WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

The International Decade of Afro-Descendants: Where Are We Now?

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Sunday, 25 March 2018
Washington, DC

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

You are cordially invited to join WOLA, the University of North Carolinas Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, and Africa World Now Project for a discussion on contemporary issues that Afro-descendants encounter in the Americas.

2:00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. EST
Sunday, March 25

WOLA Offices
1666 Connecticut Avenue NW, 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20009

In honor of Black History Month, U.S. Congressional Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) re-introduced a House Resolution supporting the goals of the ‘‘International Decade for People of African Descent.” In order to take stock of the human rights issues facing African descendants and Afro-Latinos in the Americas and Caribbean, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) decided to organize two panels that look at some of the most pressing issues these populations are facing at this time. The conference will result in a declaration by the participants that will be circulated to the U.S. Congress, international community, and others.

Following the acknowledgment from the Durban Review Conference in 2009 that Afro-descendants are “victims of slavery, the slave trade and colonialism, and continue to be victims of their consequences”, the United Nations General Assembly issued a resolution that declared 2015 to 2024 to be the “International Decade for People of African Descent.” The resolution provided a substantive framework for how to support initiatives dedicated towards recognition, justice, and development for Afro-descendant peoples. Hank Johnson’s House resolution (H. Res 713) seeks for Congress to recognize the decennial observation.

Today, widespread international movements in the Americas from Buenaventura, Colombia to Bahia, Brazil among others, stand as testament to Afro-descendants’ condemnation of pervasive and systemic racism. This begs two questions: where are we with racial equality, and how does U.S. immigration policy affect Afro-descendants in the Americas?

With two panels of distinguished experts, we seek to answer these questions.

For further information please contact Crystal Yuille at [email protected]

This event is being co-sponsored with Africa World Now Project and the University of North Carolina’s Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.


Opening African ancestral greeting
Ofunshi Oba Kosso Babalawo/Shaman
Cuba Yoruba Association

Event Moderation
Crystal Yuille
Executive Assistant and Internship Coordinator

Panel #1: Where are we with racial equality, civil rights, human and socio-economic rights in the Americas?

Divalizeth Murillo
Reporter from Buenaventura, Colombia, now based in D.C.
Member of the D.C. Committee in Solidarity with the Civic Strike in Buenaventura

Euclides Rengifo
Cultural Union of Afrodescendant Heritage (UNIAFRO)

Tonija Hope Navas
Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University
CAPREE (US-Colombia Racial Action) Civil Society Committee

Joseph Jordan
Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History

James Pope
Co-Host and Producer
Africa World Now Project

Panel #2: Given the obstacles facing Haitian migrants across the Americas, as well as the Trump administration’s termination of immigration relief programs like DACA and TPS, which has impacted Afro-descendants, what can we do?

Elvia Duque
Latin America Program Officer
International Institute for Race and Equality

Ofunshi Oba Kosso Babalawo/Shaman
Yoruba Cuba Association 

Roland Roebuck
Afro-Latino Activist

Julio Guity-Guevara
Deputy Director
D.C. Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs

Gimena Sanchez
Director for the Andes

Nana Brantuo 
D.C. Black Immigration Network

Closing remarks
Chelsea Grey
Legislative Aide
Office of Representative Hank Johnson

Watch the livestream on wola.org.