América’s Home is the story of América “Meca” Sorrentini-Blaut, a feisty Puerto Rican woman in her 70’s and her fight against developers intent on bulldozing her community and her family’s historic home. Her story is one of many tales of resistance against rampant greed, gentrification, and displacement taking place all across the American Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and on the U.S. mainland. Meca lives on fixed income in Chicago and struggles to restore the Sorrentini’s circa 1900’s home in Santurce, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of the “new” San Juan. Aided by a group of her contemporaries, the youngest of whom is 65, these “retired” construction workers and artisans painstakingly restore the house and transform it into Casa Sofia, a cultural center named in honor of Meca’s mother. When developers offered $2 million dollars to knock down Casa Sofia and build exclusive condos, Meca refused. As one activist observes, “Not everything of value is for sale.” Co-sponsored by Women’s & Gender Studies
This event was published on November 17, 2020.