From Hurricane María to the Political Summer Storm of 2019: Puerto Rico at a Crossroad

Date and Times: 
Friday, September 27, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

Location: 
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


For many years Puerto Ricans have been enduring a humanitarian crisis caused by the coalescing of the destruction caused by hurricane María and the austerity measures imposed by a Financial Oversight Board appointed by Congress. Even before the hurricane struck in 2017 Puerto Rico had the highest poverty rate of any United States jurisdiction.  The stagnant economy had meant higher commercial vacancy rates, massive migration to the US, continued social unrest, stagnation of the housing and construction industry, as well as higher unemployment rates. Hurricane María devastated the Island in 2017.

Fri., Sept. 27: Documentary
DisEmPowered: Puerto Rico’s Perfect Storm presented by Cecilio Ortiz García, PhD and Marla
Lopez form the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and Co-Founders of the National Institute of
Energy and Island Sustainability at the University of Puerto Rico.
Law School - University of Pittsburgh

Sat., Sept. 28: Symposium 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Keynote speaker: Dra. Yanira Reyes. Inter American University School of Law
Opening Remarks: Prof. Sheila Velez Martinez, University of Pittsburgh
Discussant: Prof. Jules Lobel, University of Pittsburgh
Law School - University of Pittsburgh

Panels include:

  • 2 Years from Hurricane María, Looking Back and Looking Forward
  • The Critical Mass of Summer 2019
  • Las artes de la alegria, conversando sobre las culturas de arte y protesta en Puerto Rico (Art and Protest in Puerto Rico)
  • Round table: A vision for the future