WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Afro-Descendant Rights in the Americas: The Perspective of Transnational Activists in the U.S. and the Region

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Friday, 11 December 2020

(Image: Mikey Cordero / Defend Puerto Rico)

In May 2020, the video of George Floyd’s unjust death at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota was widely circulated, as the world confronted the unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis. Outrage over Floyd’s death and that of many other African Americans at the hands of the police fueled protests across the United States. The health crisis, its economic fallout, and the limited capacity of countries to fully respond revealed how structural inequities, racism, and the economic order can lead to serious consequences for Afro-descendants in the region. 

While such inequities are historic, the multiple crises led to conversations on racism, police brutality, and the state of human rights for Afro-descendants. Racism and abuses are long-standing in the Americas, yet do not receive the same level of global scrutiny. The U.S. Black Lives Matter movement and its antiracist efforts became the forefront of discussions on these matters. While globally less known, numerous resistance and civil rights movements in the Americas work to advance Afro-descendant rights, fight racism, and push for justice and equality. These transnational networks woven over the years provide mutual solidarity among peoples of the African diaspora in the region.

In March 2018, WOLA organized a daylong conference to take stock of the rights of Afro-descendant communities from a regional perspective. During that engagement, activists and academics examined these issues within the framework of the UN International Decade on Afro-descendants. Join WOLA on December 11 at 9:00 a.m. EST, as we continue this conversation integrating the developments affecting the African diaspora in the U.S. and region in the past year. Darryl Chappell, President and CEO of the Darryl Chappell Foundation, will moderate this upcoming conversation with key activists that for decades have done transnational work on the rights of Afro-descendants in the United States and across the Americas.


Event Details:
Friday, December 11, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. EST




James Early
Activist and Board Member
Institute for Policy Studies

Washington, DC, U.S.

Zakiya Carr Johnson
Social Inclusion and Diversity Expert
ODARA Solutions, LLC
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

 Carlos Quesada
Executive Director and Founder
The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights
Washington, DC, U.S.

Agripina Hurtado Caicedo
Coordinator for the Committee to Combat Racism, Xenophobia, and All Forms of Discrimination
Public Services International (PSI)
Cali, Colombia

Deyni Terry Abreu
Racial Unity Alliance (Allianza Unidad Racial)
Havana, Cuba

Helmer Quiñones Mendoza
Afro-descendant philosopher
Afro-Colombian Peace Council (Consejo de Paz Afro-Colombiano, CONPA)
Bogotá, Colombia

Ofunshi Oba Koso
Babalawo/Shaman and Human Rights Activist
Yoruba Cuba Association
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.


Moderated by:

Darryl Chappell
President and CEO
The Darryl Chappell Foundation
Washington, DC, U.S.


Simultaneous interpretation will be available