We invite you to join the social movement that works to promote racial equality in Colombia! Every $1 you contribute equals 1 vote supporting this project. You can vote as many times as you wish! Thanks in advance for your support!
For those based in the USA or that want to contribute in US dollars, we invite you to donate using the following platform https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/black-is-colorful/x/14526087#/ For those based in Canada, you can contribute using the following platform https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/le-noir-est-a-la-mode-le-marche-noir-tickets-26470887136 If you prefer to contribute in cash, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you think -like we do- that this project can have a positive impact, here are some other ideas to show your support: 1) Visit www.elnegroestademoda.com to know more about our work; 2) Subscribe to our social media pages and 3) Share our content and messages with your friends and family.
Thanks in advance!
More about the project
After USA and Brazil, Colombia is the third country in the region with the largest number of Afro-descendants, approximately 4.5 million people, representing around 10% of the total population. They have historically been for the most part located in the Pacific Region, a land rich in resources, with the city of Chocó as the metropolis. During the past decades, due to the internal conflict, Colombia has become the country with the second highest number of internally displaced people in the world, after Syria, affecting millions of inhabitants. Over some two months in 2016 alone, more than 6000 people fled their homes in Chocó. Approximately 40% of black communities have been affected by the internal armed conflict and related threats, killings and displacements, as the violence primarily occurred in Afro-descendant territories, in the context of illegal mining and drug trafficking. The most affected by violence are black girls and women.
Black communities are openly discriminated against because of their skin color, origin, social status and ignorance about their cultural heritage. According to the Office for National Statistics, 90% of Afro-Colombians live in extreme conditions of poverty, exclusion, discrimination and injustice.
In the past decades, cities like Bogotá, Cali and Medellin have received thousands of Afro-descendants looking for opportunities to escape poverty. In spite of local efforts, the integration of black communities with local communities is far from being a reality. There are urban ghettos where Afro-Colombians lack social services and assistance programs. Local communities distrust their black comrades based on historical and religious beliefs and ignorance. Racial discrimination is a reality and it is one of the main obstacles for successfully implementing any social or economic program aimed at improving the living conditions of black communities.
Now, as more and more black artists, musicians, actors, athletes and entrepreneurs start to become part of the general consciousness, there is an opportunity to truly talk about the state of discrimination in Colombia and to start transforming their reality and their future which is also our reality, our future.
Especially now that the country is in the process of negotiating a peace agreement after more than 50 years of internal conflict and violence, we see an opportunity to address this issue from a different perspective. We want to start by reaching out to our friends, families, co-workers, hoping that they will do the same, to challenge them to start being part of the solution to inequality, by recognizing that there is a problem of racial discrimination, by speaking openly about it, by transforming their language and by supporting black communities for the quality of their work, the richness of their culture and the recognition of collaboration and solidarity as key pillars to social cohesion and equality.
Addressed social challenges
- Racial discrimination
- Lack of trust and solidarity among different social groups
- Social and economic integration and development of black communities
Our mission is to fight racial discrimination in Colombia by: 1) transforming the negative symbolism associated with the term “black” and raising awareness about the great contribution of black communities to the development of the country and 2) helping black entrepreneurs to establish sustainable enterprises and promote their work nationally and internationally so that they can advance socially and economically.
1.Transforming our language and raising awareness about the richness of black cultures and their contribution
In a first phase, our goal is to produce on-line content about inspiring black women, men, and organizations that have contributed to the development of the country. Our target: « white » and « mestizos » population. Our objective: to change their perception about black communities, to recognize their valuable contribution to development of the country and to build social trust and collaboration. This campaign will be supported by opinion leaders and goodwill ambassadors to generate public awareness about the negative impacts of the lack of equality and the need to appreciate what each of us has in common, but moreover the richness of having different perspectives and cultural backgrounds.
Our campaign : messages, partners and communication tools (examples)
The Black List of Inspiring Women (example of produced content)
2. Encouraging entrepreneurship – The Colombian “Black Market”
In a second phase we are creating a collaborative platform called « Mercado negro (Black Market)», a space where local communities will get to know the cultural richness and offered contribution of black communities to the development of their cities. In this space we give visibility to the products and services provided by the best black social and cultural entrepreneurs, and we connect them with potential buyers, supporters and partners. We also want to help Afro-Colombians in the process of finding job opportunities and companies that are willing to value their particular knowledge and expertise. As we want to promote the integration of the best social, environmental and governance practices, through collaboration and public and private partnerships, we will offer training programs and tools to participants so that they can better understand the concepts around sustainability and the opportunities for successful development.
We also aim at providing our own services to generate revenues and ensure economic sustainability but also to generate job opportunities for black entrepreneurs. The first two services to be offered are: Pacific Style Marimba Classes and Pacific Cuisine Classes. Unlike traditional musical or culinary lessons, our classes will be used as tools to share the history of Afro-Colombians with local communities and the richness of their culture.
Productive Units : Social and Cultural Entrepreneurs from Black Communities (Examples)
Our business plan
Please click below to have a look at our business plan proposition!
Business Plan Prototyping Exercise
Elements of differentiation (Originality)
“El negro está de moda” is a unique project as it proposes an integrated and coherent solution to two interrelated challenges: racial discrimination and social and economic development of black communities.
Unlike most projects that seek to encourage entrepreneurship and promote economic development of disadvantaged social groups, we believe that to successfully implement such projects you need to first create the conditions for them to succeed.
Therefore, we believe that since our main goal is to help Afro-Colombians overcome historic poverty and exclusion and ensure their effective integration into local communities, we need to start by changing the perception and imaginary local communities possess about their black comrades and by building trust and collaboration. To do that, we are committed to shine a light on the contribution of black communities to the country’s development, the richness of their culture and the need to transform our language and the way we see and relate with them. We want to act as bridge connecting all actors from the public and the private sector as well as civil society and grassroots organizations interested in fighting racial discrimination and supporting the first Colombian “Black Market”.
Furthermore, we aim at helping social and cultural entrepreneurs advance economically by offering them tools and training to develop sustainable business that respect their knowledge, skills and cultural heritage.
Initially, our scope is national, but with the intention to be international as our business grows-up and matures and similar problems affect other countries.
The following list includes some of the elements that ensure the feasibility our products/services:
- A team with a large network of professional and personal contacts in different countries willing to support the project and become friends and ambassadors of our messages and activities.
- Positive feedback from potential partners, clients, mentors, investors that find the idea innovative and creative and are looking forward to support their implementation. Example: Project selected as one of the 12 entrepreneurs to be part of the last Unreasonable Labs Colombia http://unreasonableinstitute.org/accelerator/colombia-2016/
- Nonexistence of similar projects in current market.
- Support from local organizations representing black communities’ interests and fighting against racial discrimination as well as from beneficiaries from different regions in the country.
- Social business experts as advisers and potential.
We believe in the commercial potential of our product because:
- There is a lack of significant local competitors and an opportunity to openly speak about racial discrimination and to mobilize local communities to participate in this social transformation. In fact, recently, more and more public and private organizations have turned to the Pacific region looking for ways to contribute to their development and there are more and more organizations managed by black leaders that have gained attention and relevance. At the international level, the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) offers also an opportunity to join international donors and agencies that might be interested in supporting innovative projects in this area.
- We have the support of expert and well-connected partners to help us implement our social business idea.
- Target consumers are more and more interested not only in high quality products and services but also in supporting projects/companies that are committed to make a difference and that can have a positive social and environmental impact. In Colombia this kind of offer is still very limited, which offers a unique opportunity for our project.
Beneficiaries Support (Video)
Unreasonable Labs Colombia (Public support)
Here are two of the social indicators that can help us measuring our impact as a social change agent:
1.Number of people supporting the campaign and spreading the message
Click in the following link to see an example of how ‘El negro está de moda” is transforming the negative symbolism associated to the term “black”. In this article, Jorge Navas, director of the film Buenaventura Mon Amour publishes the “Black List” of Colombian Dancers! http://www.lbv.co/velvet_voice/bma/com_batallas.htm
2.Number of afro-entrepreneurs with sustainable projects in implementation
The Black List of Colombian Dancers (Example of #1 Social Indicator)
Stakeholders feedback (selection)
“I support “El negro está de moda” and its platform the Colombian “Black Market”, because it contributes to the process of social justice against segregation and discrimination affecting Afro descendants in the country. By promoting collaborative work, the project has been publishing the “Black Lists” to give visibility to black leaders and organizations living in the capital, Bogotá. This work contributes to the education of citizens about the impact of racial segregation and helps changing the stereotypes existing about black people by recognizing the richness of our culture and the different possibilities and contributions of our culture to the development of the society. We salute and strongly encourage this initiative as it will strengthen our efforts against racism and in favor of the protection of our rights”. – Javier García, afro-descendant, social activist and ambassador.
“I believe this project proposes a suitable solution to re-signify the role Afro descendants can have in the process of enhancing the social fabric of the country. This type of initiative allows us to democratise access to opportunities and create new collective spaces that value the contributions of Afro descendants, historically living in exclusion and without the chance to fully achieve social, cultural, economic and political development. Another interesting element of this project is its timing as we are about to face one of the nation’s biggest challenges, which is to re-write our history after decades of internal conflict. Therefore, this is the best opportunity to also re-write the history of black communities by recognizing its contribution to the past and future of the country we want to re-build. – Jasec Moreno, mentor, Unreasonable Colombia team.
“I believe there is a social problem and a creative and innovative business solution clearly defined and with the potential to grow and be replicated. The value proposition of the project “The Colombian Black Market” is very interesting as it uses market criteria to solve a social problem by giving visibility to the best talented black entrepreneurs and to promote their culture, products and services. I consider that the team behind the project has the experience and educational background needed to develop the idea, but moreover, the vision and determination to take it to another level by testing, experimenting, improving and working with consistency and respect for the beneficiaries and potential clients”. Camilo Vidales, advisor and founder of HEY, Entretenimiento Humanitario.
“I believe that to be able to transform our country we need to start by changing the way we think, see and relate to each other and challenge the prejudices that are installed in our brain since the beginning. This initiative demonstrates us that there are concepts we use without being conscious of the impact our words can have on the well-being and future of those surrounding us. The value of this project is that it seeks to re-define concepts we have used for centuries linked to negative meanings that are wrong and need to be changed”. – Juan Pablo Zuluaga. potential client and friend.
Who We Are
Our team is composed of 2 co-founders and 1 professional volunteer. We all have the experience of working with public, private and civil society organisations and of building sustainable partnerships and alliances. Our technical expertise covers issues regarding human rights, sustainable development, public policies (youth, women, cultural, social and economic issues) and management.
Andrea González, Co-founder and Executive Director, Bogotá, Colombia (in the photo with Goyo, singer of the Colombian music group ChocQuibTown, winner of the Latin Grammy Awards in 2010 and 2015)
Our Core Values