ONLINE EVENT – Afro-descendants: Striving for Equality in Latin America


Event Summary This event has passed.

The social exclusion of Latin Americans of African descent is one of the most pressing policy and development issues facing the hemisphere. Several countries have made steady progress over the last few decades, thanks in large part to the work of civil society organizations, advocates, and others. But racial discrimination, income disparity, and related issues remain, and Afro-descendants continue to be disproportionately impacted by the myriad of challenges affecting Latin America, where they comprise at least one quarter of the population.

The short- and long-term effects of the pandemic have put at risk the region’s economic gains; furthermore, coronavirus rates for Afro-descendants may be three to eight times higher than the population as a whole. It is crucial that governments in preparing their economic recovery plans consider the longstanding economic obstacles confronting Afro-descendants and ensure that these plans are inclusive and equitable.

The Inter-American Dialogue and the Inter-American Foundation are pleased to convene a discussion to examine the unique challenges faced by Afro-descendent communities in Latin America and evaluate current policies.

Panelists will address the following questions:

  • How has Covid-19 affected the progress made by Afro-descendent communities in Latin America and the Caribbean during the last decade?
  • How have race-related concerns been implemented in the development policy agenda of governments and international cooperation agencies?
  • How can policymakers and development practitioners develop inclusive plans that address the concerns of Afro-descendent communities and ensure that future progress is not lost?

Follow the event at #AfrodescendantsLatAm or at @The_Dialogue and @IAFgrassroots.

We invite participants to send questions through the Q&A function on Zoom. You can also submit questions to

Please note that this event will be held in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Simultaneous interpretation is available for those who join the event online through the RSVP.


Introductory Remarks:

Paloma Adams-Allen

President & CEO, Inter-American Foundation (@PalomaAdamsA)

Keynote Address:

Gregory W. Meeks

US Representative for New York’s 5th congressional district; Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee (@RepGregoryMeeks)


Paula Moreno

President, Manos Visibles; Former Minister of Culture, Colombia (@PaulaMorenoZ)

Judith Morrison

Senior Advisor for Social Development in the Gender and Diversity Division, Inter-American Development Bank (@JuditMorrison)

Marco Antonio Ramírez

Board President, Ashanti Perú Red Peruana de Jóvenes Afrodescendientes (@elafroperuano)

Maria Sylvia de Oliveira

President, GELEDÉS Instituto da Mulher Negra, Brazil (@MSylviaOliv)


Michael Shifter

President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)


This event is hosted in partnership with the Inter-American Foundation as part of the commemoration of the IAF’s 50th anniversary and the two-decade partnership between our organizations.

Inter-American Foundation

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