We are very excited to announce two more Young Boricua leaders for our historic founding assembly!
Stephanie Mercado-Irizarry, Graduate student of Latin American Studies at the University of Connecticut
Julian "Zitro the Great" Ortiz President and Founder, Homegrown Battleground
Stephanie Mercado-Irizarry is a first year graduate student pursuing a Master of Arts in Latino and Latin American Studies at the University of Connecticut. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico in 2014. Her current research includes the study of unstable employment and the displacement of communities through neo-liberal policies, how this leads to the expulsion of the population, and new forms of colonialism in Puerto Rico. Stephanie analyzes the crisis of the last decade through an interdisciplinary lens, where she analyzes how this social and political crisis is narrated and discussed through literature.
Stephanie was a primary organizer of getting the University of Connecticut Graduate Student Senate to pass a resolution in support of the UPR student strikes.
Julian Ortiz is the President and founder of CT Based Battle Rap League Homegrown Battleground. Born to Puerto Rican parents from NYC, Julian created the Homegrown Battleground Rap League and developed a brand that now hosts events in both CT and Florida through the expansion of Homegrown South. Homegrown Battleground is a battle rap league that produces high quality videos of their shows for Youtube, where they garner thousands of views and requests to battle from leagues across the country.
You can find Home Grown Battleground's videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/HomeGrownBGCT