Presenting the Dope Ladies Behind the Afro-Latino Festival

There’s much anticipation for the fourth annual Afro-Latino Fest – and for good reason. As Pulitzer Prize-winning Dominican writer Junot Díaz recently told his Facebook fans, the musical “line-up is fire,” with underground goddesses like Princess Nokia, Maluca and Zuzuka Poderosa as well as more-famed acts like Nina Sky taking the stage, and that's just some of the ladies.

The three-day New York-based festival, which was created as an affirmation and celebration of Latinxs of African descent, will also host ever-relevant panel discussions on transnational migration, immigration, human rights, BlackLatinx feminism, the Black Lives Matter movement, representation and more.

With an event so poppin’, it only makes sense that there’s a group of fierce mujeres behind it. Here are some of the dope ladies responsible for putting this year’s hottest festival, taking place July 8 to July 10, together.

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1. Presenting the Dope Ladies Behind the Afro-Latino Fest

Meet Mai-Elka Prado, the woman you need to thank for the Afro-Latino Fest. She co-founded the festival in 2012, seeking a space where AfroLatinxs and their allies could come together to “affirm, celebrate and empower the entire community.” Prado, a New York-based Buddhist from Panama, is also a professional vocalist and songwriter, leading the Delsonido band with her sultry vocals.

2. Presenting the Dope Ladies Behind the Afro-Latino Fest

Puerto Rican sisters Maria and Suset Laboy are also business partners, running the public relations, branding, event production and artist representation firm Lalaboy PR. As you might have guessed, they're leading public relations and communications for the Afro-Latino Fest. Their previous clients have also included Remezcla, beautyblender, the Loisaida Festival, The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies and many, many more.

3. Presenting the Dope Ladies Behind the Afro-Latino Fest

Nati “Conrazón” Linares is the ultimate creative badass, so it's no surprise she's handling digital and social media for the festival, along with Mario Rubén Carrión. The part-Colombian, part-Cuban Staten Island native is a manager, producer, publicist, organizer, promoter, cultural advocate and social entrepreneur who is even representing, or has previously represented, some of the acts on the Afro-Latino Fest’s fire lineup, including Zuzuka Poderosa and Los Rakas.

4. Presenting the Dope Ladies Behind the Afro-Latino Fest

You might know Dash Harris as the producer of “NEGRO: A Docu-Series About Latino Identity,” the blogger behind Diaspora Dash, the editor of YouDontLookLatino.com or the founder of AfroLatino Travel – yes, the mujer does a lot – but she’s also the multimedia coordinator behind the Afro-Latino Festival.

5. Presenting the Dope Ladies Behind the Afro-Latino Fest

Together, Sanaa Harris and Chinyere Vann make up SaChin Productions, the Afro-Latino Fest’s event producer. The three-day festival is in good hands, as this duo – which joined forces in an effort to “capture intriguing and thought-provoking images that bring all people together” – have worked for some big-hitters, like A&E, History Channel, the Food Network and more.