Emilia Valencia
Road to the Sea

Emilia Valencia © Jairo Murillo Cruz

Born in Andagoya, Chocó, she has long claimed cultural identity and defended the rights of her ethnic group. She has a degree in Modern Languages from Universidad del Valle, as well as a Master's degree in French Education from Universidad del Rosario. Emilia has graduate certificates in subjects such as leadership and political training, human rights, university teaching, public policy, and gender. She has also worked as a university and high school teacher, translator, proofreader, ethno-educator, teacher of folk dances from the North Pacific, hairdresser, lecturer, and workshop lecturer.

She was an operational secretary at Minga Afrovallecaucana por La Vida (CNOA); Municipal Culture Counselor for Black Communities; coordinator of the gender axis at the dialogue table for public policy for people of African descent in Cali; representative of black women at the Municipal Bureau of Cali Women; and departmental consultant for Black Communities. She is currently a member of the editorial committee of the Ébano Latinoamérica magazine from Escuela Política de Mujeres Pazíficas. She is also the creator of the regional encounter of Afro-Colombian hairdressers, "Weaving Hope". With the Association of Afro-Colombian Women Amafrocol, which she presided for 15 years, she has travelled the country to assist Afro-descendant processes and empower black women. One of her most important works has been the reconstruction of social fabric in vulnerable areas of the Aguablanca District and of the "La Playa Renifente" community council in Cali. Emilia's work has been acknowledged by the Mayor of Cali, the Departmental Assembly, and some private entities.