New England Summit Program

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Coffee and Registration


9:00 – 9:20 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

Mayor Alex B. Morse, City of Holyoke 

Betty Medina Lichtenstein, Executive Director, Enlace de Familias, Inc. 

Master of Ceremonies, Harry Franqui-Rivera, Assistant Professor of History, Bloomfield College, N.J. 


9:20 – 10:00 a.m. Introductory Remarks

Dr. Edwin Meléndez, Director, Center for Puerto Rican Studies


10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Plenary Panel: Fiscal, Economic and Humanitarian Crisis in Puerto Rico

Moderator: Joe Rodríguez, Deputy State Director, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal 

Ruth Santiago, Esq., Legal Counsel, El Puente Puerto Rico

Dennis Rivera, Unidos Por La Salud 

Gretchen Sierra-Zorita, Project Director, Media Diversity Initiatives for the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, Washington, D.C.  


11:00 – 11:15 a.m. Coffee Break


11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Concurrent Panels

1. Education (bilingual ed/dual language)

Moderator: Dr. Eileen de los Reyes, former Assistant Superintendent for ELLs, Boston Public Schools

Robert Cotto, Jr.,  former Senior Policy Fellow in K-12 Education, CT Voices for Children

Dr. Arlene Rodríguez, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Springfield Technical Community College 

Dr. Sonia Correa Pope, School Principal, Holyoke Community Charter School  

Dr. Lorna Rivera, Director, Latino Studies, University of Massachusetts-Boston  

Anna Lugo, Director of English Language Education, Holyoke Public Schools

2. Health Disparities and Community Strategies

Moderator: Dr. María Idalí Torres, Director, Gastón Institute, University of Massachusetts-Boston

Margarita R. O'Neill-Arana, Ed.D., Director of Clinical Training, Union Institute & University 

Sofia Segura-Pérez, Associate Director, Community Nutrition, Hispanic Health Council- Hartford, CT

Milagros Rosal, PhD, University of Massachusetts Medical School-Worcester

3. Political Representation in New England

Moderator: Lourdes Montalvo, Director of Constituent Services, Connecticut Secretary of the State 

Jossie Valentin, City Councilor Ward 4, Holyoke, MA

Luis Aponte, City Council President, Providence, Rhode Island

Minnie González, State Representative, Majority Whip at Large, Hartford, CT

Carlos González, Springfield State Representative

Adam Gómez, City Councilor Ward 1, Springfield, MA

4. Economic Development

Moderator: Dr. Ramón Borges-Mendez, Community Development and Planning, Clark University 

Juan Vega, Assistant Secretary, Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development 

Sheyla Rivera, Artistic Director, AS220

Marcos Marrero, Director, Planning and Economic Development, City of Holyoke, MA

Taino Palermo, Ed.D., Program Director, Community Development, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

5. Media 

Moderator: José Massó, ¡Con Salsa! Radio 

Vanessa Pabón, Community Engagement Director, WGBY-PBS-Western NE 

Norma Rodriguez-Reyes, La Voz Hispana de CT

Natalia Muñoz, Verdant Multicultural Media, Northampton, MA

Manuel Frau-Ramos, El Sol Latino, Amherst, MA


12:30 p.m. Lunch


1:30 p.m. Plenary Panel: Civic Engagement at the Local Level

Moderator: Nilda Ruiz, President and CEO, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc.

Yanil Terón, Executive Director, Center for Latino Progress (CT)  

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Chief Executive Officer, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción

Natascha Otero-Santiago, ParrandaPR 


2:45 p.m. – 4:00pm Concurrent Panels

1. LGBTQ

Moderator: Nelson Roman, City Councilor Ward 2, Holyoke, MA 

Amaad Rivera, former City Councilor, Springfield, MA

Jennifer Lynn Vélez, Trans Pioneer, Holyoke, MA

Myriam Quinoñes, Holyoke Community College  

2. Youth

Moderator: Alejandro Manzanares, Stand UP for Puerto Rico

Jafet Robles, Community Organizer 

Melinda González, El Puente, Brooklyn, NY & BombaYo, New York, NY

Roslyn Sotero, Director, LACE Youth Program, and El Centro Cultural, Waterbury, CT

3. Engagement and Faith Based Communities

Moderator: Dr. Efraín Agosto, New York Theological Seminary 

Reverend Dr. Damaris Whittaker, Center Church; The First Church of Christ in Hartford  

Pastora Adaliz Díaz, Restoration Worship Center, Springfield, MA 

4. Cultural Activism and Historical Preservation

Moderator: Juan González, Esq., San Juan Bautista Parade, Inc.   

Lucila Santana, Springfield PR Parade & PR Cultural Project, Holyoke Public Library

Rafael Zapata, Rhode Island Latino Arts 

Lydia Perez, Yoruba II, PR Institute for Arts and Advocacy, Rhode Island 

Ana Valentin-Jackson, The Connecticut Institute for Community Development-Puerto Rican Parade Committee (CICD)- Hartford Chapter 

5. Veterans 

Moderator: Lieutenant Colonel Lesbia Nieves, Connecticut National Guard  

Sergeant Gumersindo Gómez, Executive Director, Bilingual Veterans Outreach Centers of Mass. Inc. 

Sergeant Jorge Pagan, Boston, MA 

Vietnam Veterans of America National Service Officer Wilfredo Meléndez, Veteran's Agent and Deputy Director for the City of Holyoke, MA Veterans Services Department


4:00 pm Coffee Break


4:15 p.m. Plenary Panel: Wrap-Up Plenary: What Have We Learned, Where Do We Go From Here?

Dr. Edwin Meléndez, Director, Center for Puerto Rican Studies and Betty Medina Lichtenstein, Executive Director, Enlace de Familias, Inc. 


5:30 p.m. Reception


6:30 p.m. Adjourn


connect

get updates