Collection CHC0344 - Elena Mederos Papers

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Elena Mederos Papers



2 Boxes

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Biographical history

Elena Mederos (1900-1981) was a human rights and women’s rights activist born in Havana, Cuba.

Mederos was born on January 13, 1900, in Havana and married Hilario González Arrieta on July 2, 1924. She founded the School of Social Services of the University of Havana and the Foundation for Social Services, a private organization devoted to develop standards and programs for children’s institutions in Cuba.

When Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba in 1959, Mederos became minister of social welfare but resigned five months later. Mederos fled to the United States in 1961 and immediately joined UNICEF. After trips to Africa and Latin America, she returned to New York and founded Of Human Rights, an organization devoted to informing U.S. politicians and scholars of the plight of Cuban political prisoners. She also founded a successful Cuban exile lobby that was instrumental in the release of thousands of political prisoners. Elena Mederos died in Washington, DC, on September 25, 1981.

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Scope and content

The Elena Mederos Papers contain documents pertaining to human rights and women's rights activist Elena Mederos (1900-1981).

Included are scholarly articles, clippings, manuscripts, official documents and certifications. Also included are documents from the School of Social Work in Havana, Cuba, where Mederos worked, as well as reports from United Nations panels on women's rights in Latin America, a report from the Comision Internacional de Mujeres, and a program from Mederos' memorial service.

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Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

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Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please, contact for more information.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Spanish

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Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of José Pujals, 2011.

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Rights Statement: The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

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