Fundacion Iris Violeta

Through the Fundacion Iris Violeta, after-school tutoring is provided
to children in Oklahoma City. 

Iris Santos, nacio en naranjito Puerto Rico y fue una luchadora de los derechos humanos Y EDUCADORA.

Nominated by John Pettyjohn

The Fundacion Iris Violeta was named in memory of Iris Violeta Santos Rivera, an advocate for the children of Oklahoma City Public Schools for over 35 years.

Otilia Fuentes (right) brings a holiday gift to a grateful
woman in El Salvador — made possible through the
Fundaion Iris Violeta.

Wilfredo Santos-Rivera speaks freely of his love for his sister. She inspired Wilfredo with her words and her example. Her spirit continues to illuminate the good actions of Wilfredo, Otilia, and their friends and supporters. Through them, children are being tutored in Oklahoma City. Children are being fed in El Salvador. People are being encouraged and empowered.

Wilfredo writes:

“Iris Violeta Santos Rivera was born with a compassionate heart and a fine mind. She was a natural teacher. She loved children, and they loved her. It was the key to winning their respect and critical to the learning process.

“She taught children of all races and fought for their rights. Administrators and teachers who violated children’s rights were confronted by an expert on education law. She knew her “due process” and saved many children from long term suspension and tutored them to success, when many were on the brink of failure.

Wilfredo Santos-Rivera

“She worked for the Indian Controlled School Boards for many years and won their respect. She Chaired the NAACP Education Committee for 17 years and won their respect. She was an advocate for the children of Oklahoma City Public Schools for over 35 years and won the respect of the children and parents that she helped. She was a natural leader and a wonderful mentor. She taught me many lessons.

“She fed my intellectual curiosity. She taught me how to be a good problem-solver. She taught me how to serve the community and humanity.

“Our parents were farmers. She was proud of her roots and would return to Puerto Rico to recharge her inspirational energy. She continued to give her talent to the community, in spite of her breast cancer. She was a radical against injustice and was always a truth-teller. Many of us reaped the rewards of her wisdom. I will love you always Iris Violeta, my soul sister.”

“The advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.” 
–From the Preamble of the 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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