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In Latin America, the Afrodescendant population has systematically been made invisible in decision-making spaces, as well as in the design of public policies that value their contribution to the economy, society and the State. According to the last measurements of the ECLAC in 2020, approximately 21% of the Latin American population is Afrodescendant[1]. The countries with the greatest percentage of Afro population are Haiti (95.5%) and Brazil (50.9%), followed by Cuba (35.9%) and Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and the Dominican Republic, with a representation of between 7 and 10% of the population.

According to ECLAC, States must adopt measures to “counteract the power that a social group may have over others within the differentiations and asymmetrical cultural encounters determined by globalization” (2020), and this includes the political participation of communities. This is why it is important for Pulsante to promote the work of Afrodescendant organizations in their agenda of participation and awareness, as an approach to reducing inequalities.

At Pulsante, we are working with three organizations that claim Afrodescendant identity as their main approach for participation in public policy and that are changing history in the Americas: Afrochingonas in Mexico, Ashanti in Peru and Mulheres Negras Decidem (Black Women Decide – MND) in Brazil.

To combat invisibility, Afrochingonas has opened dialogues and increased its presence in the media through its podcast. This work, heard in the Americas and Europe, has opened up spaces to other media that want to listen. It has been published in Vogue magazine, reaching a massive public typically disconnected from the problems and contributions of Afro culture in Latin America. In these spaces, the group reflects on the rights of Afrodescendants, questions spaces that have given privilege to White capitalist logic and shows the experiences of Afrodescendant women in their everyday lives. Listening to these experiences lets people become aware, but above all reflect and question how they may experience racial structures within family, social and work dynamics, so they can change them. Afrochingonas has twice been invited to the Afrolatinx Festival of the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in California, to share its experiences and let its voice echo far beyond Mexico.

In the Andean Region, Ashanti Perú is an organization that works with Peruvian Afrodescendant leaders to defend their social, economic and cultural rights, through participation and advocacy in communication spaces and politics. Ashanti Perú works to prepare young Afrodescendant leaders and has already trained more than 600 young Afro-Peruvians; 180 young people have been able to advocate in political spaces. The design of its training courses has been supported by the National Secretariat for Youth, the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima, the National Jury of Elections and the Organization of American States (OAS). Young program participants apply their leadership skills by replicating what they have learned with other social and youth organizations, raising awareness about the importance of inclusion and participation of Afro-Peruvian citizens, and strengthening civil society and commitments to intercultural policies. This Afro-Peruvian youth movement is working on strategies to advocate for its rights agenda during the next regional and municipal elections in 2022. These spaces make it possible to replicate the working methods of Ashanti Perú and advocate for public policies that can advance in the region, to inspire other countries to do the same. Ashanti Perú began its work in 2004 and the organization has more than 500 volunteers working for inclusive and democratic policies.

In Brazil, Mulheres Negras Deciden promotes the agenda led by Black women in politics, to increase representativeness in situations of power and decision-making. It works to support and train Black women seeking elected positions within the institutional politics of Brazil. There is enormous violence against women in political contests, and MND works to combat this. Its strategy is not to directly support any candidate but rather representativeness, so there are more Black women in elected positions. In Brazil, 54% of the population is Black[2], of which 28% are women. Of the 513 members of the National Congress, only 10 are Black women[3]. For MND, it is important to consolidate strategic alliances with other movements and organizations of Black women, as part of its narrative to strengthen responses to the Brazilian political crisis.

One of the organizations that promotes visibility and participation of young Afro citizens is Corporación de Profesionales Construyendo Ciudadanía (Corporation of Professionals Building Citizenship – CPCC). Since 2013, they have worked in participation and advocacy processes in the Caribbean region of Colombia. Their efforts include the creation of theater and audiovisual festivals for young people, audiovisual laboratories, and strategies for mobilization and advocacy of young people in updates of the law.

These examples of strength, courage and determination are a source of inspiration at Pulsante, where we believe that a fairer and more representative Latin America is possible. For the program, supporting groups that share agendas becomes a way to address issues in multiple countries collaboratively, to contribute to systemic, deep and lasting change. The work of these organizations is part of a historic struggle to take back legal spaces in a much more visible and latent way.





Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)/United Nations

Population Fund (UNFPA), “Afrodescendants and the matrix of social inequality in Latin America: challenges for inclusion,” Project Documents (LC/PUB.2020/14), Santiago, 2020


[1] Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)/United Nations

Population Fund (UNFPA), “Afrodescendants and the matrix of social inequality in Latin America: challenges for inclusion,”

Project Documents (LC/PUB.2020/14), Santiago, 2020. Available at: (full document text in Spanish); (English summary)

[2] IBGE- Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics