In 1968, the Young Lords Organization (YLO) was founded in Lincoln Park. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Young Lords’ transition from a street gang and social club into an organization with the purpose of “uniting people in the community for the improvement of the neighborhood,” DePaul Special Collections and Archives announces a new exhibit now on display on the first floor of the John T. Richardson Library.
Young Lords Organization: The Early Years highlights the Young Lords activism of the late 1960s, a contentious time in United States history. Many people and groups fought collaboratively for social change and an end to the Vietnam War. The YLO joined forces with other groups concerned with human and civil rights, including the Rainbow Coalition, which featured the Black Panther Party, Young Patriots Organization, and Young Lords Organization.
During urban renewal efforts in Lincoln Park and other neighborhoods both locally and nationally, YLO mobilized and began their work on behalf of poor and marginalized residents, advocating for causes such as fair housing and health care, improved access to social services, and against the effects of gentrification and displacement.
The Young Lords Organization recently held 50th Anniversary commemoration events on DePaul’s campus. During the 3-day celebration, Special Collections and Archives participated in a walking tour/march through Lincoln Park. On Saturday, September 23, dozens of symposium attendees and others visited significant sites where the Young Lords and other local activists operated and held demonstrations. At these sites, including DePaul’s School of Music Building, Oz Park, and Lincoln Park High School, community members and supporters retold historical events and shared remembrances. Each attendee also received a booklet produced by Special Collections and Archives featuring reproductions of photographs from the 1960s showing the Young Lords in these spaces.
Young Lords Organization: The Early Years is on display through the summer of 2019 in the John T. Richardson Library. Faculty, student groups, and others who have an interest in programs or instruction related to this exhibit, or to Special Collections and Archives’ materials related to urban renewal in Lincoln Park and the Young Lords are welcome to contact Derek Potts at firstname.lastname@example.org.