The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.

Afro-Colombian Property Rights

Student Reaction

“So much of what we do as students ends up being confined to the university, an unfortunate situation that feeds the idea that academia is separate from or outside of ‘the real world.'  I have always strongly disagreed with that sentiment, and am pleased that the Rapoport Center organized and committed itself to this delegation.  Hopefully what we produce will be not only a useful and accurate report, but also an example to encourage other similar projects in the future.” – Josh Clark (LLILAS)

“A rare opportunity, no doubt! The mission was a rich and invaluable experience.” – Kendall Zanowiak (LLILAS)

“This was a wonderful experience and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn about Afro-Colombian human rights in a real-life setting.” – Alysia Childs (Anthropology)

"I am so grateful for the opportunity to come down to Colombia. There I learned about the massive violations of rights that are occurring under the pressures of the armed conflict and neoliberal economic development gone totally haywire. We came to study human rights violations against the Afro-Colombian community in Colombia, focusing on property rights and the array of rights dependent on communal property rights. We were really busy in Bogotá. We would start at 8 or 9 a.m. each morning: attending interviews with government entities and non-governmental organizations, attending panel discussions with community representatives and academics, and spending a special afternoon visiting a displaced community on the outskirts of Bogotá. The magnitude of information was overwhelming, but I returned to the United States with an inkling of the scope of the problems involved. Only an inkling, the experience was engaging and humbling at the same time, but I hope that with the report that we will submit to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights we will increase the pressure on the Colombian state to protect and respect all of its citizens." - Paul Di Blasi (Law)

Learn more about the 2007 spring break project and read the report produced by our interdisciplinary delegation and the memorandum sent to Congress.