Part 2 Discussing Anti-Racism Work in Puerto Rico with Collective Ilé: Challenges, Victories and Dreams


In today’s blog post, we will delve into the world of Colectivo Ille, an organization dedicated to anti-racism work in Puerto Rico. Through an engaging conversation with Maya and Kimberly, two influential members of Colectivo Ille, we will learn about their impactful projects and campaigns. This post aims to shed light on the importance of addressing racism in Puerto Rico and the extraordinary efforts made by Colectivo Ille to create a more inclusive and equitable society.

Section 1: The Work of Colectivo Ille

Colectivo Ille is an organization committed to eradicating racism in Puerto Rico. Last week, we discussed their ongoing projects, campaigns, and initiatives aimed at effecting change within the community. Today, we will explore their work in organizing the black identity on the US-based census and their broader impact on Puerto Rico.

Section 2: Organizing the Black Identity on the US Census

One fascinating aspect that emerged from our conversation with Maya and Kimberly was their focus on organizing the black identity on the US census. In Puerto Rico, where the racial democracy myth prevails, discussing racism can be challenging. However, Colectivo Ille understands the importance of raising awareness about race as long as racism exists. By encouraging individuals to self-identify as Afro-descendants on the census, Colectivo Ille was able to bring about significant changes in the statistics. The number of people identifying as black increased by 17% on the 2020 census, highlighting the impact of their tireless efforts.

Section 3: Addressing Challenges and Pushback

While Colectivo Ille’s work is commendable, it’s not without its challenges. Maya and Kimberly spoke candidly about the obstacles they face, particularly in a country that denies the existence of racism. The racial democracy myth in Puerto Rico can be a significant setback when it comes to implementing anti-racist practices. Additionally, sustainability and funding remain ongoing concerns, as organizations focused on eradicating racism, particularly those led by black women, often receive limited financial support. However, Colectivo Ille remains steadfast in their commitment, partnering with like-minded organizations and adhering to their principles even when faced with potentially compromising funding opportunities.

Section 4: Intergenerational Work and Building Community

Building community and fostering intergenerational work are at the core of Colectivo Ille’s mission. They firmly believe in the power of shared wisdom and recognize that the work they do today will have a lasting impact on future generations. By incorporating ancestral knowledge, storytelling, and processes that promote emotional well-being, Colectivo Ille emphasizes the importance of holistic and inclusive approaches.

Section 5: Dreams, Rest, and Beyond

Towards the end of our conversation, Maya and Kimberly shared their dreams for the future. Maya expressed her hope for her daughter and all girls in Puerto Rico to grow up in a prosperous, safe, and fulfilling environment free from the fear of feminicides. Kimberly, on the other hand, longs for a future where Puerto Ricans can find respite from the constant battle against racism and simply live as normal, happy people.


Our conversation with Maya and Kimberly from Colectivo Ille showcased the incredible work being done to combat racism in Puerto Rico. Through their tireless efforts on projects like organizing the black identity on the US census and their commitment to building community and intergenerational connections, Colectivo Ille is paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable society. It is organizations like Colectivo Ille that inspire hope and promote lasting change through their unwavering dedication.

We hope you enjoyed this in-depth look into the remarkable work of Colectivo Ille. Stay tuned for more inspiring stories and conversations here at the Labyrinth of the First Gen. Don’t forget to join our Facebook discussion group, where you can share your thoughts on this episode and connect with other like-minded individuals. Thank you for reading, and remember, together we can create a future free from racism.

For more information about Colectivo  Ilé  check out their website at

Listen to the Coletivo  Ilé  podcast called Negras here 

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