The Afro-Latin American Research Institute (ALARI) at Harvard University is building the new field on Afro-Latin American Studies. Our mission is to stimulate and sponsor scholarship on the Afro-Latin American experience, and provide a forum where scholars, intellectuals, activists and policy makers engage in knowledge producing exchanges and debates. 


  • Expand research and teaching on Afro-Latin American Studies from multidisciplinary perspective reflecting the coming of age of a new, multidisciplinary academic field.
  • Strengthen ties between Harvard University and institutions and organizations dedicated to promote knowledge and awareness on histories, cultures, and experiences of people of African descent in Latin America.

  • Create awareness of transversal Afro-Latin American experience in Latin America and in the United States.

  • Offer inclusive space for research, learning, dialogue, discussion, exchange on a wide range of topics related to Afro-Latin American experience.


The founding of the ALARI reflects the coming of age of a new, multidisciplinary academic field centers on the histories, cultures, and experiences of people of African descent in Latin America. The field has developed in tandem with a variety of racially defined social, cultural, and political movements that, taking advantage of democratization processes since the 1980, have transformed how Latin Americans think about their region, culture and history. These movements have challenged traditional discourses on race and nation and demanded legislation and policies to address discrimination. Legal instruments that ban discrimination and acknowledge the multiracial character of Latin American societies have proliferated in the region. Meanwhile, a variety of non-governmental and international organizations have developed specialized programs to promote racial justice. This agenda gained additional momentum in December 2013, when the United Nation approved  resolution 68/237, which proclaims 2015-24 as the International Decade for People of African Descent. 

The Afro-Latin American Research Institute is one of the faculty-initiatives at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research with the administrative home in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 

Since its founding, ALARI has launched projects on Afrodescendientes/Afrodescendants; the Mark Claster Mamolen Dissertation Workshop; and the Working Group on Comparative Slavery, among others.  ALARI supports faculty-directed research projects and academic conferences, and has offered funding for short-term field research and term-long field research for graduate students on Afro-Latin American Studies. Learn more about ALARI initiatives here

See also: Initiatives

ALARI Brochure English (2019)17.85 MB
ALARI Brochure Spanish (2019)3.32 MB
ALARI Brochure Portuguese (2019)16.28 MB
estudiosafro_es.pdf4.91 MB
estudiosafro_pt.pdf4.95 MB