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.
Download the episode and subscribe to the podcast by searching for “Aspen Insight” on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Stitcher. Share your thoughts and join the conversation on social media using #AspenInsight. Listen to the full episode below.
To find more information about the topics and Aspen Institute programs featured in this episode, you can visit the links below:
- “After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Needs More Help Than Ever” by Abigail Golden-Vazquez
- The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program
- Relief aid for Puerto Rico
- The Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program
- Eric Liu on You’re More Powerful Than You Think
- Aspen Words Literary Prize Longlist Announcement (via NPR)
- More about the 20 finalists of the Aspen Words Literary Prize