THE CENTER FOR LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN INITIATIVES (CLACI) MIAMI DADE COLLEGE

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1 CLACI: An Overview MAY 2014 APRIL 2015 THE CENTER FOR LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN INITIATIVES (CLACI) MIAMI DADE COLLEGE

2 Introduction CLACI: a proactive hub between MDC, Diasporas, and their countries of origin. Welcome to CLACI! Under the guidance of the President of Miami Dade College, Dr. Eduardo Padrón, MDC gave birth to CLACI in 2011 to serve as a proactive hub to foster informative and productive interactions between MDC, Diasporas, and their countries of origin. In the accomplishment of its mission CLACI puts in motion its own initiatives while assisting others with the implementation of projects and ideas that may originate at different instances within MDC, the Diasporas, and at Latin-American and Caribbean institutions. For many decades Miami Dade College has represented an open gate for migrants pursuing the American Dream through higher education. MDC also hosts the Refugee/Entrant Vocational Education Services and Training (REVEST) program to provide asylum seekers, refugees, and victims of human trafficking with training and general support to start their new life in the United States. With the creation of CLACI Miami Dade College took a further step. This time the innovative vision of the President of MDC, Dr. Eduardo Padrón, was to install a hub that could expand the interactions of our College with Latin American and Caribbean Diasporas in Miami while also engaging in that process many key voices from the

3 countries where they were born. Thus, CLACI provides MDC and the local migrant communities a creative space to articulate constructive initiatives towards the region. This mission is mostly implemented through the organization of events with VIP speakers and experts, various types of sports and cultural activities, and community workshops. CLACI has also acted as a channel to implement special initiatives supported by private donors, such as bringing independent Cuban students, lawyers, and filmmakers to study at our campuses and to participate in some of MDC s main annual events such as the Miami International Film Festival. CLACI also works in seeking partnerships and resources for other innovative, special projects. At MDC we are aware that Diasporas not only have economic resources that they partially send back to their countries of origin as financial remittances through companies such as Western Union. Migrants also have various types of human capital (knowledge, experiences, skills, values) required for development. But so far they have lacked of appropriate channels to send them back to their countries of origin as knowledge remittances. Since 2012 CLACI also assists MDC in seeking resources and partners to expand its growing role as the Western Union of knowledge remittances for Latin America and the Caribbean.

4 Summary of Activities (May 2014 to April 2015) CLACI s activities this year included 20 events (15 of them with international participation) that were implemented at four different MDC campuses (Wolfson, Kendall, InterAmerican, and North) with an estimated total direct attendance of over 3,000.

5 Activities addressed the main social, economic, and political trends in the region and hosted several internationally acknowledged VIPs. The high level of some of these personalities attracted a very broad coverage from the local, regional, and international media (TV, radio, and newspapers) thus further strengthening the positive perception of MDC all throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Venezuelan democracy activist Lilian Tintori made two presentations throughout 2015 at MDC.

6 Events with international participation The following 15 events included international visitors and participants: Democracy in The Americas (in cosponsorship with the Zambrano Foundation)) III Conference on Reconciliation and Change (in cosponsorship with the Cuba Study Group) Freedom and Communication in Venezuela Start up Cuba? Conference with 5 Cuban entrepreneurs Book launching by Enrique Iglesias (cosponsored by Goberna Las Americas Miami and the Zambrano Foundation) Venezuela: Progress or Stalemate? (MDC Hispanic Heritage Month) Guitar Concert by Venezuelan virtuoso Hernán Gamboa The Potential of Psychoanalysis (with MDC students, professors and delegates to the regional Annual Congress on Lacanian Psychoanalysis) Workshops GPS Venezuela (2 workshops) Workshop Cuba 3.0 Seminars Cuban legal system (2 seminars) Lilian Tintori on Venezuela (2 events) The Potential of Psychoanalysis. Conference by Dr. Vicente Palomera, member of the World Association of Psychoanalysis and of the Congress on Lacanian Psychoanalysis

7 VIPs participation Among the VIPs that participated in CLACI events this year were two former Latin American presidents (Luis Alberto Lacalle, and Vinicio Cerezo); leaders of world public opinion (as Yoani Sánchez, in her second appearance at MDC), globally known pro-democratic activists, (such as Lilian Tintori, in two separate occasions), international human rights defenders (as is the case of Jose Miguel Vivanco, Director of Human Rights Watch), Ambassador Thomas Pickering, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs; Veton Surroi, former member of the Unity Team that negotiated independence for Kosovo and head of the Foreign Policy Association; Dr. Jose Antonio Solis, chair of philosophy at St. John Vianney College Seminary; Donna Hicks, professor at Harvard University and author of Dignity: The Special Role it Plays in Resolving Conflict; former Secretary General of ECLAC and of the General Secretariat for Iberoamerica, and President of the InterAmerican Development Bank, Enrique Iglesias; the distinguished member of the World Association of Psychoanalysis and of the Congress on Lacanian Psychoanalysis Dr. Vicente Palomera; a former president of OPEC and Venezuelan minister of energy Humberto Calderón Berti; the publisher of the Latin American Herald Tribune and head of International Investment Bank Caracas Capital Markets Russell M. Dallen, Jr.; and former chief of staff of Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez, Beatriz Rangel.

8 Cultural and sports activities A Marathon for Venezuela was organized for the second time at MDC s Kendall Campus. Concert by Venezuelan virtuoso guitarist Hernán Gamboa Screening of an Argentinean film that participated at the Mar del Plata Film Festival.

9 A tribute to Julio Cortázar and Octavio Paz was convened in coordination with the consulates of Argentina and Mexico and was hosted by the Hispanic Cultural Center of Miami. A tribute to Jose Marti on the anniversary of his birth. An internationally recognized expert on Marti, Dr. Frank Vale, made a presentation at Kendall Campus on the impact that the exile years in New York of the Cuban patriot had over his main lines of thought. A tribute to Julio Cortázar and Octavio Paz was convened in coordination with the consulates of Argentina and Mexico and was hosted by the Hispanic Cultural Center of Miami Concert by Venezuelan virtuoso guitarist Hernán Gamboa

10 Dr. Frank Vale making a presentation on Jose Marti at Kendall Campus Community Forums Three community workshops (GPS Venezuela and Cuba 3.0) were also convened in These smaller events included some international participants and are intended to generate discussion assessing potential paths to bring about the best possible future for those two countries. While most discussants come from the local community others travelled to Miami from different cities and countries. Participation is expected to expand in coming months with the use of online conference connections to enable the inclusion of more experts who live in other geographical locations.

11 GPS Venezuela is a forum to seek constructive answers to the future needs of that country

12 Special projects supported by private donors CLACI had also played a facilitating role in the implementation of a special initiative generously supported by a private donor (Related Group) that allowed five Cuban independent filmmakers to participate in the 2015 edition of the Miami International Film Festival. Besides showing their works at the Festival, the filmmakers also gave various

13 lectures and held exchanges with students and professors at the North Campus School of Entertainment and Design Technology where they also screened their films. A commencement reception and a farewell lunch were offered to graduates of the Somos un Solo Pueblo initiative, a project that started in 2014 which for the first time in more than fifty years enabled 17 independent Cuban students to come to study at an institution of higher education in the United States. This was made possible with the generous support of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba. An open presentation at MDC on their experiences as entrepreneurs of five Cuban women who run small businesses in the island. This event was made possible with the generous support of the Cuba Study Group. Two presentations on different aspects of the Cuban legal system were made by Cuban lawyer Dr. Amelia Rodriguez, who came from Cuba with the financial support of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba.

14 Grant proposals CLACI participated, together with other District offices of MDC, in drafting various grant proposals for different private and public donors. One of them, personally secured by the President of MDC, allowed our College to invite five independent Cuban filmmakers to the 2015 Miami International Films Festival. Another grant proposal is still pending a final decision from the donor. Other activities The Executive Director of CLACI participated in fifteen activities representing MDC, including one at the U.S. Federal Reserve, Miami Branch. He was also assigned by MDC leadership to represent the College at a panel with two other experts on the future of study abroad programs with Cuba in a teleconference with 182 American colleges and universities convened by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

15 The International Institute of Education Andrew Heiskell 2015 Award Thanks to the initiative of MDC Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Beverly Moore- Garcia and the Executive Director for International Education, Tatiana Mackliff, -the theoretical concept of Knowledge Remittances introduced at a CLACI international conference on this topic in August 2012 and later developed in a book published in 2013 was broadly validated. The International Institute of Education in Washington D.C. recognized its practical application -by MDC Medical Campus professors and students in Haiti and the Dominican Republic- as one of the best innovation practices in higher education in the world to merit acknowledgment this year.

16 Final remarks CLACI is an ingenious open concept. Above any other consideration is an engine to put in motion ideas and coordinate initiatives -of its own or from others- that can only succeed with the full support of MDC as a whole. It develops all its activities based on ad hoc task forces that engage several colleges departments as well as different institutions outside MDC. The results summarized above truly represent the accomplishments of many people at various District offices, campuses and schools. For their original ideas and relentless support throughout the year, CLACI is sincerely grateful. Our acknowledgement is also extended to all the other institutions that played a key role in initiating, cosponsoring, or supporting some of these activities in various ways. But most of our recognition and gratitude goes to the President of MDC, Dr. Eduardo Padrón, whose vision gave birth to CLACI, an institution that undoubtedly owes its successes to the extraordinary benefit of enjoying his full hearted ongoing support.

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