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Puerto Rican Parades and Festivals: An Educational Platform In The Making

Centro Staff

Puerto Rican parades and festivals have long played an integral role in engaging our communities across the United States. They also help to establish our presence and promote our shared cultural identity. Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans: Parades and Festivals is a conference hosted by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies that will the explore the potential for using cultural programming as an educational platform. (Registration is free, you can RSVP and sign up for more updates by clicking here).

Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans: Parades and Festivals will take place on December 3rd, 2016 at the Silberman School of Social Work in East Harlem (The full program of events is available here). An array of speakers will discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by cultural organizations sponsoring and organizing parades and festivals in places such as Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, Springfield, Orlando, and more. The overall conversation will focus on topics such as the celebration of Puerto Rican heritage, cultural and organizational sustainability, commercialization, social engagement, and year-round educational programs.

“This is an opportunity to connect with Puerto Rican organizations across the United States that promote the Puerto Rican culture and heritage through parades and festivals, and connect our community with social and political issues of great importance such as the crisis in Puerto Rico and its impact in stateside communities,” says Dr. Edwin Meléndez, Executive Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. “We want educators, organizers, and community leaders to build relationships with one another. For Centro, that means serving as conveners and providing educational resources, which is why we’re excited to introduce our new Cultural Ambassadors program.”

Following the panel discussions and plenary roundtables will be the launch of Centro’s aforementioned “Cultural Ambassadors” program, which will be presented by Dr. Raquel Ortiz. The Puerto Rican Cultural Ambassadors Program is a national partnership of youth, cultural and educational institutions and community leaders devoted to promote and support teaching and learning about Puerto Rican culture and history. More information on the project will be available soon. Afterwards, there will be an Action Fair event focused on networking and community-building among the various cultural organizations and attendees present at the conference.

This is the fourth in a series of diaspora summits hosted by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, which have included an LGBT Ricans Summit, a New England Summit in Hartford, CT, and the inaugural summit held earlier this past April in response to the ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico. Top scholars and leaders have come together on each occasion to explore solutions to the critical problems facing our community through a simple mantra: Learn. Connect. Act.

Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans: Parades and Festivals is part of an ongoing look at the scale and impact of the Puerto Rican crisis on the stateside community and the rest of the nation, and to assess strategies to launch more concerted efforts in response to such challenges. We very much look forward to seeing you there. RSVP today!