Lori Robinson (she/her) is the founder and executive director of VidaAfrolatina. A bilingual African American, she worked as a journalist for 25 years and is the author of “I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse.” In addition to covering sexual violence extensively, she reported on Black populations in Latin American countries for two decades. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, The Root, Ebony.com, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune and several national magazines. Lori served on the Board of Directors of When and Where I Enter, Inc., a Houston-based fund that awarded grants to 17 Black women’s organizations in nine Latin American countries and Puerto Rico over a period of nine years. She is one of 35 fellows selected from a pool of more than 2,800 applicants from 155 countries to win a coveted 2018 Echoing Green Fellowship to develop and launch VidaAfrolatina. A proud HBCU graduate, Lori holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from Spelman College and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.
Janet Arelis Quezada (she/her) is the orgullosamente Bronx-raised daughter of Black, immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. She works at the Magnolia Community Initiative with the Pop Change Institute in Los Angeles. Previously, as a Media Strategist at GLADD, she worked on increasing the visibility of Latinx LGBTQIA and allied advocacy in Spanish-language and English-language media. She is an alumna of Wellesley College.
Janet Arelis Quezada
Elsy Cipriani (she/her) is an Afrolatina born in Bogotá, Colombia, with family roots from the Colombian Caribbean. She is the Managing Director for the International Institute of New England in New Hampshire. She started her career with the Jesuit Refugee Service working with refugees and immigrants in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Elsy earned a bachelor’s degree from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and a master’s degree from Strayer University in the United States.
Veta Byrd-Perez (she/her) is an African American native of Columbus, Ohio. She serves as an associate general counsel at Rice University in Houston, Texas. After living briefly in Quito, Ecuador, Veta founded When and Where I Enter, Inc., a philanthropic organization that distributed grants to women of African descent in Latin America for a period of nine years. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Pilar Ocampo (she/her) is an Afrolatina of Colombian and Gullah descent, born and raised in the D.C. metro area. Pilar began her career as an Urban Health Policy Fellow with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and now serves in the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, where they aim to use a health justice approach in addressing racial disparities. She earned a bachelor’s degree from American University and a master’s degree from Drexel University.
Interns, Summer 2020
Nzingha Florence (she/her) is an African American woman from Chesapeake, Virginia. She is currently a rising junior at Spelman College, majoring in English and minoring in photography. In the summer of 2019, she worked as a Media Intern for the National Urban League’s Youth Leadership Summit at the University of Indianapolis. Nzingha enjoys poetry, photography, videography and digital content creation. She publishes her own self-help blog My Dear Roses.
Toluwani Roberts (she/her) is a Black queer poet and writer born in Nigeria and based in New York. The Claremont McKenna College junior became fluent in Spanish during her year as a Global Citizen Year Fellow in Ecuador. As an Africana Studies Major and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, Toluwani spends her free time researching Afro Spiritualist healing practices and their role in resistance and activism, and writes for her blog, Tolu Speaks.
Please stand with Afro-descendant women and girls today.