Programs for Latin America & the Caribbean

Our Vision

Phelps Stokes envisions a just and diverse Latin America and the Caribbean with equal opportunities for all. Currently, racial and ethnic discrimination and marginalization prevent Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities in the region from developing to their full potential. Justice and equality for Afro-descendant and Indigenous peoples will only be achieved with innovative national and international policies, strategic programming, and institutional reforms that emphasize diversity and fully include Afro-descendent and Indigenous cultural perspectives.

Our Mission

To promote economic empowerment of marginalized ethnic and racial minorities through education and leadership development to support the development of a new generation of effective leaders from the Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

PLAC received funding from USAID to develop and implement a series of seminars for Afro-Colombian university students focusing on legal issues and public policies in Colombia that affect the Afro-Colombian community.  These seminars are conducted by leading Afro-Colombian experts in the legal field as well as historians and sociologist and are complemented by legal experts from Howard University Law School.  Among the visiting experts is Dean Kurt Schmoke and Professor Ursula Doyle who share their perspective on lessons learned from the Civil Rights movement in the US and how those lessons may apply to the Colombian context.   The first cycle of this two year program has already been successfully completed in 4 major cities Bogotá, Quibdó, Cartagena and Cali, and over 120 students have participated.  The second cycle will launch in October of 2011.

The Merck Foundation is supporting PLAC in the development and implementation of a program for Afro-Colombian high school students in Cali and Quibdó which will foster leadership skills and provide tools to prepare them for a college career in the public health sector.  This two year program will engage approximately 60 students between the two cities in its first year.

Program Areas

  1. Institutional Capacity Building by strengthening local civil society organizations that serve marginalized communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasizing on Afro-Descendants and Indigenous groups.
  2. Education and Leadership Development through workshops, seminars and comprehensive programs, aiming to support and empower the next generation of young Afro and Indigenous leaders.

Communities Served

Phelps Stokes’ primary focus in Latin America and the Caribbean are Afro-Descendants and Indigenous populations with a special geographic focus on but not limited to: Colombia, Brazil and Haiti.

PLAC focuses on:


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