Rubén Blades Appointed Scholar-in-Residence at NYU

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Rubén Blades poses in the press room during The 18th Annual Latin Grammy Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Nov. 16, 2017 in Las Vegas.

“To have information and not to share it is to waste knowledge,” says the salsa icon and social activist.

Rubén Blades is going back to school. No, the Harvard Law graduate is not picking up another degree – although he could recently be seen having his ID picture taken on New York University’s Greenwich Village campus.

Blades is the first scholar-in-residence at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Over the school year, the salsa icon and social activist will be working with students and faculty on initiatives that promote diversity and advance social change through music, according to an announcement from NYU.     

“To have information and not to share it is to waste knowledge,” Blades said through NYU. “It will be a privilege to connect with students who have such passion for the causes they believe in. I hope my experiences can help students and other NYU community members consider the broader implications of inequality in Latin America — and the wider world — to harness energy and ideas for the social good.”   


In addition to working with NYU faculty on strategies “to train, prepare, and recruit more faculty of color into higher education,” Blades will be “connecting students with artists that reflect the future of Latin music.” Blades will kick off his NYU term Oct. 29 with a public talk about his career, in conversation with Professor Carlos Chirinos, who heads Steinhardt’s Music and Social Change Lab.     

The event at NYU’s Skriball Center is free. Reservations can be made starting on Oct. 1 through the Skirball’s web site.