Schomburg Symposium


28th Annual

Arturo A. Schomburg Symposium: Repairing & Reparations, Healing from Racial Wounds

February 23, 2024 at 5pm to 8pm
February 24, 2024 from 9:30am to 3pm

Since 1997, The Annual Arturo A. Schomburg Symposium has taken on a different yearly theme exploring various aspects of the intricate and complex relationship of the African Diaspora influences within Latin American culture abroad and in the US. Through formal presentations and Q&A’s, audience members engage in dialogues that promote increased understanding of our shared traditions and influences.

The Trans-Atlantic Trade of Africans and their subsequent enslavement deeply wounded humanity. We have all dysfunctioned since then, under the construct of race. The Schomburg Symposium of 2024 will embark in a profound exploration of the enduring mental health impact of racial trauma. Distinguished speakers, psychologists, social workers, activists, artists and others, will converge to explore various paths to healing from Racism and embrace Blackness, Africa, and its Diaspora.


Presentations by:

Mariluz Franco-Ortiz, Ph.D.

Researcher University of Puerto Rico Cayey, Colectivo Ilé
Mariluz Franco-Ortiz is a community-social psychologist with experience in projects related to education, psychosocial research, racism, research integrity, and youth violence prevention. These qualities have nourished her experience in group and community organization processes in formal and informal educational settings. Dr. Franco-Ortiz has 25+ years of experience implementing best training practices in student and faculty development programs, currently at the University of Puerto Rico Cayey. She has also led community-based projects promoting gender, racial, and social justice through her enthusiastic commitment with Colectivo ilé. Being a researcher herself on gender and racial inequality, she can attune professional development strategies to the working conditions of Puerto Rican researchers as well as community organizing process. Also, she has collaborated in a project disseminating a training guide for elementary school teachers, focusing on an anti-racist pedagogy of African heritage titled: Arrancando Mitos de Raíz: Guía para una educación antirracista de la herencia africana en Puerto Rico (Pulling up Myths from the Root) at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, UPR Cayey. She is a proud mother of two wonderful human beings; Laren María and Latif Antonio.

María I. Reinat-Pumarejo

Colectivo Ilé , Organizer, Anti-racist Educator

María Reinat-Pumarejo is an organizer and Founder of Colectivo Ilé, an organization committed to anti-oppression organizing in Puerto Rico. She co-developed and is a senior trainer of Cambio Integral's Latino Challenges Toward Racial Justice workshop and was for almost three decades a trainer with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. An anti-racist educator, organizer and a women’s advocate, María has worked with women’s organizations in Puerto Rico and internationally to support and join the leadership of other women of color. For her anti-racism work and social transformation solidarity, as part of 1000 Women for Peace, she was nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, which was collectively awarded the City of Guernica 2006 Award for Peace and Reconciliation. In 2016 she received the Martin Luther King medal from La Mesa de Diálogo Martin Luther King for her Anti-Racist work.

SanaMente Foundation Director, Bogotá -Colombia, Quality and Assurance Director, Nervous system Clinic Renovar LLC, Maryland. 

Gina Echeverry, an Afro-Colombian activist and pioneer, holds the distinction of being the first Afro-Colombian female to study visual arts at Jorge Tadeo University. With a Master’s degree in Family Therapy and certifications in therapeutic modalities, Gina has been instrumental in introducing therapeutic art in Philadelphia’s Hispanic community.
As the former clinical director of the Hispanic Community Counseling Service, she managed programs in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s BECK initiative. Gina founded the Fine Arts Program at Diego Luis Córdoba University and is currently the director of Sanamente, an International Foundation aiding individuals with special needs and Afro-Colombians in healing from trauma.
In her role as Director of the Quality and Assurance Department at Nervous System Clinic, Renovar LLC, Gina utilizes counseling and the arts to enhance community life and raise awareness about mental health globally. She believes in the transformative power of art and therapy to rebuild trust, self-love, and resilience. Gina’s work reflects a commitment to improving well-being and promoting leadership in communities.

Dr. Onaje J. Muid

DSW, MSW, LMHC, CASAC Adjunct Assistant Professor LaGuardia Community College
Dr. Onaje Muid has served Puerto Ricans in New York City since 1980, when he first worked as a vocational counselor for Arawak Consultants in El Barrio. His thirty-five years in behavior health, primarily addictions, witnessed the destructive impact of colorism on people of African descent, either for Puerto Ricans and those enslaved in the United States. He proudly recalls the honor bestowed upon him when he was invited to address the Segundo Congress De AfroDescendencia En Puerto Rico, in 2018, with the theme, Living Blackness. He is an adjunct assistant professor at LaGuardia Community College. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate in social work, a license in mental health and a credential in substance abuse (master level). He was inducted into the New York Academy of Medicine as a fellow in 2015. His current work is declaring and deconstructing racism as a public health crisis, particularly in the domain of black maternal mortality and black birth equity.

Yedidiach Ortiz-González

MPH, MD, Emergency Physician
Yedidiach Ortiz-González, an emergency medicine physician at Poinciana Medical Center in Florida, graduated from the University of Puerto Rico's Emergency Medicine Department in 2023. Holding a Master's degree in Public Health with a specialization in Mother and Child Health, completed in 2012, Yedidiach is dedicated to offering holistic and comprehensive care to patients. The primary focus is on patient education regarding their health and addressing cultural needs. With a keen interest in physician burnout and emergency department patient care, Yedidiach values education and health as the foundation for societal and individual success. These values are deeply ingrained, influenced by a family background in education.

MSS, LSW , Associate Director of Taller Puertorriqueño

With a background in Cultural Anthropology and Social Work, Goslin is dedicated to being an agent for social change to dismantle white supremacy, patriarchy, and imperialism in all forms. Her experience ranges from working in person-centered dementia care to conducting therapy focused on serving BIPOC, non-binary and Trans clients.

Evelyne Laurent Perrault, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor at University of California in Santa Barbara

Currently an Assistant Professor at University of California in Santa Barbara, Evelyne is well-known to this symposium as a founder, and an Afro-Latina activist and scholar, born and raised in Venezuela from Haitian and Venezuelan parents. She has studied, lived, and traveled through Europe, Africa, Latin America, North America, and the Caribbean. She has a Licenciatura (Licentiate) Degree in Biology from the Central de Venezuela, her PhD from the History Department, New York University’s (NYU) African Diaspora program in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has presented at various universities and conferences in the United States and abroad, and has been the recipient of several fellowships. While on staff at Taller Puertorriqueño, Evelyne conceived the Annual Arturo Schomburg Symposium. Currently she is an Executive Board Member of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD).


Nasheli Ortiz González

Executive Director at Taller Puertorriqueño, Fashion Designer, and Entrepreneur

As a native of Puerto Rico, a respected academic leader, and a creative entrepreneur committed to social justice, Ortiz González brings a unique set of skills to the Executive Director role at Taller. In her roles as Associate Professor and Chair of Fashion Design at Moore, Ortiz González developed a department that pairs a humanistic approach with a cutting-edge global vision. Ortiz González is a highly sought-after fashion designer who serves as the principal owner of Nasheli Juliana (NJ), an apparel company focused on social justice, as well as co-founder and principal of 22 studio, a women-led transdisciplinary design practice that operates between the United States and Puerto Rico. She is also a founding Board Member of the Philadelphia Fashion Garment and Industry Task Force, a group for professional and business development, education, trade events, supply chain and local manufacturing, social impact and sustainability in the city. Her fashion designs have been shown at Paris, London, New York, and Miami Fashion Weeks, to name just a few. Ortiz González’s work has been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, and Forbes, among other prestigious publications. In 2020, she was featured in the Netflix series “Next in Fashion,” and was named as one of Al DÍA News’ 40 Under 40.

Program of Presentations

FRI. 2.23 Opening Reception Schedule:

This event is BYOB.

6:00PM Culinary presentation with iris brown

Nourish body and soul, with a culinary presentation of traditional cuisine of Loíza, Puerto Rico by Iris Brown of Norris Square Neighborhood Project. We will share a meal together and learn about the direct African roots of the food and culture of Loíza.

Traditional Cuisine from Loíza Puerto Rico: Salad with pigeon peas with and without fish, coconut milk rice, and Puerto Rican iced tea. 


6:45PM Poetry Workshop with Trapeta B. Mayson

Trapeta Mayson, 2020-21 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, will lead us in a poetry workshop focused on building connection through poetry and embodied self-expression. The aim is to bring together attendees of the symposium to begin to reflect on the theme of Colorism, foster a shared space of creativity and to guide participants through the process of writing their own poem, and perhaps even sharing it.

SAT. 2.24 Symposium Schedule:

Live Virtual Stream will be available for this event.

9:00 am - 9:20 am Cafecito Breakfast

Enjoy some bread, cheese, pastries, coffee, and tea.

9:20 am - 9:40 am Introductions & Libation

Moderated by Evelyne Laurent Perrault, Erikka Goslin, and Nasheli Ortiz González


Latino Racial Innocence

Hernandez will share the insights from her recent book “Racial Innocence: Unmasking Latino Anti-Black Bias and the Struggle for Equality,” which documents the ways in which Latino colorism is part of Latino anti-Black racism.

10:3oAM - 11:10AM Ellis P. Monk

The Consequences of Colorism

Colorism, discrimination on the basis of skin tone, is a long-standing and global phenomenon. This presentation will focus on the manifold consequences of colorism in the United States, from health disparities to the criminal justice system to technology.


Avatares de la Identidad: del mestizaje al colorismo. 

En el virreinato del Perú la mayoría de las interrelaciones personales transgreden el orden colonial basado en la división entre españoles, indios y africanos establecida en el siglo VXII. La clasificación dentro del concepto de mestizaje de las diversas modalidades de reproducción social que surgían de estas interrelaciones fue una manera de mantener la dominación sobre una heterogeneidad social en expansión. Fundada la República del Perú en el siglo XIX, este imaginario social no desapareció pues no hubo una discusión crítica sobre estas creencias y prácticas coloniales en la esfera pública ni en el sistema educativo. Ese vacío y la persistencia de la mentalidad colonial durante la República dio paso a las estrategias de blanqueamiento dentro del mestizaje tanto a nivel individual como político. El colorismo puede interpretarse como una consecuencia de estos procesos de dominación social inducidos por las ideologías racistas. Cuáles son las consecuencias morales de estos prejuicios en la construcción de nuestras identidades individuales y colectivas? ¿Qué obstáculos acarrea el colorismo para el desarrollo humano?

12:10PM - 1:00pm Plenary Q&A

Attendants can participate in a Q&A session for the speakers.

1:15PM - 2:15pm SOCIAL WORK ROUNDTABLE SESSION / Lunch break

“Colorism: Implications for Social Work Practice”

Featuring Facilitators: Dr. Onaje J. Muid, Erikka Goslin, and Elena M. DiLapi.

Practicing Social Workers who wish to receive continuing education credits must participate in the session and pay the $40 CEU Add-on  to receive the CEU’s. 

Other attendants will be able to take a break to eat lunch. Catering provided by Alta Cocina

Book-signing of Racial Innocence: On Latino Anti-Black Bias and the Struggle for Equality by Tanya Katerí Hernández

Organizations GALAEI and Villanova’s Albert LePage Center for History in the Public Interest will be tabling.



 “The Personal & the Political: Colorism in our Everyday Lives”

The afternoon panel includes activists, artists, community members, and professionals who will discuss how colorism has shown up in their work, and in their professional and personal lives. Panelists will share reactions to analysis of the morning presentations as well as open up to audience participation with time for Q&A. 

Featuring Panelists: DezMarie Thomas, Katelina La Gata Eccleston, Malín Falú, Blanca Pacheco, and Jennifer Mota.

4pm Closing reception Mixer

A closing celebration after the symposium. All are welcome to stay to chat and enjoy some refreshments.

Performance by Hamalali Garifuna 


Refreshments provided by Alta Cocina

Group fees are available please get in touch with Erikka Goslin via email at or via phone at 215-426-3311 x1003 to discuss rates.

$0 Students / Local Residents / Community Members Ticket:

If you are a student, community member, local resident, or the cost of a ticket would prevent you from attending, reserve your ticket here at no cost. This helps us track the headcount and manage capacity. Donations are always welcome!

$20 Global Majority Ticket

Global Majority is a collective term that refers to people who are Black, African, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and/or, have been racialized as ‘ethnic minorities’ and encourages us to think of ourselves as belonging to the majority on planet earth. Globally, these groups currently represent approximately eighty percent (80%) of the world’s population, making us the global majority. (2020, Rosemary Campbell-Stephens, MBE). If you identify as part of the Global Majority reserve this ticket.

$25 General Admission Ticket:

This ticket is for anyone who does not identify as Global Majority, as defined above or if the cost of this ticket would not prevent you from attending.

$40 Social Work CEU Credit Add-On

This is an add-on cost for practicing Social Workers who wish to receive continuing education credits. 

Taller Members at the $125 level and above receive a free ticket.