Colombian HEIs and HBCUs from the U.S.

Promotion of cultural, academic, and institutional exchange between Colombian HEIs and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) of the United States, thus contributing to the public diplomacy goals of the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, and the Colombian National Ministry of Education to foster and strengthen academic exchange between institutions that primarily serve afro-descendent students.

Raising Awareness, Building Bridges, Strengthening Identities

Previous initiatives to promote collaboration between Colombian HEIs and HBCUs from the U.S.



To identify motivations and barriers institutions for the inclusion of Afro-Americans and Afro-Colombians in internationalization activities.


To map out cooperative synergies between CCYK universities and other universities Afro-Colombians and HBCUs to establish a road map for joint academic work.


To develop Internationalization at Home activities (COIL methodology), two-way mobility of students and Faculty, between Colombia and other Afro-Colombian universities to service and HBCUs. (Social Sciences, Afro Identities and Leadership)


To improve the institutional capacity in the internationalization of higher education HBCUs and Colombian HEIs that serve communities with an Afro-Colombian ethnic focus.

Phase 1

Assessment and recognition/awareness of institutional characteristics, and internationalization and social inclusion in HBCUs, as well as Colombian HEIs serving Afro-Colombian communities.

The objective is to provide a general characterization of participating HBCUs and Colombian HEIs (size, public/private), and its academic community (sociodemographic variables), academic and research programs related to race, ethnicity and identity, areas of knowledge regarding priorities, needs and strengths as well as the already established collaboration relationships.

Academic Dialogue Videos

Discussion 1 Emerging black middle classes

Moderator: CIDSE Research Group - U del Valle

● Professor Mara Viveros, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
● Professor Carlos Viáfara, Universidad del Valle
● Professor Mary Pattillo, Northwestern University

Discussion 2 Education, literacy, and affirmative action

Moderator: CIDSE Research Group - U del Valle

● Professor Arlette Willis, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
● Professor Elizabeth Castillo, Universidad del Cauca.
● Professor Beatriz Guerrero, Universidad del Valle.

Discussion 3. History, identities and racism in the USA and Colombia.

Moderator: CIDSE Research Group - U del Valle

● Researcher Anny Ocoró, National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) - Professor FLACSO-Argentina
● Professor Alexander Weheliye, University Northwestern
● Professor Óscar Quintero, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Discussion 4, Identities, culture and, diversities

Moderator: CIDSE Research Group - U del Valle

● Professor Marisela Martínez-Cola, Morehouse College
● Professor Johana Caicedo, Race and Equity
● Professor Rosa Bermúdez, Universidad del Valle

Colombian IES characterization study

This study constitutes a first effort to recognize the profile of higher education institutions in the United States and Colombia that allowed the institutional characterization of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) and Higher Education Institutions in Colombia from its approach and coverage of Afro-Colombian populations. At the end, the results leave us with an invitation to deepen this process of characterization of the HBCUs and Afro-Colombian populations in Higher Education, an effort that requires continuity and the contribution of all the related actors.

As a result of the different activities that were carried out within the framework of the study: surveys, interviews, focus groups, discussions and literature review, it was possible to identify, among other issues, the possibility of joint work in addressing the racial issue, ethnic studies, as well as the academic exchange between professors and students. In addition to being able to share good practices aimed at dignifying the transition of black students to higher education and the presence of black professors in institutions, recognizing an increase in black students in universities, in both countries, which although gradual implies changes in living conditions with greater access and social mobility.

From the reflection on context, students and professors in the USA allow a particular discussion given that the country has important curricular advances (such as the existence of HBCUs) where they can openly talk about educational spaces exclusively for the education of a racial group and the way in which the contexts between professors and students interact in them. From the Colombian case, the reflection on context, students and professors in Colombia allows a particular discussion on the advances that, although gradual, are important (such as the existence of affirmative action quotas and the way in which they are followed up in the university to these students) and openly allow conversation about the way in which the education of the NARP population (Black, Afro-Colombian, Raizal and Palenquera) can be improved and the way in which the context between students and professors interact in this case. Some HEIs have elective related courses but the vast majority do not even have this offer.

Phase 2

Blended program for engagement and exchange between Colombian HEIs and HBCUs.

This phase was developed through internationalization at home with the design of eight collaborative online projects because of a short-term faculty mobility stage between CCYK and other Afro-Colombian serving universities and HBCUs. In this stage developed a two-days’ workshop and the visit of the HBCUs professors to Colombian Universities in Cali, Cartagena, and Barranquilla. These projects and the experience revolve around the shared academic practices in the following fields: Social Science, TESOL & STEM.

Professor’s Testimonial videos

Celeste Chavis -Morgan State University

Charity Clay- Xula University

Justin Bryan Lamar PVAMU

Iris Solano – Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar

Luis Ricardo Vásquez – Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Seminar Photos / Video

Phase 2 Infographics and Collaborative International Academic Projects

Academic Leaders.

Charity Clay
Xavier University of Louisiana

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., Sociology - Texas A&M University
M.A., Sociology - Texas A&M University
B.A., Accounting/Public Policy - DePaul University

Iris Solano
Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar

Professor of Language Center
Foreign Languages Degree - U del Atlántico.
Master’s degree in teaching English as a Second Language – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
PhD candidate in Sociology and Social Policy – Corvinus University of Budapest

Charlene Chester
Morgan State University

Assistant Dean for Administration and Outreach (James H. Gilliam Jr., College of Liberal Arts)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Developmental Psychology - The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Doctoral program in Psychometrics - Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Psychology -University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology- Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

Paula Delgado
Universidad Autónoma de Occidente

Professor of the Language Department and Coordinator of the Reading and Writing Center.
Literature Degree – Universidad del Valle.
Master of Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language – UNINI, Puerto Rico

Gonzalo Baptiste
Morgan State University

Assistant Professor, Department of World Languages
Ph.D. Hispanic Studies, U of Kentucky
M.A. Hispanic Studies en passant, U of Kentucky
M.F.A. Creative Writing, Scuola Holden, Torino, Italy, 2009.

Adrián Alzate
Universidad Autónoma de Occidente

Professor of the Faculty of Human Sciences and Arts
Sociologist - Universidad del Valle.
Master in History – Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Medellín)
PhD in History - Florida International University
B.A. Hispanic Philology, U de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, 2006.

Phase 3

Communication and socialization strategy, for project results and recommendations.

The objective of this phase was to socialize the activities, learnings, and conclusions from the first two phases of the program through several media to widen the reach of the experience to inspire others (institutions, professors, students, and administrative staff) to build and expand the collaboration networks established within the program. Finally, all this process is complemented with a proposal for a roadmap through which identify the possibility scenarios for future collaborations between Colombian universities and HBCUs.

Free press report and featured publications

La opinión

In the development of the cooperation agenda of the United States government and the Colombian government, and in order to promote cultural, academic and scientific exchange...

La nota económica

Education, as a fundamental right, fulfills an important function for social ascent, especially for those populations that, for various reasons of inequity...

Universidad Distrital

The objective is to strengthen academic and scientific exchange between the Afro-descendant community of the two countries. Likewise, ICETEX joins the initiative...

El nuevo siglo

In the development of the cooperation agenda of the United States government and the Colombian government, and in order to promote cultural, academic and scientific exchange...

La nota económica

The network of Colombian universities, Colombia Challenge Your Knowledge (CCYK), in conjunction with the US Embassy and ICETEX...

Las 2 orillas

The beginning of the academic year in higher education institutions (IES) has highlighted critical points in education for the black, Afro-Colombian, Raizal and Palenquera (NARP) population in Colombia.

Revista Semana

Education is a fundamental right that children and adults have in the world, although progress has been made in this matter, there are still barriers that exist when it comes to teaching...

Closing Event Video / Photos

Partners and Institutions Testimonial Videos

Rosalyn Wiese Embajada EEUU

Sebastián Fajardo – ICETEX

Mirabel Moscote Universidad de la Sabana

Giovanni Anzola – Universidad Externado de Colombia

Ericka Duncan – Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar

Alejandra González – Universidad de la Sabana

Adriana Guzmán – Universidad del Valle

Enhancing us-col academic collaborations with a focus in diversity and inclusion
September 12th, 2023

Virtual workshops on building bridges with higher education institutions in Colombia and Usa. March 11th and 12th, 2024.


For Colombian Institutions

U.S.-Colombia summit: partnerships for Inclusive international education.

The U.S. Embassy in Colombia, the Colombian Ministry of National Education and the Colombia-Challenge Your Knowledge (CCYK) Association invite HBCUs and Colombian Institution representatives to participate.