Dylcia Pagán was born to Puerto Rican parents in 1946 at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, New York City and raised in East Harlem. She became a child star, performing every week on NBC’s “Children’s Hour.” After losing her parents at the age of 20, she became an activist, participating in voter registration drives and working for the Community Development Agency (CDA) evaluating poverty programs throughout the City of New York. In 1969, Ms. Pagán decided to attend Brooklyn College where she co-founded the Puerto Rican Student Union that resulted in the formation of a student-controlled Puerto Rican Studies Department that is still in existence today. She continued a long career in media, becoming the first Puerto Rican woman television producer in New York City. Ms. Pagán has worked as a producer, writer, and filmmaker, developing investigative documentaries and children’s program on nearly every major television network. She also worked as the English editor for the city’s first bilingual daily newspaper, El Tiempo, and authored a popular daily column in that same paper.In 1978, Ms. Pagán was subpoenaed by a Grand Jury to testify in connection with the arrest of her companion, William Morales. At the time, she was three months pregnant with her son, Guillermo, and she refused to testify. Sometime in 1979 she went underground with her son. She was arrested in 1980, charged with seditious conspiracy for fighting for the independence of Puerto Rico, and was sentenced to 63 years in prison. She was released from prison on September 10, 1999 after a long campaign in the United States, Puerto Rico, and internationally pressured President Bill Clinton to give she and nine of her co-defendants a Presidential Conditional Clemency. She lives and works in Puerto Rico.
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