Ray Alvarez-Adorno, a third year student at Trinity College, is a student leader committed to building community wherever he goes. Over the past three years Ray has worked on many projects engaging cultural action and the co-creation and sharing of knowledge across academic and community spaces. These include collaborating with Trinity and Hartford community members to organize the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival, working with Hartford residents at the community facing Trinfo Café, serving as a research assistant in Public Humanities Collaborative to index oral history interviews from the Watkinson Library and Hartford History Center’s “Voces de la Migración: Archiving and Sharing the U.S. Latinx Experience in Hartford,” and serving as a research and teaching assistant in Trinity’s Anthropology department to support community-engaged courses and projects focused on Puerto Rican culture. Ray has also dedicated his time to mentoring and welcoming younger students through the Anthropology department, the Multicultural Recruitment Admissions team, and Trinity’s Chapter of Temple of Hip Hop. Across these roles, Ray has demonstrated a strong commitment to grassroots community building and engagement work at Trinity, in the Hartford community, and beyond.
Every few months for the last nine years, I would travel to a different place to live a few months and do it again. My reasons for travel were for amazing educational opportunities, but home was hard to find aside from a PO box. There was only one constant: I was with people. From that, grew my love for conversation and never shutting up. But with some time and help from my major, Anthropology, listening has been the most fruitful skill I have gained to help me in my academic classes, organizations, and life. Much of what I have learned about Hartford has allowed me holistic exploration and to call it home. With this comes the responsibility to help. My work with the Hartford Public Library has helped create means to preserve and share Puerto Rican history not collected before, through written and photographic material and oral histories only available through conversation. My passion is to utilize the opportunities and knowledge I have gained to help mobilize the Hartford community. It is the people, not the buildings or roads, that make a city and allow us to pave the way for change.