January 9, 2024 / Headlines, News, Partner Spotlight / Posted by: Carl Glenn

Grand St. Settlement is proud to honor Raul Russi, President of Acacia Network at Taste of the Lower East Side 2024.



Raul Russi migrated to Buffalo, New York at the age of 12 from Patillas, Puerto Rico with his parents and eight siblings. As a young Puerto Rican living in a community that lacked diversity, he became keenly aware at an early age about the importance of helping underserved communities gain a “seat at the table.”

He became the Executive Director of Basics, Inc. in 2001 which led to the creation of Acacia Network. Under his visionary leadership, Acacia Network grew to become one of the largest Hispanic-led human services nonprofits in the nation, serving more than 150,000 individuals every year.

Acacia Network later provided critical funding to sustain Loisaida Inc., the historic arts and culture nonprofit in the East Village. This partnership enabled Loisaida Inc. to continue providing vital programming that would otherwise be unavailable in the community. Additionally, Loisada Inc. was able to continue producing the Loisaida Festival, held each year over Memorial Day Weekend and celebrating the vibrant, local Puerto Rican community.

CEO Robert Cordero with his family and participants at the 2023 Loisaida Festival

Today, Raul feels that his vision has been nearly realized, as Acacia enters a new phase of growth and expansion. He continues to work relentlessly advocating for Puerto Ricans and Latinos to ensure that the next generation continues this important work reinvesting in our communities.

We are thrilled to partner with a true New York City icon like Raul Russi to uplift the art and culture of the Lower East Side.

Join us at Taste of the Lower East Side to celebrate Raul Russi and Acacia Network!

Back to the Latest