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Last Updated:05/10/11


The Center for International Policy invites you to a conference on:

Questions of Racial Identity, Racism and anti-Racist Policies in Cuba Today

University of California Washington Center
1608 Rhode Island Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 

June 2, 2011

9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Please RSVP to, or (202) 232-3317 and ask for Fiorella Mejia.


Both the United States and Cuba have African-Descent populations and thus share the democratic challenges of dismantling remaining barriers to full racial equality. We think it very important for Americans to have a better understanding of how Cuban citizens and Cuban policymakers are dealing with the issues of racial and national identity and equality. The recently completed 6th Cuban Party Congress concluded with a call  to “increase the presence of the women’s sector and that of the descendants of slaves from Africa. Both were the poorest and most exploited by capitalism in our country.”

This conference is designed specifically to convene key sectors of the U.S. civil society and policy groups involved in work with Cuban citizens and/or the Cuban government. The primary goal is to bring attention to Cuba’s internal discourses and negotiations on racial identity, racism, and government policies to address one of the most fundamental democratic issues in Cuba today and to foster proactive reflections and actions among these sectors in their respective work.


9:00 a.m. – Coffee

9:30 – 10:00  – Introduction

· Wayne S. Smith, Center for International Policy
· James Early, Director of Cultural Heritage Policy at the Smithsonian Center of  Folklife and Cultural Heritage

10:00 – 11:00 Racial Identity, Racism and Racial Discrimination in Cuba Today. What are the issues and what is at stake for the nation?

· Moderator – Emira Woods, IPS Foreign Policy in Focus Board Chair
· Panelist – Esteban Morales, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of  U.S.-Cuban Relations

 11:00 – 12:00 –State of Afro-Cuban Initiatives for Racial Equality in Cuba Today

· Moderator –  Mwiza Munthali, Director of Public Outreach of the Trans-Africa Forum
· Panelist – Heriberto Feraudy, President of the Cuban Commission Against Racism

12:00 – 1:30 – Break for lunch

1:30 – 3:00 –  Race in Cuba Today. Implications for U.S.-Cuban Relations

· Moderator – Sarah Stephens, Director, Center for Democracy in the Americas
· Panelists – Esteban Morales, Heriberto Feraudy, Luis Murillo (Phelps Stokes),  Julia Sweig (Council on Foreign Relations)

3:00- 4:00 – Reflections of  Various U.S. Entities

· Moderator – Wayne S. Smith, Center for International Policy
· Panelists – James Early, Philip Brenner (Professor, American University), Congresswoman Karen Bass (if available)

4:00 – 5:30 – Wine and cheese reception

Interpreting services provided by Jorge A. Lawton, director, South to North Interpreters & Consultants

Download "The Challenges of Race in Cuba" by Esteban Morales [PDF]

The Center for International Policy wishes to express its appreciation to the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, Inc. and to Gulfstream Air Charters for their generous support that made this conference possible.

PDF of Invitiation available here.













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Center for International Policy
1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Suite 801
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 232-3317 / fax (202) 232-3440