NEW YORK, NY – May 7, 2015 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – As part of several initiatives to better understand the Puerto Rican experience in the United States, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (Centro) will host a panel, the first in its nature, about Puerto Ricans in Social Media.

Puerto Rico is one of the few countries in the world whose majority of residents live outside the country itself. In the United States alone, there are 4 million Puerto Ricans, while only 3.5 remain in the island. In this context, the panel will explore the ways in which Puerto Ricans communicate online in an increasingly dispersed world.

Among the seasoned social media experts and influencers from Puerto Rico or of Puerto Rican descent who will comment on this new Puerto Rican Barrio are: Julio Varela from Futuro Media Group and Latino Rebels, George Torres from Sofrito Media Group and Capicu Poetry & Cultural Showcase, Nuria Net from Fusion, Lynn Ponder from Web City Girls, Lejuan James from, well, Lejuan James.

The panel will take place next Tuesday, May 12, 2015 from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (Corner of 68th and Lexington, RM E1442) and will be also live streamed through Centro TV. A Twitter party under the hashtag #boricuasonline will be held for those watching online. It will be co-hosted by several Puerto Rican organizations and bloggers, including: @PRParadeNYC, @boriquachicks, @themommyelf, @estilofamiliar, @clubdelasdiosas, @modernmami, @newyoricangirl, @jillianbaez, @hfranqui, @miblogazine.

“We are delighted to host this panel exploring the ways in which Puerto Ricans are creating bridges, community, and culture on and through social media,” said Edwin Meléndez, Centro’s Director.

“When you look at the numbers and at the strong migratory wave, this exchange just makes sense. Social media has made available the creation of connections that were not possible in previous waves of migration. We have to explore this new space. I see this also as a great opportunity to bridge the gap between academia and wider audiences. The Internet has really transformed the creation and spread of knowledge, and it behooves educational institutions to get with the program and truly adapt to these changes.”

Under #boricuasonline, for the past few weeks Centro has been exploring questions of identity and community. This conference will be a culmination of Centro’s preliminary explorations into the world of Puerto Rican communities in the Internet Age and a starting point to more conversations around the issues that truly matter to our dispersed communities online and offline, whether Puerto Rican or not.