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Lin-Manuel Miranda featured speaker at Puerto Rico relief event
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2017-11-06

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Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda was the featured speaker at a Puerto Rican hurricane relief event Nov. 1 at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture ( NMPRAC ).

NMPRAC Director Billy Ocasio spoke about Chicago's hurricane relief efforts from NMPRAC's partner organizations—Hispanic Federation, New Life Covenant Church, Humboldt Park's Norwegian American Hospital, Puerto Rican Agenda, Puerto Rican Parade and Rep. Luis Gutierrez among others.

Miranda ( who has family members in Puerto Rico ) highlighted his charity single "Almost Like Praying." The song, featuring numerous Latinx singers, is benefitting the Hispanic Federation's UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund for Puerto Rico. He said leaders should only congratulate themselves when the job is done, not while it is still in process, and noted that 75 percent of Puerto Ricans are without power and 25 percent are without running water.

"I would much rather be telling you about some new musical I am working on, but this is sort of the new full-time gig for now until there's a sense of normalcy on the island," said Miranda."[As for the song,] feel free to stream it and bump it in your car, but if you buy it, all the money will go to the Hispanic Federation [for hurricane relief]."

Norwegian American Hospital's Dr. Adeeb Alshahrour and Nurse Manager Ana Favela explained how the hospital's medical team will be helping with relief efforts in the coming weeks, including sending a team to Puerto Rico.

Chicago P.D. actor Jon Seda ( whose parents are of Puerto Rican descent ) was also in attendance. Seda spoke about his family members still in on the island and called on everyone to come together as U.S. citizens to help the people of Puerto Rico.

A Q&A session closed out the event.


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