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About this discussion

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[email protected] Now: Mestilegio is a conversation on how AfroLatinidad is moving beyond visibility and disrupting the myth of mestizaje and will center on how AfroLatiné communities are centering Blackness. Join us for this discussion with Pablo José López Oro (Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Smith College), Melissa Valle (Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, African American and African Studies at Rutgers University-Newark), Guesnerth Josue Perea (Director of the [email protected] forum), and moderated by Ryan Mann-Hamilton (Professor of Anthropology at LaGuardia Community College, and Seminar Faculty Leader of Environment Community Humanities Oasis (ECHO) project).

This event is part of the [email protected] Now: Conversaciones, a series of discussions hosted by the [email protected] forum aimed at understanding the current landscape of AfroLatiné communities and how AfroLatinidad has shifted since the formation of the [email protected] forum.

This event is co-sponsored by [email protected] forum, the Latinx Heritage Committee, and the Faculty and Staff of Color Collective (FSOC) at LaGuardia College, CUNY, the Environment Community Humanities Oasis (ECHO) project led by Ryan Mann-Hamilton as part of the Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research from the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center CUNY, and the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC).

Participant's Bios:

Dr. Ryan Mann-Hamilton

Dr. Ryan Mann-Hamilton is Assistant Professor in the Social Science Department at CUNY LaGuardia and teaches a variety of courses in Anthropology, Music and Latin American and Caribbean studies. Dr. Mann-Hamilton has extensive experience working on land and marine based conservation projects and supporting and participating in food sovereignty projects in the Caribbean, and environmental justice activism in the context of the Americas. He is currently the faculty Co-Leader of the Presidents Society Environment Program and was also selected as Faculty Lead by the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center to direct a two year public engagement program focusing on the relationship between race, environment and the humanities that will center the experiences and existing networks between communities in New York and those in the Caribbean. He has extensive experience in public programming, environmental consulting and curriculum development. His most recent publication was a chapter on community centered fisheries conservation and education programs that were developed in the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas and the lessons learned from that endeavor.


Dr. Melissa M. Valle

Dr. Melissa M. Valle is an assistant professor, jointly appointed in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of African American and African Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. She is also a core faculty member of the Global Urban Studies/Urban Systems Ph.D. program. Dr. Valle is cultivating a body of research that unpacks the notion of “racial worth” by revealing how symbolic meanings become embedded within distributive frameworks and subsequently contribute to inequality in the Americas. Dr. Valle’s current book project, Battling for Worth: Race, Recognition, and Urban Change on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast (under contract with Oxford University Press) explores the criteria people use to determine what and who has worth, at different spatial scales, in the context of urban spatial and economic change in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Prior to completing her PhD, she spent ten years working with youth in various capacities, most recently as a New York City Teaching Fellow on the Lower East Side. She also worked as a community development public policy director in Harlem. Dr. Valle is a recipient of a Fulbright student award to Colombia and has dual bachelor’s degrees in economics and Afro-American Studies from Howard University, a Master of Public Administration in public and nonprofit management and policy from New York University, a Master of Science for Teachers in childhood education from Pace University, and a Master of Arts, Master of Philosophy, and Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University.


Dr. Pablo José López Oro

Dr. Pablo José López Oro is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Smith College. His research and teaching interests are on Black Latin American and U.S. Black Latinx social movements, Black Feminist & LGBTQ activism and political mobilizations, and Black Queer Feminist ethnographies in the Américas. His current manuscript, Indigenous Blackness in the Americas: The Queer Politics of Self-Making Garifuna New York is a transdisciplinary ethnography on how gender and sexuality shapes the ways in which transgenerational Garifuna New Yorkers of Central American descent negotiate, perform, and articulate their multiple subjectivities as Black, Indigenous, and AfroLatinx. He has been with the [email protected] forum since August 2009.


Guesnerth Josué Perea

Guesnerth Josué Perea is a Director of the [email protected] forum and a recipient of the Rising Leaders Fellowship. He has written and discussed AfroLatinidad extensively throughout his career and his research on Afro-Colombianidad has been part of various publications including Let Spirit Speak! Cultural Journeys through the African Diaspora and the Journal for Colombian Studies. Josué was named by the newspaper amNewYork as one of five Colombians "making a mark" in New York City. Josue holds a MA in Theology from Alliance Theological Seminary, and BA in Latin American History from the City College of New York.


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