Two months after hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and the island is still devastated. A toxic combination of federal neglect, colonial inequality, climate change provoked extreme weather and imposed austerity have created a drawn out crisis in Puerto Rico. To this day, most people still don’t have reliable electricity, water, health care, school or work.
In the first weeks after the hurricane millions of people had their eyes on the crisis and they pooled their resources to help people who had been abandoned by the federal government. On the island people pitch in to help each other recover through mutual aid initiatives that fill the vacuum left by the federal and local government.
What is next now that the crisis in Puerto Rico has been dropped from the headlines? How can we build on the sense of solidarity that was mobilized for Puerto Rico and create a movement that stands with the people of Puerto Rico as they rebuild? How can we build a political voice that can raise the slogan to drop the debt and undo austerity?
Join us for a panel of speakers who have all been to Puerto Rico since the hurricanes to bring supplies and build solidarity.
Aixa Rodriguez is an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher and education activist. Aixa started Bronx Educators United for Justice to have a Facebook group to focus on local educational issues and inter-sectional social justice issues.
Monique Dols is an elementary math teacher and longtime socialist activist. Monique is a frequent contributor to Socialist Worker and traveled to Puerto Rico in late October to build solidarity and make connections.
Dr. Ryan Hamilton is the Director of Public Programs at the Institute for Socio-Ecological Research at Brown University and one of the founders of ISER Caribe. Ryan has worked to help develop a number of sustainable local projects in Puerto Rico, most recently helping to design and implement community-based water filtration systems along with the Brigada Solidaria del Oeste.
Miledys Guzmán is a 3rd year student in the BS/MD program at the CUNY School of Medicine. Miledys has a double major in Latin American students and has been working on several initiatives with the medical school to send donations, both monetary and medical relief, to Puerto Rico. She was recently reunited with her grandparents who were able to fly from PR to NY in a medical relief flight.