GFDD and FUNGLODE Join Forces with the 6th Dominican Book Fair in New York

October 4, 2012

Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracy y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE) partnered with the Dominican Culture Commission to celebrate the 6th Dominican Book Fair in New York, dedicated to the theme “Reading Helps you Growing,” September 28-30 at Boricua College in North Manhattan.

At the Fair, GFDD and FUNGLODE presented to the Dominican diaspora some of their most recent publications: “El Metro and the Impacts of the Integrated Transportation System in Santo Domingo” by Carl Allen, and “Distance Education Challenges” by Heitor Gurgulino de Souza. Both publications are part of GFDD’s series Research and Ideas.

GFDD also presented the work of the following 2011 GFDD-FUNGLODE Award winners:
Poetry —
“Hechas y sospechas” (“Acts and suspicions”) by César Augusto Zapata
Short Story — El muñeco de trap (Rag doll) by Nan Chevalier
Short Story– Downtown by Kianny Antigua
Short Story — Porfirio y la serpiente (Porfirio and the serpent) by Danilo Rodríguez

The GFDD/FUNGLODE Awards seek to promote and celebrate excellence in written expression, documentary film and photography. The annual competition was created with the purpose of stimulating creativity among Dominicans in the Dominican Republic and overseas, recognizing and promoting the talents and achievements of Dominicans.

The 6th edition of the Fair, led by the Dominican Culture Commissioner, Carlos Sánchez, opened with an address by the Dominican Minister of Culture, José Antonio Rodríguez, September 28 at the United Palace. The remainder of the Fair’s program of events was realized at Boricua College during the weekend of September 29-30. This 6th edition was dedicated to authors Dinorah Coronado and César Sánchez Beras and to the writers of the New Jersey area. The growing event included more than one hundred activities and gatherings with presentations, panels, poetry readings, discussions, film screenings, plays, book presentations, an extensive children’s program as well as writing competitions for children and youth.

The Fair provides an important space for creative and cultural expression for the Dominican diaspora in the city of New York. The event in its sixth year has become a cultural fixture and a highly anticipated celebration of literature, music, dance, folklore, gastronomy and film.

Other special guests that participated in the Fair included:
Eugenio García Cuevas, Miguel Collado, Marlon Soto and René Rodríguez Soriano and Commissioner Ydanis Rodríguez, in addition to former commissioners Frank Cortorreal, Miguel Farias, Genoveva González, Franklin Gutiérrez and Luis Alvarez.

GFDD and FUNGLODE contribute to the promotion of Dominican culture in the United States through ongoing programs like Dominican Get-Togethers, Dominican Film Showcases and other gatherings and discussions organized regularly in the New York metropolitan area, Rhode Island, Miami and other cities in the United States where Dominican communities can be found.

About GFDD Publications:
GFDD’s Research and Ideas Series promotes knowledge sharing and best practices. The series includes research papers, articles, speeches and keynote addresses on critical issues impacting the contemporary world, offering national, regional and global points of view.

The selected works present scrupulous analysis, introduce innovative ideas and transmit inspiration. The series seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the world, empowering us to act in a more informed, efficient and harmonious way.

The book series, available in print and electronic format, highlight an ample selection of topics including education, health, urban development and history, among other timely topics.

“El Metro and the Impacts of the Transportation System Integration in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic,” by Carl Allen, GFDD/FUNGLODE Fellow and graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School Master’s Program in Public Policy and Urban Planning, is an evaluation of the potential impact of the transportation system on poverty alleviation, congestion, pollution reduction and social and economic development. The outcome of his research is an extensive report on the effects of the metro and feeder bus routes on the nation’s urban development, which includes recommendations for maximizing societal benefits.

As a GFDD/FUNGLODE Fellow, Allen spent the summer of 2009 and January 2010 carrying out research under the guidance of his National Academic Advisor, Mr. Leonel Carrasco, Sub-Director of the Office of Transportation Planning (Oficina Para el Reordenamiento del Transporte — OPRET). His research methodology consists of the examination of first and secondary sources, including OPRET data and documents and review of Dominican media sources.

Allen also interviewed key stakeholders including Dr. Leonel Fernández, President of the Dominican Republic and Honorary President of GFDD and FUNGLODE, and representatives from OPRET; the Commission on Natural Science and Environment of the Academia of Sciences (Comision de Ciencias Naturales y Medio Ambiente, Academia de Ciencias); the Metropolitan Office of Bus Service (Oficina Metropolitana de Servicios de Autobuses — OMSA); the Presidential Commission on the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development (Comisión Presidencial sobre los Objetivos del Milenio y Desarrollo Sostenible — COPDES); and the School of Architecture at the Univeridad Iberoamericana (UNIBE).

Allen’s conclusions are also based on surveys administered to riders, students and local business owners.

“Distance Education Challenges” by Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, Secretary General of the International Association of Universities and President of Virtual Educa Brazil, calls attention to the expansion of distance education programs, and the important role of distance education in the future of growth of higher education worldwide. Gurgulino de Souza identifies innovative technologies that will transform higher education in the coming years, and emphasizes the critical value of teacher training and quality assurance in distance education development. The analysis also refers to the important findings published in the recent report of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which recognizes the essential link between pay scales for educators and quality of higher education.

Moreover, the author cites groundbreaking initiatives being spearheaded in the area of distance education innovation around the globe, by institutions such as: Virtual Educa; the Universidade Aberta do Brasil; the National Science Foundation in the US; Next Generation Learning Challenges in the US, funded by the the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Abu Dhabi University; the Bunyad Foundation in Pakistan endorsed by UNESCO; the African Virtual University, funded by the World Bank, with headquarters in Kenya and operations in more than thirty countries in Africa; and the TED-Ed Brain Trust in the US.

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