Pioneer and community leader. Gilberto Gerena Valentín was a Puerto Rican pioneer in New York City who also was a key figure in developing major Puerto Rican organizations in New York City between the 1940s to the 1970s. He played a key role in the mobilization of Puerto Ricans in the 1963 and 1968 marches in Washington, D.C., as well as the 1964 school boycott in New York City, the largest in the history of the United States. He also served as director of the City Commission of Human Rights and as city councilman representing Council District 11 in the Bronx. Gerena Valentin was an active player in the founding and development the Council of Hometown Clubs, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, the National Association of Puerto Rican Civil Rights, the Puerto Rican Folkloric Festival and the Puerto Rican Community Development Program.