On May 19 and 23, two Afro-Venezuelan students, Roraima Gutiérrez and Juan Daniel Morocoima, will give three talks in Washington, D.C. organized by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Cimarrones-Howard University and the TransAfrica Forum, where they will discuss Afro-Venezuelan culture, education and social movements, particularly among the country’s youth.
The first event, a lunchtime talk will be held from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., while the second, an evening talk, will take place from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The events are part of IPS’s Foreign Policy in Focus to celebrate Venezuela’s Month of the Afro-Descendents.
Additionally, on Monday, May 23, Cimarrones and TransAfrica Forum will present Gutiérrez and Morocoima in a discussion on multiculturalism, leadership, political consciousness, and young adults in Venezuela. This third event will be held at TransAfrica Forum, 1929 K St. NW Suite 1100, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
On the Students
Originally from Maracay, in the northern coastal state of Aragua, Gutiérrez is singer of a group called Tamboriprimo and is a member of the Afro-Venezuelan Network (ROA), an umbrella organization for the country’s grassroots Afro movements. She recently completed a degree in education with a concentration in social science. Her family comes from an African-descendant village called Cumboto. Self-recognized as Afro-Venezuelan, Gutiérrez also celebrates her Afro-Indigenous ethnicity.
Juan Daniel Morocoima, 26, was born in Caracas and is a student at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), and he studies English and Portuguese. He is part of the Hip-Hop group Pieles Rojas and is interested in learning more about African-American culture.
On May 10, the Venezuelan National Assembly unanimously approved the Organic Law Against Racial Discrimination, which will establish mechanisms to prevent, respond to, punish and eradicate racial discrimination by any person, group of persons, public authorities, and private institutions.
In Venezuela, May is designated as Month of the Afro-Descendents, while the national day of Afro-Venezuelans, created by the National Assembly in 2005, is celebrated on May 10.
Read our Fact Sheet about Afro-Venezuelans and the fight against racism in Venezuela.
Law Against Racial Discrimination Approved
Congressman Highlights Advances in Fighting Discrimination in Venezuela
Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / May 13, 2011