Civic Action

The Struggle for Power in Puerto Rico

December 21, 2017  • Zach St. Louis

Puerto Rico hasn’t had power in the more than three months since Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Vital services are near impossible to obtain for the more than 3 million Americans who live there. In this episode of Aspen Insight, Abigail Golden-Vazquez, executive director of the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, talks about her family in Puerto Rico and the story of her aunt who was not able to access vital dialysis treatments. Abigail explains what her family had to go through in the wake of the hurricane, and also shares her analysis on what can be done to aid Puerto Rico’s recovery.

Then, the episode examines another type of battle for power. Eric Liu, executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program, explains how individuals have the power to spark change through protest and collective action to fight for a more equitable society.

And finally, a discussion about the power of storytelling as a way to experience the world through another’s eyes. The Aspen Words Literary Prize is a new $35,000 award that was created to recognize works of fiction that illuminate a contemporary social issue. The 20 finalists for the prize include novels and short story collections that address immigration, climate change, incarceration, and more.

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To find more information about the topics and Aspen Institute programs featured in this episode, you can visit the links below:

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December 21, 2017 • Aspen Institute Staff