Throughout the years at Howard University there has been an extreme lack of opportunity and inclusion for Afro-Latino students in our campus organizations and cultural diversity. Our community often separates LatinX identities to either being African American or Latino. We neglect to recognize these two identities can be and are intersectional. Therefore, Dr. McBurney; a Howard Professor in the Department of World Languages, and I had a mission to change this stigma and provide a safe space for Afro-Latinos to express themselves through dance and fellowship. We also wanted to expose other students that aren’t Afro-Latino to the unique LatinX culture and show how similar we actually are. Over the past few years, I have been given the opportunity to witness our cultural connections first hand, especially through music. I recognized this when I listened to different rhythms like salsa, and bachata, and merengue. I could feel the music and in this moment language barriers and borders didn’t matter anymore, only the music. So, Dr. McBurney and I decided music and dance was how we were going to connect Afro-Latinos at Howard University with the rest of the community.
Dr. McBurney and I founded Howard University’s first ever Afro-Latino Dance Club September 6th, 2018. Our club offers free dance classes every week and encourages students to believe in themselves and their ability to dance beyond borders. Our club has gained recognition across Howard University’s campus and the DMV area. We have been invited to perform at local Hispanic festivals and community centers. We have also formed a bachata performance group within our club and are working relentlessly to perfect the art of bachata in preparation for our final showcase April 19, 2019.
We are now asking for your support in making our final presentation for the semester a success through generous donations. We are asking for $800.00 to fund our event space, award ceremony, technical supplies, and food and beverages. We would like our event to be free and open to the community. We are trying to raise as much money as soon as possible. With your help we can accomplish our goal in providing a platform of recognition and longevity for Howard University’s Afro-Latin Dance Club.