Transdiaspora Network’s Annual Retreat at Vassar College

New York, NY (Aug. 23, 2019) – Led by TDN Chief Operating Officer Lissette Marrero, young members of our team, Dafne Murillo, TDN Cross-cultural Youth Exchange Fellow, and Dashawn Hall, Youth Community Health Advocate, spent the day in our annual retreat at Vassar College. During this one-day long event, which was organized in partnership with Vassar College Hispanic Studies Department, both young leaders learned the history of Transdiaspora Network since its inception, engaged in a fruitful exchange of ideas with TDN President/CEO/Founder Ariel Rojas along the way and had the opportunity to made insightful contributions to our new strategic plan for the next fiscal year (2019-2020). Our COO Lissette Marrero conducted masterfully an interactive HIV 1-on-1 capacity building training, where the young attendees expanded their knowledge about the NYC demographics affected by the virus, the science and statistics regarding HIV prevention as well as the new achievements in the New York movement to end the epidemic. They were also introduced to the particularities of the HIV epidemic in the Caribbean geographical region.

“The goal of the TDN retreat was to present the framework of our strategic plan to ending the HIV epidemic locally, nationally and globally incorporating NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 3 point plan, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and UNAIDS 90-90-90 Treatment Target,” says Ms. Marrero.

Toward the end of the day, the TDN team were greeted by legendary Vassar Professor Dr. Edward Pittman and Vassar Associate Dean Luis Inoa. The encounter with Dr. Pittman was very meaningful since he shared personal moments of his 30-year advocacy career on campus promoting inclusion and diversity. He started his Vassar career in 1990 developing student diversity initiatives and later served as dean over a student life division that included International Student Services, ALANA Student Services, LGBTQ and Gender Resources, Religious and Spiritual Life, and First Year Programs. Dr. Pittman is the founding Director of the ALANA Center, developed Vassar’s Bias Incident Response Team, and has directed several campus-wide dialogue and engagement programs.

For the success of this year’s annual retreat, our organization would like to thank Hispanic Studies Professor Eva Woods and Administrative Assistant Melissa Connor. The event was sponsored by the Law Office of Sofia Balile.


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