“Afro-Latin@s Now—Race Counts!” Conference

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The AfroLatin@ Forum is pleased to present “Afro-Latin@s Now: Race Counts!”—a three-day international conference to be held October 23–25, 2014, in New York City. This gathering will provide a unique opportunity to examine the structural and ideological barriers to full Afro-Latino representation and discuss opportunities for positive social change.

Description: Building on our highly successful 2011 conference the Forum will again bring together activists, cultural workers, community members, academics and other stakeholders representing the vast, diverse Afro-Latino population. This year’s event focuses specifically on how race counts, i.e., matters, for Latin@s of African descent and the need to quantify that racialized experience. Our conference is an extension of the Forum’s general anti-racism work and targets efforts to overlook racial considerations when referring to Latin@s. We understand that such efforts contribute to Afro-Latin@ invisibility and are consistent with broader post-racial ideologies, as traditionally presented throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and increasingly advocated in the U.S.

Throughout the Americas, Afro-Latin@s are subject to severe systemic invisibility at all levels of society, in public and private institutions and agencies as well as in the general discourse on race and ethnicity. In Latin America, African descendants are well over a third of the total population and 50% of those living in poverty. In the U.S., where “Black” and “Latin@” are commonly represented as being mutually exclusive, less than 3% of all Latin@s identify as racially Black. This glaring disconnect between lived experience and formal documentation has resulted in vastly unequal access to healthcare, education, housing, employment, and political representation for millions of Latinos and Latinas of African descent.

Afro-Latin@s Now: Race Counts! will provide a unique opportunity for us to examine and discuss the structural and ideological barriers to full Afro-Latino identity, visibility and representation. By consolidating networks, advancing common educational and advocacy agendas and charting out strategies for future collaborative work we will identify opportunities for positive social change and racial justice.

Afro-Latin@s Now: Race Counts! will be preceded by a series of public programs at various venues throughout New York City. Check in regularly for updates on these programs and for details on the conference.

To submit a paper proposal, go to http://www.afrolatinoforum.org/call-for-papers.html

For more information, see http://www.afrolatinoforum.org/afro-latinos-now—race-counts.html

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