Women in Politics Roundtable to Discuss How to Elect More Women to Public Office



CODA 2017 Program

Newark, NJ.—The Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) will host its 17th Annual Conference on Dominican Affairs on Sunday, February 12, 2017 from 9am to 4pm at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ. Theme: Claiming our Legacy.

The Conference program includes a unique Women in Politics Roundtable featuring several Dominican American & Latino women who were elected on November 8th last year in New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Discussants will talk about women in politics and will address several questions including Why were there many women elected to public office in the last general election in the United States? And How can we continue the trend?

The list of confirmed discussants includes:

Moderator: Maria Teresa Montilla Recorder: Cathy Polanco Facilitator: Sandra Batres
Panelists: Legislator Claribel Martinez-Marmolejos, Puerto Rico
Senator Ana Quezada, Rhode Island
Senator Nilsa Cruz-Pérez, New Jersey
State Representative Joseline Peña-Melnyk, Maryland
Former Commissioner Fior D’Aliza Frías, Florida
Fmr Legislator Ana Marchena, Ph.D., Director, National Dominican American Council in Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands
NYS Assembly District Leader Yudelka Tapia,
State Representative Daisy Baez, Florida
Senator Marisol Alcantara, NY
Janna Rodriguez, DANR Youth President
Ana Maria Garcia, US Census
Responders: Bethania Marmolejos, Maria del Pilar, Lydia Valencia, Jeanny Ramirez, Juanita Lopez, Charito Cisneros, Sandra Harris, Nely Celi, Elis Sosa, Eloisa Mercedes, Miriam Younan, Rossana Genao, Joanie Morales, Carla Jimenez, Patricia Bullon & Marleny Cruz.


Invitations have been extended to Hon. Grace Diaz, State Representative from Rhode Island; Hon. Marisol Alcantara, first Dominican woman elected to the NYS Senate; Hon. Carmen de la Rosa, elected to the New York State Assembly; and other Latinas elected and re-elected at different levels.

The Roundtable will be moderated by Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, President of the Institute for Latino Studies.

“2017 is a critical year for all our diverse communities facing socio-economic and political challenges,” stated Dr. Montilla. “As we all prepare to deal with uncertainties, we saw the need to dedicate CODA to not only to claim our legacy, but also to strengthen it convening a select group of men and women to help us plan our future in USA. And considering the words of Abraham Lincoln: ‘The best way to predict your future is to create it,’ we convene this year at Rutgers University to re-engineer our future with a strategic short and long-term action plan.”

The Luncheon Plenary Session will feature a Pep-Talk Women Panel. Several women elected officials in attendance will be called on stage to talk about their political experience and challenges they faced when running for office. They will deliver 3-5 minute fast-pace remarks about their life stories and will conclude by providing pragmatic advice about empowering the next generation of leaders.

The Conference’s Keynote Speaker will be Silvio Torres-Saillant, Ph.D., Professor at Syracuse University, where he currently serves as Dean’s Professor in the Humanities.

The Conference on Dominican Affairs (CODA) is the only state-wide conference in the United States where leaders, scholars and students are convened to discuss critical issues impacting Latinos, Dominicans and US diverse communities.

The Conference on Dominican Affairs (CODA) is made possible thanks to the generous support of UNIVISION and PSE&G, Formé Medical Center, Global Psychiatry Services, PC, and the collaboration of The Dominican American National Roundtable, Leadership Alliance of New Jew Jersey, and the National Dominican American Council. CODA is a signature project of the Institute for Latino Studies Research and Development (ILS). www.instituteforlatinostudies.org. thelatinoinstitute@gmail.com