Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Janvieve Williams Comrie

Human rights strategist, trainer and organizer | AfroResistance, Radio Caña Negra
Pronouns: she/her
Janvieve Williams Comrie is a Black Latina human rights strategist, trainer and organizer with a deep commitment to assist in the building of powerful social movements for racial justice and human rights. She has worked in a variety of fields and for several human rights institutions, including the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights Regional Office Central America, where she coordinated a regional program on race and racism. Janvieve is internationally recognized for her work with Afrodescendent communities. She is also an Associate Professor at The New School, and mother to two amazing children and lives in the Bronx New York.

Presentations from Facing Race 2020

If You're Not Talking About Race, You're Not Talking About Anything: Anti-Blackness in the Latinx Community

Our proposed session aims to dismantle anti-blackness and white supremacy among Latinx communities and those that work with Latinx communities. We create a space where we display, present, and analyze how white supremacy and antiblackness have insidiously moved through history, time, space, and society, thereby normalizing it and pointing out traditions, practices, and myths among U.S. Latinxs that are seldom interrogated as anti-black. For example: "there is no racism in Latin America," "class matters more than race," "we are all mixed so how can we be racist?" "we don't identify along racial lines, it is more about our nationalities," "we are all equal in Latin America," "there are no whites in Latin America," "there are no Blacks in X country," "Latinxs do not identify racially, this is a new thing and U.S.-centric," all statements untrue. We offer ways to pushback and re-imagine other ways of being. It is also useful for non-Latinx individuals to receive this information as U.S. politics is tied to Latin American politics. Many of these biases are steeped in "tradition" or "that's just the way it is" with very little interrogation, these ideas and attitudes are often unknowingly replicated and continuously duplicated though generations. Many may never have even had to confront how their positionality and behaviors exhibit loyalty and investment to white hegemony. We invite folks to examine these phenomenas, keeping in mind many behaviors were and are survival tactics to re-imagine other possibilities that recognize our full humanity for future generations.

Speakers: Dash Harris Machado, Evelyn Alvarez, Janvieve Williams Comrie

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Bronxeñas: Afrolatina is not just a US Experience

How do we reshape the idea of 'Latinidad' when talking about the Diaspora away from white supremacist standards, US imperialism and exceptionalism, and more from a very global, African descendent and lived experience.

This intergenerational session will generate strategies as we move forward. Four African Descendent global Women grounded in the Bronx, with four different experiences, will share their lived personal and organizational and collectively dream up a strategy to shift the narrow narrative to be more inclusive.

Participants will also get a sense of what organizing in communities where one is centered looks like, and how those strategies keep on being replicated by outsiders, without the intentional centering, with lots of funding and end up failing.

As sanctuary we ask that the space be held by for people of color, including people that intentionally identify as Black and Indigenous Latinxs only.

Speakers: Janvieve Williams Comrie, Alicia Grullon, Wanda Salaman, Sade Swift

Children of the Diaspora: Keep us Together

This a child centered workshop led by 7 year olds. The two children want to feel safe in their houses and in their schools. Gibran does not want his mother to be taken away because she is not from the United States and Malayia does not want more jails in the Bronx.
Guided by their parents, the children will lead other children to reflect about their safety as Black children and as children that are part of a global community.
They might do either an art project or dance.
This workshop is intended to be for and by children and will take between 30-45 minutes.

Speakers: Janvieve Williams Comrie, Malayia Felix- Spann and Gibran Freilla Williams

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Raza Que Raza: The state of Latinx Racial Justice

A major demographic shift is at hand in the United States: Latinx are slated to become the majority. On this shifting ground, the US Census Bureau no longer categorizes Latino/Hispanic as a race. Meanwhile organizers, advocates and community leaders are struggling with immediate threats and challenges that impact Latino/a/x people. Join three Latina leaders to discuss the trends and obstacles in addressing the needs of Latinx communities while grappling with questions of identity, allegiance and intersecting oppressions.

Speakers: Janvieve Williams Comrie, Maegan Ortiz, paulina helm-hernandez