Who We Are

Meet the women behind VidaAfrolatina


Lori Robinson, Founder and 
Executive Director

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

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.

Read her work: “I Was Raped”    |   “Taking the Stage”


Learn more about Lori: 

“How one journalist is on a mission to tell stories of healing in Black communities around the world”

Echoing Green video: "Getting Afro-Latin American Survivors the Support They Need to Heal"

Lori Robinson, Founder and 
Executive Director

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Maria Antonia Dezidério 
Communications Intern 

Maria Antonia Deziderio (she/her) is an Afrolatina from Salvador, Brazil. She is a rising sophomore in the Law School of University of São Paulo. She is a young leader at Women Deliver, One Young World Ambassador and really interested in researching and advocating for healing justice and sexual and reproductive rights specially for black women and girls in Brazil. She enjoys photography,podcasts, Bahia´s local music, drawing and digital content creation. 

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Board of Advisors


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

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

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. 

Elsy Cipriani

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
Veta Photo Headshot 2016.jpg

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.

Veta Byrd-Perez

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

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. 

Pilar Ocampo

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
Headshot Doreen.JPG

Doreen Dankerlui (she/her) is an Afrocaribeña from Suriname, who has lived in the USA for approximately 25 years. She works at the Henry Ford Global Health Initiative in Detroit, Michigan on education and training programs and community engagement. Before earning her master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington (Leadership, Policy and Management) she received a bachelor’s degree in International Studies (focus on management of international NGOs) and studied Brazilian Language and Culture. 

Doreen Dankerlui

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Please stand with Afro-descendant women and girls today.