CLACS Anti Racist Resources

At CLACS we stand in solidarity with the plight of African Americans, Afro-Descendants, and Afro-Indigenous communities, as well as with Indigenous People, and Immigrants, and against racism, xenophobia, and abuse of any kind. Through the years, we have created promoted scholarship, initiatives and programming designed to address the historical, cultural, and institutional roots of these issues and open the academic space to these conversations. As part of our commitment to continue promoting conversations and offering educational resources that would help further the understanding our current state of affairs, we want to share in one place some of those events held over the years.


A Conversation with the Creator of Djatawo, Haiti’s First Comic Book Superhero

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Held in October 27, 2015, this intimate conversation and live drawing sessions with Atón, as part of our Kreyol at NYU program, highlighted the inspiration and creative process behind the genesis of Djatawo, the first Haitian comic book hero.

CUBANGOLA: Rethinking the 1975 African-Cuban War

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Held in November 6, 2015, this conference offered a remarkable look at the Cuban intervention in the Angola civil war and the instances of south to south collaboration in the confrontation against Apartheid in Africa.


Mother Tongues United: The Importance of the Mother Tongue in Children’s Literature in the Caribbean

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In this edition of Mother Tongues United held in October 17, 2016, an initiative of the Haitian Creole Language Institute of New York, CLACS hosted authors and scholars of  historically  undervalued Creole languages of the Caribbean in conversation about educational efforts and initiatives to demystify and decolonize them.

Nana Dijo: Irresolute Radiography of Black Consciousness

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On January 30, 2017, CLACS presented a film screening and Q&A with Afro Mexican hip hop artist and filmmaker Bocafloja. The film Nana Dijo, is a cartography of the experience of Afro Descendants in the Americas narrated from first hand experiences.


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A presentation on October 23, 2017 about the life and work of Afro Cuban artist Belkis Ayón inspired by the retrospective hosted at El Museo del Barrio. The panel organized by NYU IFA’s Edward Sullivan, counted with a panel of scholars, artists and collectors of her art.


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This was an extraordinary symposium of artists and scholars discussing the traveling exhibit by the same name held on February 26, 2018. The exhibit was inspired by the life and work of Jose Antonio Aponte’s, the Cuban freed slave, revolutionary and anti-racist icon,  book of paintings.

Argentine & Black: A Conversation with Fidel Nadal

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An insightful conversation with Argentine Punk Rock Pioneer/Reggae Singer/Black Activist Fidel Nadal, about his life growing up black in the South American country. This event was held on March 18, 2018 at CUNY BMCC, in collaboration with the Center for Ethnic Studies, organized and moderated by Professor Judith Anderson.

Nou Lèd: Men Nou La? – Colorism in Haiti & the Haitian Diaspora

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CLACS’s Kreyol at NYU program instructor Wynnie Lamour, organized and moderated a timely conversation about the historical roots and effects of colorism in Haiti and its communities abroad. It featured a film screening and panel conversation with filmmakers Jessica Pierre and Francesca Andre. The event was held on April 26, 2018


Illuminated Legacy: Celebrating 500 Years of African and Native Peoples’ Anti-Colonial Unity

Illuminated Legacy was a celebration of solidarity against colonialism since the time of the European encounter in the Americas. This event, held on May 15, 2018, featured renowned Afro-Indigenous Garífuna and Native American leaders/activists Miriam Miranda and Tom Goldtooth in conversation about the effects of colonialism, extractivism, and hemispheric solidarity over five centuries.


Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land

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A conversation and book presentation by Soul Fire Farm’s co-founder, educator, activist, and author, Leah Penniman held on February 6, 2019. Farming While Black is a manual for African-heritage people ready to reclaim their rightful place of dignified agency in the food system. “To farm while Black is an act of defiance against white supremacy and a means to honor the agricultural ingenuity of our ancestors.”


Silences & Echoes in the Research of Racial Classifications in Brazil, Perú, and the US

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Presented on November 5, 2019 by CLACS Visiting Scholar Camila Daniel as part of the Racisms in Comparative Perspective Working Group organized by Prof. Pamela Calla, the presentation centered on the the challenges of studying race from a transnational approach.


CLACS K-12 Educator Initiatives You Should Know About


We are starting off the Summer with two initiatives designed to give educators tool and resources to address timely issues of immigration, language learning, and teaching in times of COVID-19.


CLACS 2020 Teacher Fellowship Program:

Teaching About Language, Contemporary Culture and Immigration

2020 Teacher Fellows Deadline Extended

The Teacher Fellowship Program promotes the development of K-12 curriculum focused on the themes of language, contemporary culture, and immigration in Latin America and the Caribbean. The year-long program will include monthly workshops and mentoring by experts and CLACS faculty members, culminating in the presentation of a capstone curricular project that is both classroom applicable and that can be made available online to educators.  Apply by June 5, 2020



2020 Virtual Summer Institute for K-12 Educators:

Teaching the Middle East and Latin America in the Time of Covid-19



The purpose of this summer institute, indeed “unprecedented” is an appropriate term, is to provide through a month-long virtual format some of the tools and content that will be useful for teachers in designing engaging curricula for students in the age of Covid-19.  How might historical incidences of plague in the Mediterranean and Middle East underscore the continued impact of global trade networks?  How have colonial legacies in Latin America impacted the infrastructural and governmental capabilities in dealing with disease?  What is the role of xenophobia towards and neglect of vulnerable populations, whether Middle Eastern refugee groups or indigenous communities in Latin America, in magnifying the intensity and probability of the spread of disease?  What can we learn from cultural or “traditional” health practices of these communities in preventing the spread of disease?

The institute’s sessions will address important theoretical approaches to terms such as “disease,” “pandemic,” “public health,” and “quarantine.”  Specialists will be presenting on their expertise drawn from a variety of fields, such as area studies, history, medical anthropology, political science, humanitarianism and human rights studies. Through a comparative approach that utilizes Latin America and the Middle East as two specific case studies, though with constant connections, influences, and impacts from/to the wider globe, we will explore both historical episodes of disease as well as the contemporary.

Please note that the institute is free, but registration is limited. To register, teachers must fill out a Google Form here and an Eventbrite here.

Recap – Coco Fusco on the Art of Intervention: A Screening and Artist Talk (2/24)

On February 24, CLACS hosted renowned interdisciplinary artist Coco Fusco for a screening of her film The Art of Intervention: The Performances of JuanSí González (2016), and a Q&A between Fusco and the audience regarding both the film and contemporary performance art in Cuba. In the film which includes footage and interviews, JuanSí González who now based in Ohio, talks about his performance pieces in 1980’s Havana and the politics of art in the Caribbean island. The discussion also covered the role of art in activism and ways in which public performance art often blurs the lines between art and politics. Visit the CLACS Youtube channel to view the entire event.

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New episode of Rimasun Podcast: Coronavirus Runasimipi Mast’arisqa

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Kay rimaymi “coronavirusmanta” mast’arin imayna ama hap’ichikunapaq ima. Julián Roca Aguilar, Perú suyumanta runasimi rimaqmi. Paymi “activista digital” nisqa imaymana rikch’aq rimanapi rimamun runasimi kawsananpaq willakamun ima llapa runasimi rimaq runakunapaq.

Este audio explica qué es el coronavirus y qué podemos hacer para evitar la transmisión. Julián Roca Aguilar es quechua hablante de Perú. El trabaja como activista digital, usando una variedad de medios de comunicación para promover el uso del idioma quechua e informando a la comunidad en su idioma originario.

This podcast explains what coronavirus is and how we can avoid spreading it. Julián Roca Aguilar is a Quechua speaker from Peru. As a digital activist, he uses a variety of media to promote the use of Quechua and to inform broader communities in his native language.

Click here to view Julián’s YouTube channel.


Recap – Boyhood and Masculinity in Contemporary Guyanese Film (2/3)

On February 3rd, CLACS began its Spring programing with the event Boyhood and Masculinity in Contemporary Guyanese Film. The event co-sponsored by the Department of Art & Public Policy at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, featured screenings of Gavin Ramoutar’s short film, Antiman, as well as Mason Richards’ short film The Seawall.

In Ramoutar’s Antiman, an introverted young teen navigates the pressure by his father to become a cricket player. While he must prove his masculinity, he privately reconciles his love for an older boy while living in a homophobic village in a Guyanese countryside. In Richards’ The Seawall, ten year-old Malachi prepares to leave the capital city of Georgetown, Guyana and his beloved grandmother for the United States. As he wrestles with the impending rupture from his motherland, the film examines how migration, felt and lived through a child’s experiences, fragments a family. 


The screenings were followed by an insightful conversation on the issues of boyhood, masculinity, and migration, within the Guyanese and Caribbean diaspora with Mason and Ramoutar, and Dr. Sheril Antonio who is Associate Arts Professor in the department of Art and Public Policy and the Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The event was organized in partnership with Grace Aneiza Ali, who also moderated the conversation.

Click here to Watch a video recap of this event.

Recap: Caravans in Context: Central America and the History of Forced Migration (2/10/20)

On February 10th, CLACS hosted its first event of the Spring 2020 calendar titled Caravans in Context: Central America and the History of Forced Migration. The event brought a historical and current affair Central American perspective to the conversation on immigration, through film and conversation. It featured a screening of Casa en Tierra Ajena, followed by a conversation with its producer Carlos Sandoval, a professor at the University of Costa Rica; author of Otros Amenazantes (2008) and No More Walls (2017), and Carla García, a Garífuna leader and International Relations Coordinator for  Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH)

The conversation highlighted the the issues land rights and security, the repercussions for different communities (indigenous, afro descendants, and farmers) after leaving lands and territories, while explaining the various historical issues forcing migration. This conversation was moderated by the event’s organizer, CLACS Faculty Fellow, Daniel Mendiola.

Watch a video recap of Caravans in Context here.


Rio de Janeiro and The Aftermath of Marielle Franco’s Execution

Posted by Susana Costa Amaral, PhD Candidate, Department of Spanish and Portuguese at NYU

Eu sou porque nós somos” was Marielle Franco’s campaign slogan when she ran for office in 2016. The Brazilian congresswoman from Favela da Maré was elected with more than 40,000 votes for Rio de Janeiro’s Legislative Assembly. Black, lesbian, single-mother, she was a human rights activist, who constantly criticized and denounced police abuse and civil rights violations, particularly when it occurred in the most vulnerable areas of the city. Her political platform was based on the promise to give visibility to black and peripheral minorities of Rio de Janeiro.

On March 14, 2018, Marielle Franco was executed along with her driver, Anderson Gomes, while leaving a public event held at Casa das Pretas (Black Women’s House), a space created for hosting the voices of black women from the favelas. After a polemic investigation that lasted over a year, two former police officers were arrested accused of killing Franco, shedding light on Rio de Janeiro’s parallel state ruled by mílicias – paramilitary gangs led by Rio’s police force. Acting as an almost lateral power, the milícias operate wherever there is a vacuum or omission of the state. And for the last two decades, these groups have grown more powerful and their areas of influence have spread throughout the “marvelous city,” under the blind eye of Rio’s governors, of which five are or have been imprisoned sometime just in the past three years.

Despite the arrests, the question “Who killed Marielle Franco?” still haunts the streets of the city. It is unknown who ordered Marielle’s murder, as the two police officers accused of carrying out the action used to operate a “crime office,” responsible for executing commissioned killings.

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