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We would like to thank Dr. Bernd Reiter for his work as the first director of the Afrodescendant working group for the last decade. (see "background" on this site for history) We have reconstituted the administrative framework and created a steering committee to allow for greater collaboration among scholars throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa. The working group remains open to all scholars interested in sharing research about Afrodesendants in Latin America, broadly defined. We have historically focuses on Portuguese and Spanish-speaking countries, but look forward to studies in the French-speaking world in the future. From 2022-2024, Dr. Darién J. Davis will serve as Executive Coordinator. The transnational co-coordinators with various responsibilities include Dr. John Anton Sanchez, Dr. Roberto Barrios, Missael Duarte,

Sonia Elizabeth Viveros Padilla, and Henry Steven Rebolledo. If you are a scholar or activists and would like to join our working group, please write the steering committee at: Check out "Future Events" for long term-plans including a 2024 conference at the University of  New Orleans. Below, please find short descriptions of member of the steering committee in alphabetical order.

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DR JOHN ANTÓN SÁNCHEZ is the Titular Professor and Investigator at the Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales (IAEN) in Ecuador. His research focuses on the African diaspora in the Americas, racism and the theories related to the rights of local communities and nations.


DR. JUDITH ANDERSON is a cultural anthropologist, Afro-Latin Americanist, and Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic and Race Studies at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College. She has multiple publications and projects based on Afrodescendents. Among her many affiliations, Dr Anderson is the inaugural member of CUNY’s Black, Race, and an inaugural fellow in the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York’s “We Are All Brooklyn Fellowship Against Hate.”


DR. ROBERTO E. BARRIOS is Doris Zemurray Stone Chair of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of New Orleans. He has conducted ethnographies of disaster recovery and mitigation in Central America, Mexico, the United States, and the Caribbean. His work is attentive to the ways histories of racialization and class distinction inequitably distribute disaster risk.


DR. DARIEN JOHN DAVIS is Professor of History, Black Studies and Global and International Studies at Middlebury College. He is 2021 Distinguished Fulbright Chair for Migration Studies at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Marseille, France and former Simon Bolivar Chair at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Sorbonne Paris III. His work focuses on the rights and cultural production of Afrodescendants and other minorities.

Duarte Missael

MISSAEL DUARTE is a doctoral candidate at Texas Tech University. Missael is interested in pursuing work in environmental justice, human rights and literature. Missael has served as communication coordinator for the working group since 2020.

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HENRY STEVEN REBOLLEDO is a doctorate candidate at the Unviersitat de Valencia España and the Universidad de Manizales, Colombia. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in Human Rights. He is a member of many groups fighting for the elimination of racism including part a research group on ethnoeducation and racial studies and the Asociación Afrodescendiente Pacifico por la Paz, Neiva-huila, Colombia.


SONIA ELIZABETH VIVEROS PADILLA is an Afro-Ecuadorian social activist. She is the founder of several national and international human rights organizations with extensive experience in organizations that lobby for the rights of indigenous people and people of African descent. She is also former director of the Sistema Nacional para la Prevención de la Violencia contra la Mujer and the Secretaría de Derechos Humanos.

Dr. Bernd Reiter

Dr. Bernd Reiter is the past director of the working group. His work focuses on race, human rights, and democracy and decolonization. See information and forthcoming interview under under "Background." Dr. Reiter will continue to work with the steering committee in this period of transition.

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