Visiting Scholar Honors/AADS
Monica Carrillo Zegarra, M.F.A., is an Afro-Peruvian writer, performer, and human rights advocate, founder and former director of LUNDU Center for Afro Peruvian Studies and Advancement (http://lundu.org/) In the artistic world, Carrillo goes by the name “Oru.” She creates poetry that mixes afro-beat, hip-hop, and Afro Peruvian music to bring attention to the ongoing effects of racism and sexism. Her productions “Unicroma” and “Poetics of Reparation” included a CD, a book and a live performance with musicians and dancers. As a songwriter and performer, she has been featured in the GRAMMY ®, Latin GRAMMY ® and Independent Music Award’s winner album “El Orisha de la Rosa. ” She holds a M.F.A in Performance Media and Interactive Arts from Brooklyn College, a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from The National University of San Marcos (Peru), a master’s degree in Political Journalism and Cultural Analysis from The University of Antonio Ruiz Montoya (Peru), and a specialization in International Law and in Human Rights from Oxford University, (England). Carrillo has lectured at Harvard and Columbia, among other universities and her work on issues of sexuality, gender, philosophy and the African diaspora have been included in United Nations and other publications. Her latest book, Faces of Violence, Faces of Power explores the intersection of racism and sexism in the lives of Afro-Peruvian women. She has led over twenty-five human rights projects to improve the quality of life for people in her community. One project included the building of 250 houses for people left homeless after a severe earthquake in Peru. Carrillo also led the first successful lawsuit against the use of black-face on Peruvian television – a case which had national and international precedents. She led a separate strategy which resulted in changes to Peruvian law and the official recognition that racist insults are a type of sociological violence. Carrillo delivered the keynote in the NASDAQ ® Closing Bell ceremony for the International Day of Women and has been recognized as a global leader by Google Earth, and by The Elders, an organization founded by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. She has been featured on programs on PBS, CNN, Univision, MTV Europe. Carrillo is the former community organizer of the Queens Museum and the current Regional Director of Latin America of a philanthropic organization that supports grassroots movements, food sovereignty, alternative economies and climate justice.