Past Events

La Virazón : Post-Maria Puerto Rico  
with Dr. Gilda Gely

Provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Davenport University 
Q &A moderated by Adnoris “Bo” Torres

Executive Director, Hispanic Center of Western Michigan 

Hispanic Center of Western Michigan

1204 Grandville Ave SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503  


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

6:30-7:30 PM


Free and open to the public.

Hurricane Maria’s devastating effects on Puerto Rico have more than just meteorological causes. In her presentation, Dr. Gilda Gely traces turbulent directional shifts in the colonial past that have impacted decision-making for and by island residents. Despite force majeure events, Dr. Gely says stories of resilient sustainability mark Puerto Rico’s path forward.  

image of Dr. Gilda Gely

Dr. Gilda Gely is a proven leader in higher education, having served as provost for  Aquinas College, Grand Rapids Community College, and Cambridge College in Massachusetts before serving as provost at Davenport University in 2019. At Cambridge College, which has a campus in Puerto Rico, she worked to ensure the safety and address the needs of students there who had been effected by Hurricane Maria, which informs her presentation. More on Dr. Gely 

image of Adnoris "Bo" Torres

Adnoris “Bo” Torres, came to the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan with over a decade of experience in program and education management. He currently serves as a Board of Director for the World Affairs Council. More on Bo Torres 

With gratitude to the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan


Fall Series: Strategic Partnerships

Three Countries Important to U.S. International Relations

This fall, the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan will be examining the current relationship with and prospects for future partnerships between the U.S. and three key countries: Japan, Germany and Vietnam. Join us as international experts share insights into these nations and dialogue with us about potential collaborations in the years ahead.

All events held at:


Aquinas College
Upper Donnelly Center
157 Woodward Ln SE, Grand Rapids, 49506


Free, convenient parking

7:00—8:15 p.m.


Cost per event: $10
Free to corporate, senator, and educational members

No reservations needed. Public invited.

Speaker image: Dr. Ed Martini

"Vietnam, the United States,

and the Long Road to Peace"


Dr. Ed Martini

Western Michigan University


Wednesday, September 25

More on Dr. Martini

Speaker image: German Consul General for the Midwest, Wolfgang Moessinger

"Wunderbar Together: Germany and the U.S."


Wolfgang Moessinger

German Consul General for the Midwest


Tuesday, October 8

More on Consul General Moessinger


This program is hosted in partnership with Wunderbar Together, World Affairs Councils of America, and the American Council on Germany.

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Speaker photo Tsutomu Nakagawa

"A Forward Looking Conversation

on Japan-U.S Relations"


Tsutomu Nakagawa

Japanese Consul General for the Midwest


Tuesday, October 29

More on Consul General Nakagawa




Join communities across the United States

in a nationwide conversation on China.

Monday, November 18

Social Hour — 5:15-6:00 PM

Interactive Webcast — 6:00-6:45 PM

Local Town Hall — 6:45-7:30 PM


University Club

10th Floor, 111 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Cost to attend: $25

Includes admission, light hors d'oeuvres, 1 drink ticket,

and free parking in the 5/3 lot

Public invited. Register online or at the event.

After refreshments and a social hour we'll broadcast a livestreamed interactive panel from New York focusing on the current state of China-U.S. relations, moderated by George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. After the panel, we'll be hosting a local conversation facilitated by Courtney Henderson from the Michigan-China Innovation Center. Our local version of the town hall will focus on the bilateral relationship's local impact on regional business, educational, and cultural interests.

Our country's relationship with China has a direct impact on the lives of nearly everyone in the U.S.--most certainly including Michigan. These national and local conversations provide an opportunity to discuss the issues that affect our community the most.

Online pre-registration is closed,

but you may still pay and pre-register at the event tonight.

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George Stephanopoulos speaker image

George Stephanopoulos is ABC News’ chief anchor. He also serves as anchor of Good Morning America and anchor of This Week with George Stephanopoulos. As chief anchor, Mr. Stephanopoulos leads the network’s coverage on all major live events and breaking news around the world.

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Courtney Henderson joined the MCIC at its launch in 2016. As Deputy Director, she is responsible for the organization's business development, marketing strategy, cybersecurity, and events, including Michigan China Week, MCIC's largest bilateral exchange. She has supported three trade and investment missions for former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's office.

This program is hosted in partnership with

the National Committee on U.S. China Relations.


With gratitude to

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