FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
S. Patricia Cabrera
9th Annual Conference on Dominican Affairs to Host Premiere of documentary: Los Panfleteros de Santiago
WHAT: The Conference on Dominican Affairs, the Institute for Latino Studies and the Common Roots Project are proud to announce the premiere of Los Panfleteros de Sant iago. It is the first film documentary ever to chronicle the stories of courage and heroism of 32 restless young rebels, who through their remarkable commitment to justice had risen in ager and defied ruthless dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo with handmade adverse pamphlets and a creative repertoire of social movement strategies. The documentary illustrates how these youngsters lost their lives, but helped change the course of historical events in the Dominican Republic at the beginning of the 1960s.
Based on the writings of Dr. Ramón Antonio Veras (Negro Veras) and researched, written, produced and directed by Néstor Montilla, Hostos Community College Director of Public Relations and Dr. María Teresa Feliciano, Executive Director of the Institute for Latinos Studies, Los Panfleteros de Santiago presents rare archival materials and compelling interviews with survivors, and eyewitnesses to the torture and assassination of 27 of the young panfleteros.
The documentary premiere will be followed by an interactive discussion with Dr. Veras, a survivor of the panfletero genocide, and a delegation of widely respected founding members of El Movimiento 14 de Junio, who, while in prison due to political reasons, witnessed the panfletero genocide in a frightening Trujillo’s prison-torture chamber known as La 40 in the Dominican Republic.
“We sought to awaken the peoples’ conscience, so that they would know that Trujillo could be challenged and confronted,” said Dr. Veras. “Up till then, the people accepted everything; no one protested; the only voice, the only propaganda that was heard was Trujillo’s. We wanted to counter this by saying, ‘No, we also have our own truth’”.
WHEN: February 8, 2009, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
WHERE: RUTGERS SCHOOL OF LAW, 123 WASHINGTON ST. NEWARK, NJ 07102
EVENT: The Conference on Dominican Affairs with its theme of Building Our National Agenda: Agents of Change, annually hosts more than 500 legislators, educators, students, community stakeholders and business leaders in a one-day forum that presents topics of discussion that enable the Dominican community the opportunity to set a national agenda.
This year’s conference will include workshops that will serve as catalysts to opening up the dialogue in a variety of fields and where conference participants can hear strategies and share “front Line” experience that will enable stakeholders to a greater role as agents of change.
Political Workshop: Arturo Vargas, President National Association of Latino elected Officials (NALEO) and Dominican elected officials, state/government representatives and community leaders will share best practices and strategies on coalition building and will recommend concrete actions to spur greater political participation and becoming agents of change in our communities.
Youth Leadership: Dr. Luis Barrios will present strategies on how to be an agent of change as a young leader and the importance of civic participation.
Woman to Woman: In this interactive workshop, Dr. Ana Rivera Lassen will share with participants strategies for professional success in the ever evolving socio economic environment.
Economic development: Experts from the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce will discuss how to form special improvement districts and their benefits as conduits of change to small businesses.
Political Parties: Dr. Guillermo Moreno, President of MIUCA, will discuss the need for diversification of political parties in the Dominican Republic’s political system and their roles as agents of change.
Writers’ Workshop: A select group of renowned Dominican leaders and authors will talk about the utility and importance of the written words and publications as catalysts for change; panelists include Dr. Ramón Antonio Veras (Negro Veras), and three founders and leaders of El Movimiento 14 de Junio: Dr. Luis Rafael Gómez Pérez, Engineer Leandro Guzmán, and Sculptor Marcelo Bermúdez, Ex-Governor of Santiago.
Health: Dr. Aritmedes Restituyo and a select group of experts will discuss barriers to health access and health disparities and tools of improvement.
CLOSING SESSION: Premiere of “Los Panfleteros de Santiago” documentary.
Media are asked to check-in at the conference registration table. For more information please contact S. Patricia Cabrera at the Institute for Latino Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit WWW.THELATINOINSTITUTE.ORG.