Afro-Expo, food, fun, cultural understanding and public policy

Flyer, Afro-Latino Festival

Cartagena, Colombia

Afro-Expo fosters mutual understanding by bringing together African and Latino communities, breaking down stereotypes, and promoting cross-cultural exchange.

Afro-Expo and festivals provide an opportunity for policymakers and community leaders to engage with these diverse communities.”

— Ian G. Campbell

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, USA, July 25, 2023/ — Afro-Expo is the brainchild of Co-chairs Robert F. Asprilla and Ian G. Campbell. The concept was implemented over 20 years ago as a method to educate Members of Congress and the Washington, DC, community about the plight of Afro-Colombians and the hardship they are experiencing. Afro-Expos and festivals highlight talents locally and internationally, the rich history and influence of African and Afro-Latino art, music, culture, dance, and expression. Our events feature vendors who will make available for purchase a myriad of products and food, highlight services, and provide sponsors the opportunity to interact with eventgoers.

We understand that it’s difficult to have empathy or compassion for people with whom you have no understanding. Similarly, US foreign policy decisions based on a lack of knowledge were less effective and had unintended harmful consequences. Therefore, our efforts not only led to an understanding of the impact of African people in various regions where they were systemically being oppressed but also led to US foreign policy that took into account the deplorable conditions of Africans in Latin America, throughout the Caribbean, and at times, on the continent of Africa.

We understood that effective advocacy begins with education and Afro-Expo is a method of educating people through cultural exposure, music, dance, history, films, literature, arts and crafts but most importantly, through exposure and engagement. Afro-Expo has come to be one of the most important events to date that provides this type of engagement be it our week-long expo or a day event. Cultural exposure and engagement take place and learning leads to understanding.

For Afro-Expo Cartagena, Colombia, we have worked with the local municipality to organize the event and most of the federal government Ministries are in support. Afro-Expo Cartagena has turned into a countrywide movement scheduled to occur in October 2024. We have also secured support from Members of the Colombian Congress who passed legislation supporting Afro-Expo for the next 4 years.

Afro-Latino Expo taking place Sunday, July 30, 2023, at Veteran’s Plaza in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, will feature artists playing tropical rhythms such as Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cumbia, and Vallenato among others. This celebration of the richness of Afro-Latino culture, music, dance, and delicious food is great for children and the community. You will also get an opportunity to meet city, state, and federal elected representatives as they interact with constituents and learn about their concerns. The festival showcases the beauty, diversity, and rich traditions of African influence through music, art, food, dance, fashion, scholars, and advocates from throughout the Americas, the continent of Africa, and the DMV.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our Afro-Expo, Afro-Latino Expo, or Afro-Inclusion Equity Development Initiative events either in the United States, Latin America, Africa, or the Caribbean.

Vincent Mason
Manchester Report
+1 202-709-3354
[email protected]
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