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CWE panel discusses Puerto Rico hurricane aftermath, Oct. 24

CWE PR Panelists
Participants in the CWE panel discussion on the aftermath of the hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico [from top]: Harry Franqui-Rivera, Emmanuel Gonzalez, Jr., Ed Morales and Armando Pintado. Elena Romero is the moderator.

Attendees encouraged to bring disaster relief donations

The aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico is the focus of a panel discussion at the City College Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education on October 24. Entitled “State of Disaster: Puerto Rico and U.S. Relations in the Aftermath of Hurricanes,” the discussion highlights the historical relationship between P.R. and the United States and examines the social, economic and political conditions the Island faces as it struggles to recover from the hurricane devastation.

The event, 6 – 8 p.m., is hosted by the CWE Divisional Committee on Inclusive Excellence and the CWE Office of Student Affairs. It is free and open to the public and attendees are encouraged to bring disaster relief donations. CWE is located at 25 Broadway, 7th floor, in Manhattan.

New York State Assemblywoman Maritza Davila is the keynote speaker. Recently back from Puerto Rico, she will give the audience her first-hand account of the devastation.  She will also talk about her assistance to recovery efforts.

Panelists include:

Harry Franqui-Rivera, associate professor of History, Bloomfield College, N.J. and a New Jersey Council of the Humanities’ Public Scholar;

Emmanuel Gonzalez, Jr., NYPD Deputy Inspector Commanding Officer, 72nd Precinct, Brooklyn, and participant in the NYPD’s P.R. recovery effort;

Ed Morales, journalist, author and adjunct professor, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University;

Armando Pintado, national coordinator, VAMOS4PR campaign, a network of stateside labor, community, cultural, and human rights groups committed to fighting for a better future for Puerto Rico and empowering the Puerto Rican diaspora.

Elena Romero, journalist and educator who has covered fashion, music and Latino culture is the organizer and moderator of the panel. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Women’s Wear Daily, Vibe, Urban Latino, Latina, Savoy, Sportswear International, the New York Post and on WBAI-FM. She also contributes to 

“President Trump has faced tremendous criticism for poorly handling Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts –from his delayed visit, to threats to pull emergency responders to his temporary lift of The Jones Act,” said Romero, an adjunct assistant professor at CWE.  “The federal government’s non swift course of action has been very different than what we saw with aid to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey in Texas or Irma in Florida. The discussion is to try to address the question why and how the island can rebuild.”

The event is occurring at the mid-point of CWE’s disaster relief efforts that will conclude at the end of October. CWE has been collecting batteries, flashlights, portable lanterns, feminine hygiene products, diapers, baby wipes, and cases of water. Donations are accepted six days a week at the CWE front lobby.

“CCNY plays a vital role in the recovery stage because we have the School of Medicine, Architecture and Engineering, said Juan Carlos Mercado, dean of the CWE and a member of the Puerto Rico task force appointed by City College Interim President Vincent Boudreau to advise him on this matter. “At this moment, through our contacts in Puerto Rico we are evaluating the specific needs there as well as providing response to concrete requests by P.R. higher education Institutions there.”

For more information on the panel discussion, contact Elena Romero at (212)925-6625, ext. 258 or email

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship.  Now celebrating its 170th anniversary, CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.



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