Set to Go

Newark, NJ.—The Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) will host its 17th Annual Conference on Dominican Affairs on Sunday, February 12, 2017 from 9am to 4pm at Rutgers School of Law 123 Washington, Street in Newark, NJ. Theme: Claiming our Legacy – Afirmando Nuestro Legado en USA.


CODA 2017 Panelists Speakers

CODA 2017 Program

The Conference on Dominican Affairs (CODA) is the only state-wide conference in the United States where leaders, scholars and students are convened to discuss critical issues impacting Latinos, Dominicans and US diverse communities.

The Conference’s Keynote Speaker will be Silvio Torres-Saillant, Ph.D., Professor at Syracuse University, where he currently serves as Dean’s Professor in the Humanities.

This years, over 300 attendees from the tristate area and beyond will attend the Conference. There will be delegations of students and community leaders from different parts of New Jersey, including: Trenton, Perth Amboy, Newark, Jersey City, West New York, Union City, Paterson, Passaic, Camden, and from other places around the United States, including Philadelphia, Reading, PA, Lawrence, MA, Providence, Rhode Island, Bronx, NY, Manhattan, Village of Haverstraw, Long Island, NY, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

List of panelists, speakers and active conference participants:

Raul Acosta, Connecticut
Jose Aleman, Rhode Island
Daisy Baez, Florida
Dr. Alejandro Benjamin, Sr. Vice President
Rev. Alvin Bridgewater, Upstate New York
Adolfo G. Cuevas, Ph.D., Massachusetts
Ernie Dominguez, Esq., Maryland
Dr. Miguel Hernandez, MD, Vice President
Heidy Hernandez, New Jersey
Fiordaliza Frias, Florida
Ana Medina, Lawrence, Massachusetts
Isidro Medina, New York
Antonio Martinez, Esq., New York
Claribel Martinez-Marmolejos, DANR President
Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, New Jersey
Nestor Montilla, Sr., DANR & NDAC Chairman
Dan-el Padilla, Ph.D., New York
Francesca Peña, Dominican Republic
Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk, Maryland
Angelina Ramirez, New York
Dulce Ramos, New York
Janna Rodriguez, Youth National President
Augusto Suarez, Youth Vice President
Seny Taveras, Esq., New York
Nestor Guarien Taveras-Sepulveda, Puerto Rico
Dr. Maria Trusa, New York
Franklin Ventura, DANR Youth Vice President
Juan Villar, New Jersey Corporation Counsel: Patricia Bombelyn, Esq.
Alexander Bejarán, Puerto Rico
Victor Coronado, New Jersey
Alberto Correa, Ph.D., Puerto Rico
José Cruz, New York
Juana Edmond, New Jersey
Peter Fontanes, New York
Leodany Inojosa, Puerto Rico
Santiago Matias, Massachusetts
Ana Marchena, Ph.D., Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands
Yohanny Mendez, New Jersey
Sarita Montilla, Pennsylvania
Belkis Peña, Rhode Island
Ana Perdomo, Massachusetts
Hector Ramirez, Bronx, New York
Juan P. Reyes, Manhattan, NY
Mildred E. Rojas Disla, New Jersey
Delfin Vásquez, Pennsylvania
Ing. Francisco “Pachin” Ramirez, Advisor
Journalist Miguel Perez, Hidden Hispanic Heritage Project
Rev. Juan Rosario
Rev. Cleo Santiago
Rev. Fernando Plaza
Rev. Manuel Álvarez
Councilman Angel Fuentes, Hispanic Leadership Association of New Jersey (HLA)
Rev. José López, Latino Leadership Alliance of NJ (LLANJ)
Rev. Cesar Martínez, Latino Pastors Association of Paterson (LPAP)
Rev. John Muniz, Dean and VP of Academic Affairs, Universidad Teológica Shema Israel
Rev. Fabio Sosa, Latino Pastors Association of Paterson (LPAP)
Alex Mendez, Councilman, Paterson, NJ
Alexis Lantigua, Ministro de Politica Social Exterior, Dominican Republic
Dr. Irma Nicasio, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo & Advisor to DR Senate
Ms. Florinda Rojas, Executive Director, Instituto National de Migración, Dom. Rep.
Marleny Cruz. Fellow, ILS/LLANJ Latino Leadership Academy
Carla Jimenez, ILS/LLANJ Latino Leadership Academy
Eloisa Mercedes, ILS/LLANJ Latino Leadership Academy
Senator Ana Quezada, Rhode Island
Senator Nilsa Cruz-Pérez, New Jersey
State Representative Joseline Peña-Melnyk, Maryland
Former Commissioner Fior D’Aliza Frías, Florida
Fmr Legislator Ana Marchena, Ph.D., Puerto Rico
NYS Assembly District Leader Yudelka Tapia,
State Representative Daisy Baez, Florida
Senator Marisol Alcantara, NY
Janna Rodriguez, DANR Youth President
Ana Maria Garcia, US Census
Bethania Marmolejos
Maria del Pilar
Lydia Valencia
Jeanny Ramirez
Juanita Lopez
Charito Cisneros
Sandra Harris
Nely Celi
Elis Sosa
Eloisa Mercedes
Miriam Younan
Rossana Genao
Joanie Morales
Carla Jimenez
Patricia Bullon
Marleny Cruz
Maria Diaz
Cathy Polanco
Sandra Batres
Maria Isabel Alarcon
Carlos Salinas
Alex Calixto Rodriguez
Ibanox Taveras
Mayor Dan Rivera, Lawrence, MA,
Manny Martinez, Commissioner, Paterson, NJ
Sebastian Rodríguez
Dr. Juan Tapia
Dr. Maria Trusa
Ms. Dulce Maria Ramos
Adolfo G. Cuevas, Ph.D.
Dr José Goris
Dr Francisco Roa, DMA Executive Director
Professor Claritza Abreu
Dr. Diogenes Fermin
George A. Zeppenfeldt, President & CEO Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives and
Chair, Roundtable of Professional Hispanic Health Association
Mayor Henry Abraham James, Mayor of Villa Central, Barahona, Dominican Republic
Hon Kim Guadagno, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor
Silvio Torres-Saillant, Ph.D., Syracuse University

The Conference on Dominican Affairs (CODA) is made possible thanks to the generous support of UNIVISION and PSE&G, Formé Medical Center, Global Psychiatry Services, PC, Pediatric 2000, and the collaboration of The Dominican American National Roundtable, Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jew Jersey, and the National Dominican American Council (NDAC). CODA is a signature project of the Institute for Latino Studies Research and Development (ILS).