“51 is the new 50,” APM’s milestone anniversary and some of its post-pandemic plans
How did one of Philly’s oldest Latinx organizations adjust to the pandemic, and how is it moving forward in the new age of reconnecting.
COVID-19 threw a wrench into a year’s worth of events, even the 50th anniversary of a beloved and prominent Latinx community organization in the heart of North Philadelphia’s Fairhill neighborhood.
Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) is a local nonprofit organization that was founded by Latinx social activists in 1970 to provide social services to the underserved Hispanic community in North Philadelphia.
Since then, APM has expanded to provide a variety of social services to the Hispanic community across Philadelphia and in surrounding counties.
Their landmark 50th anniversary was slated to take place in 2020, but was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and is now slated to take place in December of this year.
Their website is now adorned with their mantra that “51 is the new 50,” and when AL DÍA interviewed APM representative Felix Moulier, he had this to say regarding their new motto:
“It represents consistency and persistence, regardless of the pandemic we are still going to push forward and achieve our mission to become stronger as a community organization... We [APM] could not let the pandemic hold our community back,” he said.
Moulier was very prideful in pointing out the achievements of APM despite having to shift gears during the pandemic, and how the challenges the pandemic presented only made the organization stronger.
In addition to the social and economic services APM typically provides to its community, they were able to orchestrate face mask drives, free internet services so low income families could send their children to online school, and a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, to name a few.
Moulier noted that the new official anniversary banquet and presentations will be held at the Fillmore in Fishtown with invitations to the public still pending.
However, to be able to celebrate and connect with the community, APM is planning to host its annual Sugar Cane Festival in August.
The festival is a crucial cultural celebration to pay homage to Philadelphia’s first Puerto Rican migrants encouraged to make the journey to the East Coast to work in the sugar refineries in the former industrial areas of the city.
The event, which will be virtual, will broadcast performances from prominent Puerto Rican and Hispanic artists such as Johnny Rivera, Blues Jr. and los Bomberos de la Calle.
In the meantime, APM also hosts virtual events every Wednesday with topics ranging from behavioral health, early education, community development, and child protective services.
Moulier expressed his excitement about entering this post pandemic era, where he is able to work and celebrate with his colleagues and fellow community members again after a long and arduous year of isolation and remote work.
For more information about APM you can visit their website here.