Latino leaders gathered today to announce the program for the first ever Summit on Latinos in NYC, happening this Thursday at the Hunter School for Social Work. The summit will delve into issues pertinent to the Latino community, assessing needs and developing policy proposals to better plan for the future.
Latino elected officials, academics from CUNY’s Puerto Rican, Dominican and Mexican Studies Institutes, and thought leaders in NYC’s Latino community, hosts of the conference, announced the many speakers and panels, addressing a wide range of issues, and the plans to develop an action agenda out of the conference to be implemented in the coming years.
Each panel will feature a Latino or ally member of the NYC Council, with a specialty in this given area. Panels topics will consist of: K-12 Education and Youth Issues; Civil Rights & Political Engagement; Immigration; Improving Economic Opportunity; Higher Education; Access to Healthcare; Workforce Development and Worker’s Rights; Inter-ethnic Race Relations and Coalition Building; and Criminal Justice/Police Community Relations.
Speakers will feature a wide-ranging cross section of academics and thought leaders in NYC on issues, intimately familiar with the Latino community here.
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The event will be hosted by the Dominican, Puerto Rican and Mexican Studies Institutes at CUNY, with remarks by each of their executive directors, the Hispanic Federation and its president Jose Calderon, and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Members Rodriguez and Menchaca.
“I am excited to attend the first ever Summit on Latinos in NYC with fellow Latino leaders from our City. The Latino community in New York is remarkably strong, and we are still growing every year. We have truly come a long way. But, despite the strides made by these individuals and generations of Latino Americans before us, we still have a lot of work to do — from fighting tirelessly to protect the rights of undocumented immigrants to pushing for justice system reforms that will protect the rights of people of color and lift them out of poverty,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “This summit will help us reflect on the needs of our communities as they continue to grow, working particularly to address issues related to immigration, race, and access to healthcare. I look forward to hearing from and working with other Latino leaders to make this city a better and more equal place for all.”
“Latinos have helped to build and sustain New York City throughout its history and remain a vital part of our social fabric today,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “We gather now to examine the needs, struggles and successes of this community today to craft a brighter future for tomorrow. I’m proud to join so many enlightened colleagues and thinkers as we develop a powerful agenda that looks at the areas of immigration, education, job opportunities, social mobility and more, as key issues for Latinos in New York. This comprehensive agenda will set the stage for what we will work toward in the coming years.”
“The Summit On Latinos is a platform for the diverse Latino communities of New York City to set a shared agenda for progress” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “Our first annual gathering will examine both challenges and opportunities for our people. I’m proud to join residents, educators, and local leaders as we address the most important topics facing Latinos today. The policy goals we develop at the Summit On Latinos will guide our work serving New York City’s Latino communities for years to come.”
“Latinos are a diverse and growing segment of the population of the United States and New York City who contribute daily to our economic and cultural life. The Summit on Latinos is an important yearly event bringing together scholars and practitioners from Latino ethnic groups to address challenges and plan for the future. Strategizing around education, economic empowerment, immigration, inter-group coalitions and political engagement is the way forward and I applaud this effort,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
“As the child of two Dominican immigrants who came to NYC with the clothes on their back and the dream of a prosperous future for their children, I know firsthand how much the Latino community contributes to our society, said Council Member Rafael Espinal. “In the face of federal attacks against us, we must stand united and support local solutions to facilitate our rightful place in this city and country. I look forward to participating in the Summit on Latinos Conference in NYC, convened by Council Member Rodriguez, and to applying its findings for the betterment of our city.”
“Hispanic Federation is grateful to be part of this historic Summit and for the opportunity it affords us to advance a shared agenda for progress,” said Jose Calderon, President, Hispanic Federation. “Given the current political climate in Washington D.C., it’s critical that we come together to strategize and mobilize to drive change for Latin@s in New York City. We look forward to engaging our partners and allies in a common effort to continue to serve and uplift our community.”
“The Summit on Latin@s seeks to advance the collective interests of Latin@s in the city of New York by identifying common ground on key policy areas such as health, immigration, education, civil rights, and business and workforce development, among a host of others, said Edwin Melendez, Director, Center for Puerto Rican Studies. The outcome we -the CUNY research institutes convening this summit along with our sponsoring partners- expect is an action agenda for advocacy coalitions. We welcome the involvement of all who have the wellbeing of Latin@s in New York City.”
“The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY is very excited to join forces with the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, New York City Council, and the Hispanic Federation to organize this first Summit of Latinos, where we can come together as one group and join forces around a common purpose,” said Jose Higuera Lopez, Interim Director, Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY. We want to start a dialogue that addresses issues affecting Latinos in New York City, and together create an action agenda focusing on areas such as education, immigration, health, and civil rights, to mention a few.