Lao-Montes Attends Historic Inauguration in Colombia

Professors Amalcar

Agustin Lao-Montes, professor of Sociology and Afro-American studies, attended the historic inauguration ceremony for the newly-named Colombian president Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego and vice president Francia Márquez Mina on August 7th.

Lao-Montes has written extensively about this historic election, describing it as “a pivotal moment for Colombia” in a recent article for the Conversation. He was invited to the historic event with long-time collaborator Professor Amilcar Shabazz, professor and graduate program director of Afro-American studies, after nearly two decades of research in Colombia.

Lao-Montes taught at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia in 2007 as a Fulbright scholar and made many subsequent trips to develop pathways for research between UMass Amherst and Afro-Colombian students and scholars, and create ways to support research as well as student and faculty exchanges.

Márquez first visited the UMass campus at the invitation of Lao-Montes and Shabazz in 2011 to speak on the struggles of Afro-Colombian communities for land and life.

A full profile of this honor and the work that Lao-Montes and Shabazz have done in Colombia is available from the UMass News Office.