Zahira Kelly-Cabrera aka @Bad_Dominicana is an AfroDominicana artist, mujerista, award-winning sociocultural critic, and international speaker. Known for nearly a decade of advocating for AfroLatina visibility and rights on social media, and unfiltered social critique broken down in accessible language. She has been featured in a number of publications such as The New York Times, Latina, Complex, The Fader, Vibe, Cosmopolitan, Time, BBC, and many more for her sociocultural analysis and art. The internationally trending hashtags #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou and its spanish language version #QuizaNoTePegue on how gendered non-physical abuse manifests in daily life were also authored by her. This led to her TEDx talk in Mexico on the subject in Spanish (her first language), as well.
Being AfroLatina: Living as Embodied Myth
The current colonized conception of the universe does not include AfroLatinas. A more accurate retelling of history from pre-1492 to present day from an Afrolatina feminist perspective, this talk offers a nuanced breakdown of Latin American racial, gender and class hierarchy, and highlights Afrolatina contributions to the culture and how they are historically and presently marginalized and excluded from Latin American social conscience.
Feminism is often thought of as being birthed during the suffragettes era but that does not take Native American and Black womens context into account. Explored will be a song by Black artist Valerie June, narratives from Native American women in the Caribbean upon Columbus' arrival, to Black women in the American South, as well as popular tropes that demarcate racialized unequal ideals of womanhood.
Looks can be quite superficial, but what happens when your access to humanity and love are determined by just that? A look at precolonial beauty standards, what they were then and how they became what they are now, how they shift in different contexts and perceived beauty's relation to structural power.
Learning to Recognize Antiblackness in Latin American Communities
In such a diverse community it can be difficult to clearly delineate Antiblackness. In this interactive workshop you will learn of contributions of Afrolatinxs to the culture as well as both the more subtle and overt ways Antiblackness plays out socially, politically, in our imaginations and in media.
Selfie: Self Worship for Black and Brown Underrepresented People
An art workshop that refocuses marginalized children and people as worthy of representation and being seen. Examined will be current beauty norms, how they became what they are now, vanity vs self-representation, and how concepts of worthiness are tied to structural power.
For colonial subjects, especially, many of our now cultural modes are partly coping mechanisms from hundreds of years of violent trauma we have had no space to process or heal from. These coping mechanisms are often unhealthy. In this talk we will be identifying these sources of hurt, and plotting a new, better future interpersonally and systemically.
Other topics may also be available on request!
"Zahira also known as Bad Dominicana, was one of the speakers for our annual Festival Latinx. Through her talk, she pushed the narrative of what it means to be Latinx to bring to the forefront the experiences and voices of Black Latinxs. She discussed the racism that is experienced by Black Latinx within our communities while also emphasizing the resilience and beauty of this group. During the Q+A portion, it was clear that our students were hungry to discuss these issues and it was very powerful to see how Zahira pushed them but also encouraged them to use their voice."
- Kareli B. Lizarraga, Associate Director - La Casa Latina, University of Pennsylvania
Past Talks and Workshops
- #QuizaNoTePegue, TedX Mexico City
- Keynote, Latinas at Penn and Beyond, University of Pennsylvania
- Keynote, AfroLatinidad and Ethical Research, Annual Senior Research Symposium, Columbia University
- Talk, AfroLatinidad and Survivorhood, University of California, Los Angeles
- Panelist, AfroLatinx Identity, University of California, Berkeley
- Keynote, Rise Through Resistance, Womxn of Color Conference, University of California, Santa Barbara
- Keynote and Workshop on Identifying Antiblackness in Latin America, Black and Latina Womens Summit, University of Illinois-Champaign
- Panelist, Ni Negro Ni Blanco, New York University
- Panelist, Feminism and Race, Pitchwise Festival, Sarajevo, Bosnia
- Panelist on Femme Entrepeneurship and Concert Co-host, AfroLatino Festival, New York City
- Reading, Femmes Write Femmes, Naked Heart Festival, Toronto, Canada
- Conferencista, #QuizaNoTePegue, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico