Afro-Descendant Working Group

The Afro-Descendant Working Group was created in 2010 and is composed of scholars; including graduate students, faculty members, and post-docs, as well as community leaders and social activists that are committed to advancing research on people of African descent throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. As an inter-institutional and transnational group, the Working Group organizes research presentations, workshops, and other activities aimed at supporting these goals. The Conference hosted in 2010, which gave origin to this group, brought together scholars from across the region to discuss the ways in which inequality has shaped the lives of Afro Descendants in Latin America. One of the outcomes of this conference was the edition of the book by Bernd Reiter and Kimberly Eison Simmons: Afrodescendants, Identity, and the Struggle for Development in the Americas, which contains many of the papers presented at the conference. We hope that you will join us as we bring presenters to campus, create a supportive space for graduate students to discuss their research, and collaborate with our efforts to produce research that highlights the current status of people of African descent in Latin America.

If you would like to be added to our listserv, please send your contact information to us.


Reiter, Bernd, Ph.D. 
University of South Florida
Director of ISLAC.
Research and Teaching Interests: Democracy, race, decolonization


Branche, Jerome, PhD.
Professor of Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies.
Chair, Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures
University of Pittsburgh
Secretary/Treasurer, Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana
General Editor, Serie Malunga, IILI person/jerome-branche
Research and Teaching interests: Coloniality and the postcolonial, diaspora and the Black Atlantic, Afro-Hispanic literature and culture, critical race theory, race, nation and gender in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Akiwumi, Fenda, Ph.D.

Director of Institute on Black Life
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching interests: Environmental Geographer and Associate Professor in the Geography, Environmental Science and Policy Program, School of Geosciences. Her research engages topics in natural resource extraction and policy such as resource use (sustainable development, sustainable livelihoods, indigenous knowledge systems), and resource problems (equitable distribution, environmental deterioration, conflict, cultural alienation).

Anderson, Judith M Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Africana/African American Studies
Center for Ethnic Studies - Borough of Manhattan Community College
Research and Teaching interests: African Diaspora in the Americas; Latin American Studies, and Race and Identity in Argentina.

Avendaño, Alia Ph.D.
Coordinación de Humanidades de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México en el Programa Universitario de Estudios de la Diversidad Cultural y la Interculturalidad
Research and Teaching interests: Human Rights, indigenuous and afromexicans rights, indigenous people and comunities, racial discrimination, legal access to justice, afrofeminism, indigenous women and indigenous law.

Barreto, Paula, PhD.
Associate Professor IV of Sociology
Universidade Federal de Bahia

Research and Teaching interests: Contemporary expressions of racism and anti-racism in Brazil and Latin America

Boatcă, Manuela, PhD.
Professor, Department of Sociology
University of Freiburg

Research and Teaching Interests: Comparative sociology and world systems analysis ; Inequality theories ; Postcolonialism ; Sociology of gender ; Theories of social change.

Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo, PhD.
Chair and Professor of Sociology
Duke University

Research and Teaching Interests: Racial Stratification and Race Relations. 

Broguet, Julia.
Estudiante de Doctorado
Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires
Research and Teaching Interests: Raza, etnicidad y racismo.Estudios afro-latinoamericanos y argentinos. Cultura negra e identidades nacionales. Educación y dimensión étnico-racial.

Cadeau, Sabine, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching interests: Haiti, Ethnic Haitians in the Dominican Republic, Borders, State power

Cássia Dias, Rita, Ph.D.
Research and Teaching interests: Acesso, Permanência e Pós-Permanência na UFRB

Cetré Castillo, Moises, Ph.D.
Professor of City and territory and Sector Public                                                                    Universidad Nacional de Colombia                                                            
Research and Teaching Interests: Urbanism, Social Public Policies, analysis of social, Metropolitan areas and Climate Change.                                                                                 

Cetré Castilblanco, Andrea                                                                                                                 Gender Specialist on Women Economic Empowerment                                                                      University of South Florida                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Research and Teaching Interests: Economic empowerment,feminist economics, rural women, care economy and gender budgeting.  

Concha-Holmes, Amanda, Ph.D.
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO)
Sede Ecuador

Research and Teaching Interests: the collaborative production of film documentaries and new medias, which highlights marginalized ecological and cultural resources through the empowerment of local perspectives, voices and visions.

Campos Lazos, Angie
PhD student of Social Sciences with mention in social anthropology
Centre for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology - CIESAS Occidente, México                                                          
Research and Teaching Interests: Afro-Latin American studies with emphasis on the Afro-Peruvian people, black feminism, intersectionality in social contexts of mestizaje, political participation of social organizations and human rights.

Davis, Darién
Professor of History and Department Chair
Middlebury College
Research and Teaching Interests: Latin American cultural and social history, and on diaspora and immigration, Brazilian social and cultural history; African and Latino' diasporas in the Atlantic world and transnational cultural formation and resistance

Dixon, Kwame, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of political science
Howard University
Research and Teaching Interests:Afro-Politics and Civil Society, Racial Politics in Latin America, Afro Latin America, International Human Rights

Dzidzienyo, Anani
Associate Professor of Africana Studies
Associate Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies
Brown University
Research and Teaching Interests: Afro Latin Americans and Blackness in the Americas, Afro-Brazilians and the Brazilian Polity

Escobar, Maria Roxana
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) - University of Toronto
Research and Teaching Interests: Afro-Peruvian population, Interculturality studies, Black Feminist Thought, Justice Education, Feminist Criticism and Pedagogy

Ferreira Romio, Jackeline Aparecida                                                                                                Posdoc researcher / PhD in Demography
Department of Social Psychology and Labor
Institute of Psychology - University of São Paulo
Research and Teaching Interests: Demography, Social Vulnerability, Mortality, Gender based Violence, Feminicide, Sexual and reproductive health, Feminism, epistemologies from afro-descendant women, inequality studies based on race, gender and class, justice and equity, racial identities, psychosocial and sociodemographic analysis.

Fortes-Lima, Cesar, PhD
Postdoc researcher, sub-department of Human Evolution, Department of Organismal Biology
Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Sweden
Research and Teaching Interests: African Diaspora, Latin American populations, African-descendants, genetic identity, African ancestral origins, continental mass migrations, demographic history, genetic admixture, and molecular anthropology.

Gayles, Prisca
PhD. Student 
University of Texas - Austin
Research and Teaching interests: Cultural politics; Afrodescendants; civic engagement; citizenship; social inequalities

Glasgow, Camisia
Brown University

Gonzalez, Pedro Hernando, Ph.D.
Professor and Researcher
Universidad Santiago de Cali
Research and Teaching Interests: Marginality, exclusion, posconflict and social transformations in the Pacific Region of Colombia, Historical reconstruction of the the Pacific Ocean discovery and the settlement of the region

Gonzalez, Johnhenry Ph.D.
Lecturer in Caribbean History
Cambridge University

Research and Teaching Interests: Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Caribbean Studies, Latin American History, Slavery, Post-Emancipation Societies, Political Economy, Commodity History.

Greenbaum, Susan Ph.D.
Professor Emerita
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching Interests: Applied anthropology, urban anthropology, community development, urban ethnicity, AfroCubans in Tampa.

Gutiérrez Gómez, Alejandra
Master Student
Centro de Estudios Afrodescendientes Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Research and Teaching Interests: Rural economies in Afro-descendant populations; relationship between racism and classism; Cultural Management.

Harrison, Faye, Ph.D. 
Professor of Anthropology & African American Studies
Center for African Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research and Teaching Interests: Political anthropology, culture, politics, and political economy as they relate to forms of social inequality emphasizing race, gender,class, and (trans) national identity as interlocking dimensions of difference, inequality, and power.

Hernandez, Geidy                                                                                                                          Especialista en arte de los medios, guionista y asesora                                                                Centro de Investigaciones Psicológicas y Sociológicas CIPS                                                                                                                                            Research and Teaching Interests: antropologia social, cultura, género, representaciones sociales, medios de comunicación y audiencias, feminismos negros, vinculados a su visibilidad en los medios de comunicación. 

Hernandez, Tanya Kateri 
Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law

Research and Teaching Interests: Anti-Discrimination Law; Comparative Employment Discrimination; Critical Race Theory/research comparative law regarding race relations and discrimination against Afro-descendants.

Hooker, Juliet, Ph.D. 
Professor of Political Science
Brown University
Research and Teaching Interests: Racial and Social Class Inequalities in the Americas

Hordge-Freeman, Elizabeth, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and ISLAC Faculty
University of South Florida

Research and Teaching Interests: Latin America, Brazil, race & ethnicity, mental health, social psychology, racial socialization, family.

Hurtado Garcés, Rudy Amanda
Master in Sociology
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, FLACSO, Ecuador
Research and Teaching Interests: Social movements, race, ethnicity and citizenship

Kaly, Alain Pascal, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor 
Departamento de História no Instituto de Ciências Humanas e Sociais da Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ)
Research and Teaching Interests: Racial Relations, colonialism, cast societies in Western Africa, violation of human rights, and migration.

Lewis, Eshe, Ph.D.
University of Florida
Research and Teaching interests: Anthropology.

Lezama, Paula, M.A. 
Faculty Administrator for CCGE Institutes
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching interests: Development studies in general. Poverty and inequality, ethnic and racial disparities, institutional evolution and its impact on development with a regional focus on the southern cone, specifically, Colombia and Brazil.

Llorens, Hilda, Ph.D. 
Visiting Assistant Professor 
Brown University
Research and Teaching Interests: the Caribbean, U.S. Latinos, race, and blackness.

Main, Meredith, Ph.D.
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching interests: Anthropology.

Mootoo, Alexis, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Fiscal and Business Services, Office of Student Success 
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching interests: Government and International Affairs, Latin America, Afro-descendants.

Morrison, Judith
Senior Advisor 
Inter-American Development Bank
Research and Teaching interests: Social development, gender, and diversity division.

Mosquera Rosado, Ana Lucía
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching interests: Afro-descendants in Latin America, race and media representation, intercultural public policy.

Mosquera, Yilver
Ph.D (c) en Geografía
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Research and Teaching interests: paisajes expoliados, geografía histórica, geografía cultural, teoría de la escala, geografías de la negridad en Colombia.

Noles Cotito, Gabriela, MD, MPH 
International Advisor on Public Health
Research and Teaching interests: Race and ethnicity, and socio-economic status as social determinants of health for Afro-Latin Americans; Sexual and reproductive health in Afro-Latin Americans; Mental Health.

Noles Cotito, Mariela, LLM, MA
Universidad del Pacifico
Research and Teaching interests: Blackness in Indigenous Latin America, Critical Race Theory, Race and Gender relations in Latin America. 

Obezo, Kandya 
Deputy Director of Education and Participation
Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible, Colombia
Research and Teaching interests: Afro-Colombian communities, Colombian peace process, Ethnicity, economic and social development and politics.

Ocoró, Anny                                                                                                                                              Docente / investigadora                                                                                                                            FLACSO - Argentina                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Research and Teaching interests: Afro-descendants and educational policies with an ethnic - racial and gender perspective in Latin America; racism and higher education; curriculum and educational inequalities; black feminisms; gender, race and racism.

Oquendo, Jacqueline
PhD Student & SREB Fellow
Latinx Faculty & Staff Caucus | Executive Chair
Manship School of Mass Communication
Louisiana State University

Research and Teaching interests:Latinx digital life, and particularly, participatory networked communities (e.g.; Latinx Twitter). How Afro-Latinx and Afro-descendants participate, and present their identities online. Also,focus on populations in the U.S. and Circum-Caribbean

Oslender, Ulrich , Ph.D
Associate Professor of Geography
Florida International University
Research and Teaching interests: Political geography, cultural geography, political ecology, social movements, Latin America, Colombia, cultural politics of blackness, Afro-Latin America, forced displacement, geopolitical discourses on terror.

Palacios, Diego 
Estudiante de Doctorado                                                                                                                          FLACSO-Ecuador                                                                                                    
Research and Teaching interests: Sociología de las desigualdades. Raza, etnicidad y racismo. Afrodescendencia en Latinoamérica. Antropología del Estado. Sociedad y poder.

Padilla, Beatriz
Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching interests: migration, diversity, gender, health, inequalities and public policies. Recently, she co-edited a book on International Migrations and Public Policies in Portugal (Mundo Sociais, 2018), and another entitled Gender and mobility in present time / Género e mobilidades no tempo presente is in Press, coedited with Assis, Glaucia, and França, Thais, UDESC: Florianopolis.

Parra Fox, Adriana Elisa, Ph.D.
Professor and Researcher
Departamento de Trabajo Social Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó, Quibdó
Research and Teaching Interests: organized communities and sustainable development, community building capacity, social movements, displacement in Colombia.

Paschel, Tianna, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies
University of California - Berkeley
Research and Teaching Interests: Democracy, citizenship, and racism in comparative perspective.

Patiño, Natalia
Master Student
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching Interests: Afro-descendant communities at the Pacific region of Colombia, community and tradicional businesses participating in differentiated markets, heritage practices as market and businesses opportunities.

Paulino, Edward, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Department of History City University of New York
Research and Teaching Interests: race; genocide; borders; nation-building; Latin America and the Caribbean; the African Diaspora; and New York State history.

Peria, Michelle, Ph.D. 
University of California Irvine
Research and Teaching Interest: Race and ethnicity, globalization, Latin American studies, social movements, sociology of gender, qualitative research methods, sociology of culture, social theory, and public policy.

Perry, Keisha-Khan, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Department of Africana Studies 
Brown University
Research and Teaching Interests: Race, gender, and politics in the Americas, urban geography and questions of citizenship, intellectual history and disciplinary formation, and the interrelationship between scholarship, pedagogy and political engagement in Brazil, the Caribbean and the United States.

Prosper, Mamyrah, Ph.D. 
Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies 
North Carolina State University
Research and Teaching Interests: Social movements in the Americas and particularly Haiti.

Queeley, Andrea, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and African & African Diaspora Studies
Florida International University
Research and Teaching Interests: African Diaspora subject formation, migration, and the negotiation of globalized structural inequalities. Questions of social hierarchy and diversity within the African Diaspora in their political context.

Quevedo Canales, Alicia del Pilar                                                                                                    Specialist in Territorial Management of the Direction for Public Policies for Afro Peruvian Population                                                                                                                                              Ministry of Culture- Peru                                                                                                                                                                                                  Research and Teaching Interests:Human Rights and ethnicity with emphasis in africandescent population

Rahill, Guitele, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor in Social Work
University of South Florida

Research and Teaching Interests: Developing culturally relevant health and mental health interventions for Haitians at home and in the Diaspora.

Restrepo, Eduardo
Profesor titular
Universidad Javeriana
Research and Teaching Interests: Afro-descendants, Pacific region of Colombia, Afro-Colombian studies.

Anton,  Jhon Sanchez
Profesor titular agregado 1
Insituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales - Ecuador
Research and Teaching interests:Experto en temas etnicos e afrodescendientes. Derechos Humanos, interculturalidad y politicas publicas. Investigadoren áreas relacionadas a plurinacionalidad, raza y etnicidad, discriminación y estadisticas sobre desigualdades raciales y etnicas en America Latina.

Simeon-Jones, Kersuze, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching Interests: Intellectual history: literary and political movements of the Black Diaspora, francophone studies, Haitian history and literature; women history within the Black Diaspora.

Smith, Christen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of Texas - Austin
Research and Teaching interests: Blackness, performance, racial formation, violence, Black women and transnational struggle, Black liberation and resistance in the Americas (particularly Brazil and the United States)

Stuesse, Angela, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research and Teaching Interests: Neoliberal globalization; race, ethnicity, and identity; migration; labor; human rights; social movements; methodologies of activist research. Migration in the Americas, engaging ethnography, cultural anthropology, contemporary applied anthropology, methods in cultural research.

Telles, Edward, Ph.D
Professor, Department of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara
Research and Teaching Interests: Survey methods, social demography, race and ethnicity, immigration, immigrant integration, Latin America, U.S. Latinos.

Thame, Maziki, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor at the University of the West Indies- Mona Campus
Research and Teaching Interests: Caribbean and Latin American Race and Nationalism

Treitler, Vilna Bashi, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Black Studies
Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Research and teaching interests: Comparative dynamics of hierarchical socioeconomic structures, international migration, inequality, racial structures. Qualitative research methods

Vergara Figueroa, Aurora, Ph.D.
Universidad Icesi
Research and Teaching Interests: Race, ethnicity, class, and gender.

Yelvington, Kevin, Ph.D. 
University of South Florida
Research and Teaching Interests: Ethnic, class, and gender relations, urban anthropology, political anthropology, public policy, the anthropology of work, labor studies, development studies, housing, tourism, historical & nbsp,approaches to anthropology, history of anthropology, history of science, Marx and anthropology, & nbsp,the African Diaspora, Latin American and Caribbean history, literature, and popular culture.