Conference to Address Challenges and Opportunities for Rebuilding Puerto Rico

By Tom McLaughlin

Leading scholars and policy experts will gather to discuss the current state of affairs in Puerto Rico, and the future challenges and opportunities for rebuilding the island following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, during a conference at Rutgers University–Camden.

PARIS, FRANCE – SEP 23, 2017: The latest edition of USA TODAY shows damages from Hurricane Maria

“A Call to Action: Future Challenges for a New Puerto Rico” will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 30, in the Multi-Purpose Room, located on the main floor of the Campus Center on the Rutgers–Camden campus.

The Honorable Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, mayor of San Juan, will deliver the keynote address.

Researchers and policymakers will address how to improve Puerto Rico’s workforce and industrial base, alleviate debt obligations, reform Puerto Rico’s political and legal relationship with the U.S. government, and build partnerships between universities and non-governmental organizations as anchor institutions.

“This symposium calls the community to action to learn how to support and sustain Puerto Rico at this momentous period in the island’s history,” says Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy and Administration and director of the Community Leadership Center at Rutgers–Camden.

The Honorable Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, mayor of San Juan

The Honorable Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, mayor of San Juan

Other featured speakers include:

  • Nelson A. Denis, writer, film director, and former New York State Assemblyman
  • Wilma E. Reverón Collazo, co-president of the Hostosian National Independence Movement
  • Juan D. González, professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University–New Brunswick and co-host of “Democracy Now!”
  • Héctor R. Cordero-Guzmán, professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College
  • Charles Venator Santiago, associate professor of political science at the University of Connecticut
  • Dennis Román Roa, director of the Center for Puerto Rico

For more information or to register, visit

The Campus Center is located at 326 Penn Street on the Rutgers–Camden campus.

For directions to Rutgers–Camden, visit

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