Miriam Jiménez Román
Miriam Jiménez Román is Executive Director of afrolatin@ forum. For over a decade she researched and curated socio-historical exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where she also served as the Assistant Director of the Scholars-in-Residence Program. She was the Managing Editor and Editor of Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. She has taught courses on race, ethnicity, and gender in Latin America and the Caribbean at Binghamton, Brown and Columbia universities. A frequent speaker and consultant on African American and Latino issues, her essays on diasporic racial formations and inter-ethnic relations have appeared in a number of scholarly publications. A visiting scholar in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, she is co-editor of The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in The United States (2010), which received this year’s American Book Award.
Guesnerth Josué Perea
Guesnerth Josué Perea is the Director of Programs and Communications for the afrolatin@ forum. His research has been part of various publications including Let Spirit Speak! Cultural Journeys through the African Diaspora and the Journal for Colombian Studies. He has spoken about issues regarding race and social justice for the Inter-American Foundation, the National Urban League, NAACP, the LATISM Conference and has been a guest on the Spanish-language political talk show Pura Politica which airs on NY1 Noticias. His insights on social media as a tool for change were published in Just BE Cause: Ah Ha Moments To Inspire the Next Generation of Change Makers. In 2010, Josué was named by the newspaper amNewYork as one of five Colombians "making a mark" in New York City. Josué holds degrees in Latin American History and Theology.
Zaire Dinzey-Flores is Associate Professor in Sociology and Latino & Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on understanding how urban space mediates community life and social inequality. Her book, Locked In, Locked Out: Gated Communities in a Puerto Rican City, winner of the 2014 Robert E. Park Award for best book in urban and community sociology, investigates race and class inequality as negotiated through community gates in private and public housing. Her new project examines race and class as enacted in the production of housing built environments in a gentrifying neighborhood.
Raquel Casilla-Reynoso currently serves as the Director of Operations and Administration for the afrolatin@ forum, serving with the organization since 2011. She received her MPA from NYU Wagner - Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy Program, with a specific concentration on managing nonprofits. Born and raised in New York City, Raquel obtained a B.A. in History from Nyack College, and has taught as the Associate Lecturer of World History at Nyack College since 2005. Raquel’s area of interest within the social sector is in empowering communities of color by expanding access to higher education and income equality opportunities.
Kwami Coleman is a pianist, composer, and musicologist from Harlem and an Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University. He received his Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford University in May 2014 and is an alumnus of Hunter College - City University of New York. Kwami's research interests are in the musical traditions of the African Diaspora, postcolonialism, historiography, aesthetics, experimentalism, jazz history, and improvisation. In addition to Harlem, Kwami has family roots in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Brooklyn.
Melissa M. Valle
Melissa M. Valle is a board member of the afrolatin@ forum and a sociology Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University. She was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student award to explore how symbolic boundaries related to race, class and gender are translated into spatial and social boundaries in a gentrifying neighborhood in Cartagena, Colombia. She previously served as a New York City Teaching Fellow on the Lower East Side and as a community development public policy director in Harlem. She holds a dual BA in economics and African-American studies from Howard University, and masters degrees in public and nonprofit management and policy, education and sociology.
Pablo José López Oro
Pablo José López Oro is a doctoral student in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He holds an undergraduate degree in History and graduate degrees in Latin American Studies, Bilingual Education, and African American Studies. He taught middle school Spanish in East Harlem for three years as a Teach for America 2009 corps. His research looks at second and third generation Garífuna Honduran youths articulation of their Blackness, Indigeneity, and Latinidad in New York City. He has been an afrolatin@ forum member since Fall 2009 and currently remains active in the Conference Planning Committee.