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MTW Lecture Series: The Power of Black Voices: Afro-Latin Identities in the Americas

Date & Time

Saturday, February 17, 2024, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.


Lectures & Presentations


Paul Robeson Campus Center 350 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Newark, NJ, 07102


Price Institute


Free parking is available. Attendees must register their vehicle in advance at go.rutgers.edu/MTWparking

MTW 2024 Event Graphic

La Fuerza de las Voces Negras: Afrolatinidades en las Américas 
(The Power of Black Voices: Afro-Latin Identities in the Americas)

February 17th, 2024 | 9:30AM - 3:30PM | Essex Room
Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers University-Newark
350 Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. Newark, NJ 07102

The Clement A. Price Institute invites you to join us for the 44th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series,  "La Fuerza de las Voces Negras: Afrolatinidades en las Americas."  This installment of the series challenges us to reassess the U.S. contrived notions of Black identity that deny its complexity and nuance across the Americas and the world. Scholars Ariana Curtis, Tanya K. Hernandez, Nodia Mena, and Lorgia García Peña will lead us through discussions that push us beyond the simplified and monolithic narratives about African descendants in the American world by focusing on Afro-indigenous cultures, displacement, belonging, visibility, prejudice, and racial consciousness. 

How to join on the day of the conference:
Please register through our Eventbrite page here and select in person attendance or virtual attendance. Virtual guests will receive an email with the streaming link one week prior to the conference date. Free parking is available, but you must also register your vehicle in advance at go.rutgers.edu/MTWparking

If you would like more information or have questions about the event, please email us at priceinstitute@newark.rutgers.edu.

MTW flyer insert

Ariana A. Curtis is dedicated to building inclusive frameworks that disrupt systemic marginalization, misrepresentation, and erasure. She is the first curator of Latinx Studies at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). In this role she leads museum research and collections that center Latinidad through an African American lens. She is curator of the award winning NMAAHC Latinx collections portal and has held leadership roles in major Smithsonian initiatives including Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past and the American Women’s History Initiative. Additionally, Ariana is a founding member of the Black Latinas Know Collective and a board member for Duke University Libraries, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), and the Museum Association of the Caribbean. 

Tanya Katerí Hernández is the Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, where she teaches Anti-Discrimination Law, Comparative Employment Discrimination, Critical Race Theory, The Science of Implicit Bias and the Law: New Pathways to Social Justice, and Trusts & Wills. She received her A.B. from Brown University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as Note Topics Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Nodia Mena has been a Lecturer of Spanish in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at University of North Carolina-Greenboro and currently completing her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations in the School of Education at UNCG. She has served as a cultural ambassador of Garifunas, African and Native American-descended people in the Caribbean and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Leadership and Cultural  Foundations at UNC Greensboro. In addition to having taught Spanish, she has taught Honors Colloquia as well as a seminar on Garifunas. She is a co-founder of the Afro-Latin American/Latinx Studies Project in the African-American and African Diaspora Studies Program at UNC Greensboro and co-authored the article “Garifunas in the African Diaspora” for the Carolina Peacemaker

Lorgia García Peña is a Professor of Latinx Studies at the Effron Center for the Study of America and the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, the co-founder of Freedom University Georgia, and the author of three books: Translating Blackness (2022), Community as Rebellion (2022) and The Borders of Dominicanidad (Duke 2016). She is the co-editor of the Texas University Press series, Latinx: the Future is now and the co-director of Archives of Justice. She writes and teaches in English and Spanish about the intersections of blackness, colonialism and migration, centering Black Latinx lives.

Right after MTW, please join us at the Newark Museum of Art for our reception, where the Bradford Hayes Quartet will perform live to celebrate the 44th installment of the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series.

About Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series
The Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture (MTW) series was co-founded in 1981 by Rutgers University-Newark Professor Clement A. Price and Giles R. Wright of the New Jersey Historical Commission who launched the series with the belief that the rigorous exploration of the past, made accessible to a broad public of learners, would help guide the nation into a brighter future. The conference is named in honor of a native of East Orange. Marion Thompson Wright was arguably the first black female professional historian and a pioneer in Black New Jersey historiography. In her honor, the series brings outstanding thinkers and doers of African and African American life and history. Diverse, civically engaged, and devoted to life-long learners, the MTW Series is one of the nation’s most distinguished and longest-running lectures. The Clement A. Price Institute is devoted to building deep historical justice in our region and beyond.