Aug. 2



Black Like Who? A Conversation about Afro-Latinx Identity, Politics, and Representation

Presented by Firelight Media

Afro-Latinx people have existed since the first ships carrying enslaved Africans landed in the Caribbean and Latin America. Yet, Afro-Latinx people remain largely invisible in our popular imaginary. Join us for a candid conversation with Afro-Latinx artists and cultural workers as they discuss their lived experiences, the contemporary conversation about Blackness in Latinx communities, and the role that nuanced stories can play in fostering solidarity across the African Diaspora.

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Lisa Cortes


LISA CORTES is an Academy Award®–nominated Producer whose credits include PRECIOUS; THE WOODSMAN; and SHADOWBOXER. Her work with trailblazing companies such as Rush Artist Management, Def Jam Records, and Lee Daniels Entertainment has been distinguished by her commitment to empowering inclusive voices, and giving light to challenging visionary stories. Her productions have received over 70 international awards and nominations, including the Academy Award®. Prior to her film career, Cortés worked with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin to launch the iconic Def Jam brand. Later, as Vice President of Artists and Repertoire at Mercury Records, she signed many multi platinum and Grammy® Award-winning artists, and founded the iconoclastic label, Loose Cannon Records. Since launching her production company, Cortés Films, she has collaborated with directors including Ernest Dickerson and Gabourey Sidibe, producing innovative features, documentaries and short films that assert the centrality of diverse and untold stories while delighting audiences. Current productions include a feature-length documentary about the legendary APOLLO THEATER with Academy Award Award®-winning director, Roger Ross Williams and producing and co-directing THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION.

Dash Harris

Filmmaker, Founder and Director of AfroLatino Travel

Dash Harris is a Peabody-award winning multi-media journalist and entrepreneur based in Havana. Doula and Temple alum, Dash is the producer of NEGRO: A docu-series about Latino Identity, a decade-long, ongoing web-based docu-series that explores AfroDiasporic identity, colonization, and the historical and present day class and color complex and hierarchy among Latinxs throughout the Americas. Dash is the co-founder of AfroLatino Travel a travel and community-building resource for the African Diaspora in Latin America & the Caribbean, facilitating transformative connections among Afrodescendants through travel and meaningful, intentional, sustainable tourism and business led by Black Latin American locals. She along with AfroCuban org El Club Espendru organized Cuba’s first Black doll exhibition, an off-shoot of AfroLatino Travel’s initiative “Brown Dolls and Books for Brown Children,” and along with Prom King founder, Evelyn Alvarez, started, Quince Queen, collecting and distributing quinceañera dresses to local Black communities in Latin America. Dash has been named one of Latina mag’s change makers, and featured and written for various publications such as “50 Shades of Black,” USA Today, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, Remezcla, Vibe, CNN, People Chica, Hip Latina, For Harriet, and moderated The Root’s first live-web panel on Black Latinxs and has been an organizer for the AfroLatino Fest of NYC. Dash is currently producing a new documentary series based on Ruben Bermudez’s book “Y Tu, Por Que Eres Negro,” (And You, why are you Black) “Tambor,” a documentary on young AfroCuban drummers of the Yoruba religion, and docu-series about Birthing while Black throughout the Americas, hosted by Evelyn Alvarez.

Mercedes Martinez


Mercedes Martinez is a singer-songwriter born in the Canary Islands, Spain to a Spanish mother and Afro-Cuban father. Raised in Inglewood, California, Ms. Martinez is a member of the critically acclaimed, alt-soul duo, The Jazzyfatnastees. She is a cofounder of the Black Lily women in music series (1999-2005) and the Black Lily Film and Music Festival (2007/2008). As a part of The Jazzees and/or as a soloist, Ms. Martinez’ vocals have been featured on various recordings, including those of The Roots, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, The Pharcyde, Eric Benet and Zap Mamma, as well as the soundtracks In Too Deep (1999) and Hurricane (2000). Ms. Martinez is currently living in Los Angeles, writing, working on a solo music project and raising her son.

Amilcar Priestley

Founder, Liberación Film Festival

Amilcar Priestley is the Director of the AfroLatin@® Project ( and co-Director of the Afro-Latino Festival of New York (www.afrolatinofestnyc).  The Project aims to facilitate the digital curation of Afrolatino experience and histories and to encouraging the use of digital tools for the socioeconomic and political development of Afrolatino communities. The Festival is a digital and live events production platform that educates, affirms and celebrates the many contributions of people of African descent from Latin America and the Caribbean.   He began his legal career as an associate at a boutique entertainment law practice and most recently served as a Director of Business and Legal Affairs at Westwood One, Inc. He is also the Principal at C.O.I. Consulting, LLC an intellectual property, licensing and digital media consulting firm. Amilcar is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Brooklyn Law School.


Loira Limbal

Vice President and Documentary Lab Director, Firelight Media

Loira Limbal is an Afro-Latinx filmmaker and DJ interested in the creation of art that is nuanced, revelatory and affirming for communities of color. Her first film, Estilo Hip Hop, was a co-production of ITVS and aired on PBS in 2009. She is currently the Vice President and Documentary Lab Director at Firelight Media. Firelight is committed to making films about pivotal movements and moments in the U.S. Firelight’s flagship program – the Documentary Lab – is a fellowship that provides mentorship, funding, and industry access to emerging filmmakers of color. Limbal is currently directing Through the Night, a feature documentary about a 24 hour daycare center. Additionally, she co-produces and helms the popular monthly #APartyCalledRosiePerez. Limbal received a B.A. in History from Brown University and is a graduate of the Third World Newsreel’s Film and Video Production Training Program. She is a Sundance Institute Time Warner fellow and a former Ford Foundation Justfilms/Rockwood fellow. She lives in the Bronx with her two children.