One of the main vehicles for the establishment of Centro’s research agenda was conducting a conference focusing on public policy and promoting partnerships with stakeholders for its implementation. This conference was conceived as a first step in revamping our research program. The conference “In Pursuit of Puerto Rican Studies: a Search Conference Approach” was conducted May 15, 2009, with the participation of over 100 researchers, policymakers, and community leaders. The conference established a strategic direction for Centro research and the foundation for the relations and partnerships that will make the implementation of such an agenda feasible and sustainable. The search conference helped us align organizational goals and operations to the demands of a changing environment through the active engagement of multiple stakeholders.
The search conference represented a first step towards encouraging research on the current social conditions of Puerto Ricans, and to establish a research agenda that sets priorities from a Puerto Rican community perspective that is relevant to a broad range of stakeholders. Ultimately, our common goals are to influence the processes and institutions that affect the welfare of our population, and to identify potential partners for the implementation of a long‐term research program.
We seek to establish working groups in the areas targeted for the conference, and other areas in which Centro is currently working. We also view our staff research program as an important and leading component in the constitution of these working groups. Finally, Centro seeks to contribute to strengthening the pipeline of scholars in the field of Puerto Rican Studies.