DC AfroLatino Caucus

The DC AfroLatino Caucus (DCALC) is a collective of leaders from social, academic, artistic, professional and activist circles that recognize the conditions of AfroLatinos in DC and abroad.

The DCALC’s mission is to bring visibility to and improve the quality of life of AfroLatinos. In line with its mission, the DCALC encourages a respectful and informed exchange of views on issues relevant to the reality of AfroLatinos. 

Our Work

See Our Latinidad, See Our Blackness: Afro-Latinas’ experiences of migration, language, and identity in DC

Many Spanish-speaking communities shape DC/DMV culture. Yet many Washingtonians know little about the racial and cultural vastness of the Spanish-speaking world and even less about what brought communities of Afro-Nicaraguans, Afro-Costa Ricans, Afro-Dominicans, and Afro-Cubans to DC. In “See Our Latinidad, See our Blackness” we learn from artist Carmen Torruella-Quander and educators Ana Ndumu, Angeley Crawford Gibb, and Rosalyn Lake-Montero about Black communities within Latinidad and DC history.  Our speakers consider tensions around language, class, and belonging, and the importance of Afro-Latina representation for youth to understand their own identities, communities, and experiences.

Casilda Luna Project 

Her leadership was instrumental in the founding of the annual DC Latino festival, Fiesta DC!, Educational Opportunities for Latin Americans (now known as VIDA Senior Centers), Latin American Youth Center, Mujeres Unidas Latinas en Acción, Imperial Apartment Tenant Association, and the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs

DC Afro-Latinos in Action

In celebration of Black History Month, the DC Afro-Latino CaucusTrabajadores Unidos de Washington, DC and the Humanities Truck organized the panel DC Afro-Latinos in ActionThe event took place at American University. The panelists were activist and educator Rosalyn Lake, from Seed School of Washington; Howard University professor of Spanish Aisha Cort, and American University Cultural Anthropology professor Arvenita Washington Cherry. The moderator was long time national activist Roland Roebuck. Within the audience, we were pleased to welcome DC community activists, officials from the DC government, students, and AU staff and faculty.

Afro-Latino History

Folks don’t know the story of Afro-Latinos in DC. The story has been intentionally put to the side, so we decided that’s what we were going to focus on. Here in DC, there’s a rich history of Afro-Latinidad setting the foundation for the Latino community that had their greatest impact in the 1970s. Most of the oldest Latino-serving organizations that are here today thanks to the contributions to these Afro-Latinos who came to DC, and became part of the change to have their voices heard. For example, Luna founded the Vida Senior Center, and Griffiths founded the Afro-Latino Institute, and the Latin American Youth Center.