By Lisa Valanti
The Thomas Merton Center will be joining the Pittsburgh Matanzas Sister Cities Partnership and others on Saturday June 23rd to host Pastors for Peace 30th U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment (Time and Place TBA).
Independent Filmmaker, Jennifer Wager, will be the featured speaker this year, and show her award winning film, “Dare to Dream” about the U.S. residents who braved every impediment and joined thousands of students from around the world and went to Cuba to the Latin American School of Medicine, determined to become doctors.
“Dare to Dream” is a 30-minute movie that tells the story of the largest medical school in the world, the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana, Cuba through the eyes of U.S. students who received full scholarships from the Cuban government, with the commitment to practice medicine in underserved communities.
Through the stories of ELAM graduates from all over the U.S. we learn the history of this medical school that is revolutionizing healthcare on a global level, having graduated more than 26,000 doctors from around the world.
As we fight for single-payer healthcare, please mark your calendars for Saturday evening, June 23 when a potluck dinner, film, and discussion about U.S. policy under Trump and consequences of the 50 year old ‘blockade’ on the Cuban people will take place (Time and Place to be determined).
Cuba just elected a new Parliament, with almost half being women and young people, and a new President, Miguel Diaz-Canel. The revolution is now in the hands of a generation of nation-builders that did not live through pre-revolutionary Cuba, or the revolution, but whose commitment to participatory government, education, healthcare, environment and peace continue to shape Cuba’s priorities. Education and healthcare are free, and Cubans are now living on average ten years longer than U.S. residents, with the highest literacy rate in this hemisphere….things we are aspiring to achieve here. Be inspired, join us!
For information on Cuba, and upcoming events please contact LisaCubaSi@aol.com, or call 412-303- 1247.
Lisa Valanti is Vice President of the Pittsburgh-Matanzas Sister Cities Partnership and a TMC member.