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ISLAC Working Group: Afrodescendants of the Americas
Afrodescendant Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean: Creating Networks, Capabilities, and Agency
Project Summary

This project seeks to establish a collaborative network of social movements, activists, scholars, and funding agencies across Latin America and the Caribbean working around the theme of Afro-descendants and their living conditions.

Project Background

In this panorama, this project seeks to contribute to the strengthening of race-based civil society organizations across Latin America and the Caribbean by establishing an international network of organizations/activists and researchers/universities, working on issues pertaining to this segment of the population, such as poverty and inequality, public policy and advocacy, education and training, etc. We believe that by building bridges of collaboration between the academic and grassroots organizations it is possible to have a larger impact on people’s lives. It is accepted that individual welfare is enhanced by collective action; hence, by establishing a network of networks we expect to contribute to the development of the people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Description of the Project

General Objectives

  1. To establish a collaborative transnational network of Afro-descendants’ social movements, activists and scholars across Latin America and the Caribbean.
  2. To develop a five-year action plan that will match resources with necessities. This plan would seek to establish lines of collaboration across borders and replicate successful initiatives within specific contexts. Placing an important weight on human capital formation and active civil society participation.
  3. To develop the first version of the yearly summer school at USF Panama with all network members. Participants will share experiences, practice and perfect critical aspects defined previously in the five-year action plan. The summer school is visualized as a cohort experiment so to facilitate assessment evaluation and dataset building.

Specific Objectives

  1. To further populate the small database of activists, civil society organizations and scholars working on issues of Afro-descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean that started with the conference.
  2. To implement a survey according to the categories specified in the data set, with the aim of identifying and matching the specific capabilities and necessities of each Afro-descendant activist/social movement/scholar.
  3. To develop and build constantly a network database that will facilitate constant improvement of the network while allowing primary research initiatives to take place.

Participating Organizations and Activists

  • Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean (ISLAC), University of South Florida (USF), United States
  • Organization of American States (OAS), United States
  • Movimiento Nacional Cimarrón (CIMARRON), Colombia
  • Organization of Ethnic Community Development (ODECO), Honduras
  • Afro-Bolivian Center for Comprehensive Community Development (CADIC), Bolivia
  • Center for Ethnic Development (CEDET), Peru
  • Steve Biko Cultural Institute, Brazil
  • Community Enterprise of the Rural Women of Guapi - Rios Unidos, Colombia