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LLSA-Organized Puerto Rican Diaspora Summit Hosts Government and Community Leaders at Two-Day Event

Wednesday, October 31, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: UDC Law Staff
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Margarita Varela at podium
Margarita Varela, '20, makes opening remarks on behalf of the sponsoring organizations

The UDC Latino/a Law Students Association (LLSA), under the leadership of LLSA President Margarita Varela, ’20, and student member Antonio Camacho, ’19, successfully coordinated the second annual Puerto Rican Diaspora Summit held in Washington, D.C.

The two-day summit took place on October 26 and 27 at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law). The LLSA-organized event was co-sponsored by BoricuActivated, Boricuas Unidos en la Diaspora, Cenadores Puerto Rico, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Friends of Puerto Rico, National Puerto Rican Agenda, and the D.C. Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs.

The summit marks an especially important moment for the Puerto Rican community given that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser proclaimed October 27, 2018, the District’s first-ever Puerto Rico Day. The event was well-attended, drawing participants and community leaders from Puerto Rico, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and many other states.

Presenters participated in five panels and featured prominent leaders such as Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics, Mario Marazzi; Comptroller of Puerto Rico, Yesmín Valdivieso; and Alfredo Casta, a Trustee of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust.

The sessions covered a range of topics, including Understanding the Puerto Rican Debt; Public Policy and Reconstruction Efforts; Good Governance, Accountability and Transparency; Leveraging Federal Opportunities to Promote Economic Development; and Empowering Women in Politics. Two engagement sessions followed the panels, in which participants planned actions for the Puerto Rican diaspora to contribute to the rebuilding and economic development of the island.

The event concluded with a reception on the second day of the summit, with authentic Puerto Rican dishes and music. You can read more about the event, and Mayor Bowser’s Puerto Rico Day proclamation, in this article in El Nuevo Día, a Spanish-language newspaper with the highest circulation in Puerto Rico.

Understanding the Puerto Rican Debt Panel moderator Eduardo Conde with panelists Mariely Lopez-Santana, Jorge Irizarry and Jose M. Umpierre
Audience listening
More than 200 people attended the Summit on Saturday

See the complete listing of panels and panelists on the Summit's website.

See more photos from the event on Flickr.


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