Published On: Thu, Feb 18th, 2010

The Poetry of Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc

Picture1  This year is the year of making dreams a reality and recently in the barrios of social media, I was able to meet a young poet by the name of Hannah Roth. Hannah reached out and rekindled an idea I had about starting a series of poetry that highlighted the Latino Greek community, of which I am a member.

Hannah is a proud sister of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. from Hamilton College and she rose to the challenge of assisting me curate the first installment of this series. In addition to collecting some great work from her hermanas, she has also allowed us to share some of her work.

So here it is, the first of the Latino Greek Poetry Series….presenting The Poetry of Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc

Buen Provecho…

As I am,

George Torres
The Urban Jibaro




Before we get into the poetry of these remarkable young poets, let's learn a little about the organization they are representing….

About Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.

It all begin in 1987 at Binghamton University…

Founders On December 1, 1987 at Binghamton University, Founding Mothers Cynthia Santiago-Guzman, Adriana Zamora-Tirado, Carmen Ibeth Garcia-Quinones and Carol Elizabeth Torres created an organization that would not only serve as a voice for women in an academic setting, but would also provide sincere sisterhood and unconditional support while actively promoting academic achievement, service to the community, and cultural enrichment.

Today since 1987, Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. has membership at over 40 universities with recognized chapters at over 30 institutions. We have undergraduate chapters at 7 of the 8 Ivy League Colleges/Universities across the United States of America. We also have established  13 Graduate/Professional chapters.  We continue the legacy of our Founders–our goals and ideals continue to be exemplified by our Hermanas: Sisterhood, Leadership, Community Service, Cultural Awareness and Academic Excellence.

Señoritas continue to make a mark on their campuses and communities as individual chapters or nationally.  Together we want to make a difference and give back to our communities through organizing workshops, programs, our service, and through our passion.  This year, for our RAICES Week, a week of workshops and events spread across every chapter, is inspired by Obama's campaign for service and volunteer work.  It's called: A Call to Service: Strengthening Our Communities.  Community work is an important part of our sisterhood and we believe each Hermana has a hand in making positive change. 

Each chapter has their own ethinic make-up.  Although we are a Latina-based organization, we are not Latina exculsive.  Nationally, our  sisterhood unites Hermanas of African, African-American, Argentinean, Belizian, Bolivian, Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Chicana, Chilean, Chinese, Colombian, Costa Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Ecuadorian, English, Filipina, French, German, Guatemalan, Haitian, Hmong, Honduran, Italian, Irish, Jamaican, Jewish, Korean, Mexican, Native American, Nevisian, Nicaraguan, Nigerian, Panamanian, Paraguayan, Peruvian, Polish, Puerto Rican, Romanian, Salvadorian
, Spanish, Uruguayan and Venezuelan backgrounds to work towards common Goals and Ideals. Our relentless commitment to Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. and to each other is why we consider our sisterhood-Our Hermandad-lasting Hasta La Muerte!



Hermanas are leaders and strive to excel academically.  In the past 21 years our individual chapters continue to succeed both inside and outside of the class room.  Our impact can be seen in the outstanding accomplishments of our Hermanas, the women we have mentored through our LADYS and PEARLS programs, and through the lives of all the people we have touch through our many literacy initiatives.  We are extremely proud of the accomplishments we have made to date. More importantly, we are committed to continue to empower one another and our communities.

Here are the featured voices of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.


2  My name is Hannah Roth and I am from Cambridge, MA.  I have been writing for most of my life, loving poetry, playwriting, and keeping a journal.  I attend Hamilton College as a Posse Scholar, Emma Bowen Scholar, and one of the founders of the Alpha Iota Chapter of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. in Spring 2008. In 2007 I won 2nd place in the MA state-wide Sherwood Collins Playwriting Contest with “The Tragic Mulatto is Neither.”  In 2007 I began performing spoken word and my work as a freshman at Hamilton College and became addicted!  Most of all, I love writing for myself taking in the world around me and pouring my thoughts and rhymes into the pages of my journal.

My poem is entitled: This American Nightmare

1  My name is Luz Burgos and I am graduate from Wesleyan University. As an undergraduate, was an active student leader and received numerous awards for my activism and community service. In my junior year, along side two other women founded the Alpha Theta Chapter of Sigma Lambda Upsilon. I am currently working as a Union Organizer for 1199 New England Health Care Union in Hartford, CT. 

Along with my passion for social justice, I've always had passion for the  arts and discovered my ability for the visuals at age of 3. Since then I continued to challenge my visual art abilities but I did not discover poetry later on in my life. My fear of writing poetry was great do to the fact that I was a bilingual student and was told at a young age that I would not succeed in the English language.  I was constantly being reminded that I was not a native English speaker and became even more fearful of poetry and spoken word.  As I  discovered the world of poetry I realized that it was a visual world,powerful and inspirational words. This discovery allowed me to challenge and express my ideas verbally. 

My poem is entitled: Cancion Poderosa

4  Ysanet Batista – I was born in New York, went to grade school in the Dominican Republic, and was raised in Miami, FL. Coming back to the United States I had to learn the English language and being raised by a single mother it was a little difficult but it was beneficial to me because it pushed me harder to become a woman of well-being. I finished high school in Florida and came to Providence, RI to attend Johnson & Wales University. My freshman year I decided to pledge Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. Going through this I learned a lot about myself therefore I needed a way to express myself. Poetry became so natural to me because I would put whatever I was feeling into a piece of paper yet the paper evoked so much. Writing is an escape for me because I am soft spoken and through my poems I can sound strong, thunderous, and outspoken.

My poem is entitled: Herstory

5  J F Seary – educator/poet/actor. She has been writing and performing her poetry for over ten years. Her performance career began at Binghamton University. Since then she has performed at the Nuyorican Poets Café, the Bowery Poetry Club, Cemí Underground, 5C Cultural Center, East Harlem Café, Binghamton University, Cornell University, Columbia University, Penn State University, Rutgers University, University at Albany, SUNY Stony Brook, Camaradas el Barrio and other venues. Theater credits include: Margie in "The Death of a Dream" by Nancy Genova and La Llorona in "Braided Sorrow" by Marisela Treviño-Orta. Film credits include: The Bigger the Hoops directed by Linda Nieves-Powell, 24 to Score directed by Jairus Cobb, Duplicity directed by Tony Gilroy and She's Gone directed by Melissa Hickey. Television credits include: OPEN with host Rhina Valentin.

My poem is entitled: Love Letter

3  My name is Jaletza Arias, 24 yrs old, born and raised in NYC. I have been writing poetry since I was 12years old and began performing my sophmore year of college. I pledged in the Spr
ing of 2006 at Mu Chapter,SUNY Albany.  

I was inspired to write Mis Raices when I was playing with the curls in my hair. I decided to go natural and realized that the process would mean so much more to me than a new hair style. It would define me. 

My poem is entitled: Mis Raices

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The Poetry of Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc