Dialogue on Diversity Over Twenty Five years of Service to America’s Diverse Communities

 Community   Thu, September 28, 2017 09:09 PM

Dialogue on Diversity

Over Twenty Five years of Service to America’s Diverse Communities

Washington, D.C.  — Dialogue on Diversity presented an array of thirty expert speakers and discussants at its 2017 conference on Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, attended by over 100 entrepreneurs and professionals, among them Washingtonians pondering the launch of their own enterprises in the competitive capital city milieu. “Many of these,” Ma. Cristina Caballero, Dialogue Pres./CEO pointed out, “were part of the StartUp DC program winding up a successful week of seminars and meetings concluding with the Dialogue’s Conference. Our own program, the homage to entrepreneurship and to the learning and skills that make it work, is presented with the D.C. Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs along with collaborating groups.” Jackie Reyes-Yanes, MOLA Director, was on hand to greet the Conference audience. The Dialogue, as part of the Conference, inaugurated Hispanic Heritage Month with a reception and Mariachi concert,


A very special highlight of the day’s proceedings was the presentation of the Diversity Award to a friend, supporter, and intellectual mentor of our Dialogue,  S. Jenell Trigg, of the Lerman Center law firm, who in brief remarks stressed that each of us is the owner and the steward of a treasury of valuable private thoughts and data and memories – not to be casually passed on to the internet.


An initial panel reviewed the advances of the science and the engineering that are enlarging information capacity and analytical speed in a new fifth generation of IT engineering, and sketching the resultant broadening of the range of “Internet of Things”, facial recognition, and other advances. Travis R. Hall of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration reviewed that agency’s work in coordinating research and mustering public effort to deliver services to underserved strata of the population.


Monique Riviere, of ByteBack, an IT training organization, recounted the tasks they face in placing the students, many over typical student age, and unconventional as well, for example, in a history of some form of incarceration – a task daunting in prospect but undertaken with considerable success, with a coterie of willing employers. Kim Keenan, who heads the MMTC, the venerable multicultural council on IT problems, laid out the urgency of closing the still persisting digital gap.


Prof. Maria Sevillano of the Ana G. Méndez University capital region branch explained the innovative turn in contemporary business education: if within memory the essence of instruction lay in the classic themes of business administration, there is now unmistakably a third factor, which is the Analytic, and that is wrapped up in the lore of information technology. At SUAGM, she asserted, we are now trilingual: English, Spanish and IT.


The District of Columbia emphasis in the Conference  subject matter was driven home with the appearance of Faith Leach, of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity, very articulately setting out the arm in arm mutual sharing of work and ideas between her office and civil society groups; while Melinda Bolling, Director of a key municipal agency, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, whose menu of programs and concerns runs from corporation registration to zoning to safety standards for types of business premises.


Diana Marrero, founder of Hill Latino, an offshoot of the venerable politics daily The Hill, assembled four experienced professionals in journalism and public relations for a fascinating panel on the secrets and tricks in the creation of a proper and effective Image for business enterprises, organizations, and civil society programs.


The conference closed with a pointed discussion of the maintenance of trade or business ties with correspondents across national borders. Jorge Salichs, a business lawyer with offices in Washington and San Juan, PR. reviewed the advantages presented by Puerto Rico as a business situs – an educated and largely bi-lingual workforce, combined with the favorable tax régime for businesses resident on the Island. Dr. Andrew Wyner, dean of graduate studies at BAU University in Washington and a 27-year veteran of foreign operations for the Kodak company, listed the undoubted drawbacks to setting up shop abroad, not to be done for prestige or amusement – it is tough and often a source of aggravation, but if you have the knack for it and the requisite determination, it is the reward of a lifetime.  Prof. Paulo von Schirach, heading the Global Policy Institute, again partnering with the Dialogue, discussed the flourishing  of three specific lines of industry, created by indigenous entrepreneurs in Africa — the launching of water systems, electricity facilities, and a ubiquitous mobile telephone service


Finally, participants in the STEAM Fair, an adjunct of the 2017 Conference for promoters of the classic quartet of science studies (STEM, now topped off with A for arts!) were each recognized with a Certificate of Conference completion. The day thus marked the launch of a more active mutual support among the Dialogue and the thriving STEAM tech studies initiative and the START Up entrepreneurship movements.


The present account covers only little more than a fourth of the presentations in the conference. A more general and analytic coverage of Conference proceedings will appear shortly at www.dialogueondiversity.org.

Dialogue on Diversity: Founded in 1991, Dialogue on Diversity, a §501(c)3 non-profit, is a national network of women entrepreneurs and professionals, actively promoting constructive dialogue among Latino and other ethnic and cultural communities, on social and civic empowerment, with especial emphasis on their economic viability through entrepreneurship.


Claire Moreno
Phone: 703 631 0650