Newark, NJ.–Along the past 16th years, the New Jersey Conference on Dominican Affairs (CODA) has featured salient leaders and professionals from across the United States, Puerto Rico, CUBA, Dominican Republic and Latin America. The list is long and includes former Presidents of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernandez and Hipolito Mejia, Dominican Republic candidates for President Luis Abinader and Dr. Guillermo Moreno, Dominican Republic Attorney General Francisco Domínguez Brito, Dr. Ramon Antonio Veras, journalists Alicia Ortega and Nuria Piera, TV personality Nancy Alvarez, Rhode Island State Senator Juan Pichardo, NY Senator Adriano Espaillat, NYS Assemblyman Guillermo Linarez, former Englewood Cliff NJ Councilwoman Kay Palacios, NYC Councilmembers Ydanis Rodriguez and Julissa Ferreras, NJ Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, NY Assemblyman Keight Wright, Civil Rights Leaders Martin Perez, Esq., Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Union City Mayor and NJ Senator Brian Stack, and among many others, U.S. Senator Robert Melendez.
This year, the Honorable Minerva Josefina Tavárez Mirabal, conocida como Minou, has accepted the invitation to be the keynote speaker of the CODA 2016 Conference, slated to take place on Sunday, February 28th, 2016 at Rutgers University’s Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Newark, NJ 07102.
“Join us in welcoming the Honorable Minerva Tavárez Mirabal –Minou– to the 16th Annual CODA Conference, the only statewide nonpartisan forum in the United States exclusively dedicated to Dominican and Latino affairs,” said Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, President of The Institute for Latino Studies. “Minou will speak about the significance of ‘Mentoring the Next Generation.’
“We are honored and proud she has accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker this year,” said Dr. Montilla. “She will travel from her native Dominican Republic to New Jersey on Sunday, February 28th to be with us and to speak to hundreds of students and attendees from the tristate area.”
“Minou, coming from a widely respected family of martyrs and national heroes, has a proven track record in public service and a relentless commitment to continue fighting to build a new and better Dominican Republic. With her presence at the Conference, students, leaders and participants will be inspired with her life story, as she symbolizes what a good mentor is all about.”
Minou is the daughter of Dominican lawyers and activists Manuel Aurelio Tavarez Justo and Minerva Mirabal, both founders in 1960 of the clandestine Movement 14 June that sought the overthrow of dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.
Her mother Minerva Mirabal was killed by the dictatorship in 1960, and her father was murdered by the Triumvirate (three-member junta) that overthrew former President Juan Bosch’s legitimate government in 1963.
Her parents are considered as martyrs and national heroes in the Dominican Republic.
Tavárez is cousin and foster sister of Jaime David Fernández Mirabal, a former vicepresident of the Dominican Republic.
She is a philologist, professor and politician who served as deputy for the National District in the lower House since 2002; and also as deputy foreign minister from 1996 to 2000.
She was Vice-Chancellor of the Dominican Republic for the period 1996-2000.
She was elected Representative to the National Congress for the period 2002-2006, and re-elected in subsequent periods 2006-2010 and 2010-2016. She is President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the House of Representatives, and member of several other committees.
Tavárez Mirabal is currently candidate for president of the Dominican Republic for both the Alliance for Democracy and Democratic Choice parties.
The 2016 Annual Conference on Dominican Affairs is made possible thanks to the generous support of UNIVISION, with the collaboration of The Dominican American National Roundtable, The Latino 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).