On Monday, May 23 rd 2017, Dominicanos USA (DUSA) collaborated with AJC (American Jewish Committee) to host a summit that featured DUSA, the Consul General of the Dominican Republic, the Consul General of Mexico, and the Consul of Israel in hopes of developing meaningful connections with their heritage and country of origin. The summit was aimed to connect with organizations that can strengthen bilateral relations between the United States and Dominican Republic among other nations. DUSA took the initiative to bring together representatives from the different organizations and people like Congressman Adriano Espaillat, the first Dominican descended person to be elected to U.S. Congress, among some prominent leaders. We believe making connections with organizations like the American Jewish Committee can benefit from several initiatives that Dominicanos USA can model. The four groups that participated in the summit, Dominican, Israel, Jewish, and Mexican, are examples of immigrant groups in the United States that are growing rapidly. Thus, the collaboration of these four groups for this event is monumental in bridging bonds not only within our Dominican community but also with other groups who share similar plights. This can lead to more global trade, more capital opportunities, and future projects between these groups.

Dominicanos USA advocates for the socio-economic and civic development of people of Dominican descent. One of our goals is also empower our participants to become advocates in advancing U.S. – Dominican relations and this is possible through a series of political empowerment workshops. This summit was vital to continuing the conversation with government officials, media figures, and other influential thinkers who have aligning interests in bettering the Dominican community at the global level. The summit marks the first-step forward in building bridges of cooperation between Dominicans, Dominican-Descended people, and non– Dominicans interested in the well-being of the Dominican community at large.

The May 23 rd summit was highlighted by the president of Dominicanos USA Manuel Matos and was joined by moderator Dina Siegel Vann (Director, Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs), Dani Dayan (Consul General of Israel), Diego Gomez Pickering (Consulate General of Mexico in New York), and Carlos A. Castillo (Consulate General of Dominican Republic in New York). The honorary keynote address was presented by Dominican New York Congressman Adriano Espaillat. The event highlights the potential bonds Dominicans can utilize which can further the agendas or needs of the Dominican community and overall Latino/a diaspora. Therefore, a lot can be learned from communicating with different cultures to help identify the best practices for building stronger ties between individuals and their country of birth.

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