Hispanic Leaders Meeting

11/11/2005 to 11/12/2005

Coordinator: Mr. Eduardo Garrigues
This meeting was divided into three sessions. The first session was devoted to the Historical and Cultural Legacy, with the participation of Nicolás Kanellos, Head of the Spanish Literature Department at the University of Houston in Texas; Mr. Thomas Chavez, Historian and Author and former Director of the Palace of the Governors Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico and of the National Cultural Hispanic Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Orlando Romero, Researcher and Author and former Director of the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The second session dealt with Literature and the Performing Arts. Participants included Francisco Lomeli, Head of the Spanish, Portuguese and Chicano Studies Department at the University of California in Santa Barbara; Alejandro Morales, Head of the Spanish and Portuguese and the Chicano and Latino Program of the University of California in Irving; and Margarita Galbán, Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Bilingual Foundation for the Arts in Los Angeles.
At the third session, on Language and Culture industries and the Media, presentations were given by Sam Verdeja, CEO and Editor of the “Grupo Hispanic Publishing”, which includes the journal “Hispanic", "Hispanic Trends" and the Portal "Hispanic Online", all for the Hispanic-Latin community and for boosting the prospects for employment and the Hispanic market in the United States, Latin America and Spain; Mirta Ojito, Professor of Journalism at Columbia University, one of the team of “New York Times” journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for a series of articles on racial tensions; Leila Cobo, a pianist and editor of Latin music in the Billboard Journal; Jorge Plasencia, Vice-President of Univisión Radio; Moctezuma Esparza, leader in film production for the Hispanic market; and Lourdes Portillo, author, film scriptwriter and producer.
The participants in this meeting pointed out the need for strengthening the relations between Spain and the Hispanic population as well as the mutual recognition between the two. The need of coordinating efforts by means of integrated actions was also stressed.
The specific suggestions are set out in following:
Suggestions of an academic nature:
1. Make a census of all of the entities and initiatives devoted to promoting academic, university and scientific relations between Spain and the United States (at universities, Scientific Research Center, the media, private institutions, etc.), indicating those specifically targeting the Latin population. This would be a preliminary step aimed at coordinating efforts and setting up a network of contacts and collaboration.
2. Set up a webpage for posting the information gathered, which can also include forums for debate and sharing information.
3. Complete the formalities in order for the Spanish government agencies working for cultural, educational, scientific and artistic cooperation with countries abroad to incorporate the member of Hispanic communities from the United States from programs already rolled out in the European or Latin American real, such as the Intercampus Program, the Carolina Foundation scholarships and projects, the Integrated Actions among European countries, etc.
4. Intensify the actions of the Cultural, Educational and Scientific Exchange Commission between Spain and the United States (Fulbright Commission), placing emphasis on the objectives of achieving closer ties for professional and cultural dissemination.
5. Diversify and further broaden the cultural activity of the Cervantes Institutes in the United States by means of courses on history, art, cinema, theater, etc. of a continued nature, either integrated into their teaching program or offered periodically on a stable basis for rounding out the knowledge about the language.
6. Sponsor lecture series at universities and cultural outreach centers which will be revealing of Spain’s historic importance over the course of time in the United States.
7. Support the edition of academic, public outreach and literary degrees related to the cause.
8. Bolster the relations between film producers and directors.
Link to Leadership Meeting Minutes