the co-founder of several community organizations which have impacted the lives of countless residents of New Jersey, especially in the Newark area: Aspira Inc. of NJ, La Casa de Don Pedro, the Puerto Rican Congress, the United Community Foundation, the Newark Urban League, and the United Community Corporation.

Until recently she was an active member of Equality Florida and Friends of Wild Iris, organizations that fight for the rights of gays and lesbians. Dr. Hidalgo also chaired the first Puerto Rican Convention of New Jersey and served as vice-president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Hidalgo, who taught at Rutgers for 23 years, died of pancreatic cancer at her home in Gainesville, Fl., surrounded by her partner, Dr. Cheryl Lamey, and her sisters, Elia and Zaida. A New Jersey memorial service for Hidalgo will be held early next year; donations in her honor can be made to the Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606.

Hidalgo, a native of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, came to Newark, N.J., in 1960, working first as district director of the Girl Scout Council of Greater Essex, then as director of child services, until 1970. At Rutgers she first taught at the School of Social Work in New Brunswick, and then came to the campus in Newark to teach in what was then the Department of Public Administration (now the School of Public Affairs and Administration.) At Rutgers-Newark, she taught and held a number of positions over the years, including director of the Masters of Work Bilingual Program, coordinator of Puerto Rican Studies, and director of the Masters of Public Administration Hispanic, Bilingual, Bicultural Program. Read complete article - by Carla Capizzi - Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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