Leonel Fernández Carries Out Extensive Agenda in Chicago

September 29, 2021

CHICAGO. – The former President of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Leonel Fernández, during a recent visit to Chicago carried out an extensive work agenda which included the supervision of the future opening of a Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) office in this important Midwest U.S. city.

During his visit, Fernández entered into an agreement with the senior management of U-Chicago Global and the Harris School of Public Policy, both of the University of Chicago, to explore ways of collaboration between this world-renowned academic institution and Funglode.

Also, during his visit to Chicago the former president visited the DuSable Museum of African American History where he and the delegation that accompanied him during the visit lived the experience of “The March,” a virtual reality exhibit which takes visitors back in time to 1963, to virtually experience Martin Luther King’s speech “I have a dream.”

The goal of the upcoming opening of the Funglode office in Chicago is to promote global collaboration and relevant exchanges for Dominican professionals, as well as the general public and institutions in the Dominican Republic and the American Midwest.

Likewise, the initiative seeks to stimulate a better understanding and appreciation of Dominican culture, values and heritage before the United States and the world.

The University of Chicago

The agreement reached with the University of Chicago includes the implementation of the Global Institute (I-Global), as well as various study programs such as political analysis, data analysis, science, technology, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) and comprehensive reading, among others.

Accompanying Dr. Fernández during his visit were Dr. Juan de Pablo, vice president of U-Chicago Global, who proposed the creation of a network of professionals to support the implementation of possible programs and, at the same time, find common areas where both institutions can contribute to the success of these programs. The ultimate goal is to benefit higher education in the Dominican Republic and the future of Latin America.

Other participants included the vice president of Global Initiatives and Strategies, Kathie Hrinyak, and Carmen Gimeno Bello, U-Chicago Global international coordinator.

On behalf of the Harris School, participants included Rebecca Wolfe, Executive Director of International Policy and Development, Ranjan Daniels, Dean of Student Admissions and Global Outreach, and Shilin Liu, Director of International Agreements and Executive Education.

Visit to the DuSable Museum

During his visit, former President Fernández visited the DuSable Museum of African American History. During the visit, Funglode and Museum executives agreed to film a documentary on the history and effects of slavery on the world.

The film project would begin in the Dominican Republic, where the first group of enslaved Africans surrendered and where the first slave revolt took place.

Research for the documentary would include lectures, site visits, and the presentation of undisclosed research involving systemic issues, conflicts and slavery structures with scholars from the United States, Africa, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

Former President Fernández also included in his schedule a visit to the President and Executive Director of the Museum, Perri Irme, and the members of the Board of Directors of the cultural institution, who invited the former Dominican president to be an honorary member of the Museum.

DuSable is the oldest independent Black History Museum in the United States.