GALCI is a global alliance of non-governmental organizations, universities, and community agencies focused on stabilizing communities of African descent in the Americas. Formed by organizations and community institutions with a proven history of study and work within these communities the alliance will serve to identify, suggest issues and solutions with Afro-Latino communities throughout the Americas.
The alliance formed by regional organizations that have identified needs and projects that can not be implemented in isolation within each region will facilitate an important collaboration among proven experts in the field. In order to address more than five hundred years of historical marginalization of Afro-Latino communities, the ravages of colonialism and neo-colonial systems, and the new challenge of globalization concerted unified effort is required to develop a comprehensive strategy to address issues of poverty, educational alienation and the systemic violations of human, civil, economic and land rights.
One of the priorities of GALCI is to make visible the diversity of communities that identify the Afro-Latino world and their status within these countries of the hemisphere. There is a need to gather information on the location of these communities, their existing and projected conditions is essential as they enter the third millennium.
The marginalization of Afro-Latino communities globally, has resulted in little educational opportunity, poor employment opportunities, discrimination, loss of land, and economic disenfranchisement. GALCI seeks to assist and work with Afro-Latino communities by establishing a working alliance of organizations and universities that have a successful history of cultural development within and across ethnic boundaries. Respecting the focus of local and regional organizational initiatives, GALCI will address macro concerns to directly assist and impact the micro level by providing much needed data, staff training and proven professionals to work at the ground level.
GALCI is a special project of the Caribbean Cultural Center/African Diaspora Institute that is housed at 408 West 58th Street in New York City. A not for profit twenty three year old organization the Center’s raison d’être is establishing common ground among communities of African descent internationally. The member organizations have affirmed that the base of GALCI should be in New York since an organizational arm must be present at the central location with access to foundations and United States governmental international agencies promoting socioeconomic development in the Caribbean and Latin America are based.
The vision of GALCI is one that seeks the health and safety of our communities into the future. Focusing on immediate and long-range initiatives the projects each build upon the other, establishing a foundation to achieve the goal of long-range sustainability. The long track record of participating organizations provides a solid foundation for the alliance as each member brings their existing information and documentation data, regional organizational networks and institutional experiences.
1. Research Initiative: To develop a directory of Afro-Latino NGO’s in the Americas. The organizational profile of each organization will include the following: Name, address, and years in existence, organization’s mission, annual budget, sources of funding, history of programs, staff profile, staff, staff needs and programmatic initiatives. This project will provide much needed information to local, national and international agencies in understanding the existing organizational Afro-Latino community infrastructure.
2: Training of NGO Staffs: The research initiative will provide the necessary data to assist in identifying and developing program initiatives for the local, regional and international levels. An immediate need is to build the organizational and technical skills of existing staffs in local organizations. The fragile status of organizations, due to lack of resources and untrained staff limits the possibility of organizations accessing or applying to funding agencies. Training programs GALCI will recommend could include accounting; small businesses promotion; gender specific enterprise development; board structure; governance and other related institution building skills. A major objective will be to prepare Afro Latino organizations to apply for programs of micro credit support.
3: Human Rights and the Civil Society Initiative: The process of having Afro Latino communities assume their democratic rights is of major concern to GALCI. Issues of land rights, human rights and civil rights litigation to assure the safety and well being of Afro Latino communities requires the availability and involvement of consultants to assist these communities in understanding and protecting their inalienable rights. Afro-Latino communities’ descendents of enslaved Africans, who forged maroon societies in the Americas, require legal advice and strategies to remain on their historically liberated lands. The expertise that is available to GALCI can provide Afro-Latino communities with technical assistance in forging their vision for a better today and tomorrow.
4: Building Common Ground: The community of Afro-Latinos require diverse forms of training of their future leaders. There are varied programs within the United States willing to institute specialize training programs to impart necessary skills for developing the younger generation of community leaders. The University of Texas-Austin, Hunter College CUNY and Baruch College CUNY in New York are examples of institutions able to develop specialized educational programs to prepare the future successors of the present Afro Latino movement. Specializing in anthropology, sociology, business, political science, communications, technology and public policy these and other institutions can provide critical educational opportunities and skills needed within these communities.
5: Regional Meetings for 2001: The United Nations Anti-Racism Conference to take place in South Africa provides the organizational incentive to prepare the Afro-Latino community to actively participate and have significant representation at this historic gathering. GALCI, in collaboration with the existing regional Afro Latino networks will help facilitate the planning of at least six meetings in the Caribbean, Latin America, Central America and the United States. These regional meetings will provide a focal point to gather information, begin training and recruiting youth leadership for the educational initiatives developed by GALCI.
GALCI includes the following organizations and representatives:
Internatonal Secretariat, BRC
Celeo Alvarez Casildo, President
Organizacion Negra Centroamericana (ONECA)
Organizacion de Desarrollo Etnico (ODECO)
Luz Maria Martinez Montiel, President
AfroAmerica Mexico, A.C.
Jorge Ramirez Reyna, President
Asociacion Negra de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos (ASONEDH)
Romero Rodriguez, President
J. Michael Turner, Director
Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Hunter College (CUNY)
Marta Moreno Vega, President & Chair
The Franklin H. Williams Caribbean Cultural Center/African Diaspora Institute
Professor Black and Hispanic Studies Department, Baruch College (CUNY)
Sheila Walker, Director
African and Afro-American Studies Program
University of Texas-Austin