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School of Business Students Help Organize National Conference on Cuba

April 24, 2009
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   School of Business organizers
L to R: Anthony Vega, Raul Moas, Romy
Portuondo, Nathalie Marcos,Alexander Correa,
and Alejandro Hernandez
Several School of Business students helped organize the Sixth Annual Cuba Conference, held from April 2 to 5 at the University of Miami. Entitled GenerAcción RDE: Generation in Action, the conference aims to unite young professionals and students from universities and high schools around the world to develop concrete plans to empower young people in Cuba.

“The UM Cuba Conference was an extremely valuable experience,” said Raul Moas, a junior accounting major, as chairman of the event, helped develop, plan, and execute the conference “Primarily, it allowed me to be a force of good in today's world. I was able to take the skills I have learned at UM and at the School of Business and apply them to a cause greater than myself.  Knowing that through this conference we made a real and concrete difference is a wonderful feeling.”

Other School of Business students involved in the planning of the event included Anthony Vega, a finance and economics major, Nathalie Marcos, an accounting and finance major, and Alejandro Hernandez. Also involved, was a School of Business alumnus. Alexander Correa, who graduated in 2008, served as programming director. Correa, a member of the award winning University of Miami Model United Nations debate team, has been accepted to Princeton's prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, where he will pursue a Masters in Public Affairs, Economics, and Public Policy.

The conference was sponsored by Raíces de Esperanza (Roots of Hope), a service organization that brings together young leaders working toward change in Cuba, and the University of Miami student organization CAUSA (Students United for a Free Cuba). This year’s keynote speaker was Academy Award nominated actor Andy Garcia.

“Raíces is of tremendous significance to me,” said sophomore economics major Romy Portuondo Remior, a member of the Roots of Hope management team who helped organize media and operations for the conference. “Not only does [Roots of Hope] embrace the Cuban culture in all its glory, but also the struggle of each Cuban that dreams of a free homeland. This conference symbolized, more so than any prior event, the concretization of our generation's commitment to make this dream a reality. This was a conference where we did much more than engage in meaningful discussion-- we acted upon it.”

Group in front of canvas   
Conference participants in front of canvas painted by all
with the words ""Amor, Amistad y Esperanza" (Love,
Friendship and Hope)" to be sent to Cuban peers
Volunteers collected over 9,000 pounds of supplies in aid for Cubans, wrote letters and filmed messages of hope and brotherhood, and expressed our desire for "Amor, Amistad y Esperanza" (Love, Friendship and Hope) on a canvas that will be sent to Cuban peers.

“It is vital for the School of Business to partake and endorse events such as these because they not only reflect the professionalism and ingenuity of its students but also the progressive thinking of the School of Business,” said Remior, who was born in Havana, Cuba and came to Miami at the age of five.  “Giving students the resources and the support to put on excellent and influential programming such as the Roots of Hope conference opens up the University to new topics for academic discussion as well as new routes for groundbreaking research and programming in new fields.”
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