“Zahira Kelly-Cabrera’s keynote address was provoking, unapologetic, and inspiring. It was everything that our students were hoping for when they proposed Zahira to be our guest speaker during a culminating event of their academic careers—the research symposium where they presented their undergraduate theses projects. Zahira’s intervention challenged the heteronormative and white supremacist ethos that pervades life in predominantly white institutions such as Columbia University, resonating with students’ political concerns regarding the university, intellectual life, and activism. It was clear that students felt a profound synergy with Zahira’s words and that Zahira felt welcomed by our cohort. Quite star-stroked by her powerful and relatable presence, we were all moved by Zahira’s call to action in a keynote address and Q&A session that were consistent with the multi-media Afro-Latina feminist activism that inspired us to invite her to be our keynote speaker.”

César Colón-Montijo,
Lecturer – Department of Music, Columbia University

“We had the honor of hosting Zahira in our Afro-Latinx Panel during Black Hxstory Month.  She drew in a large crowd from all across the Bay Area and did not disappoint.  Zahira came with such a real, unapologetic voice and lens on what it means to be Black and Latina, how anti-Blackness continues show up within Latinx spaces, and what folx can be doing to combat it. The students loved her and were talking about the event for months!  Her insight really served as a foundationl/turning point for sparking dialogue across Black, Black Latinx & non-Black Latinx communities on our campus on what it truly means to be in solidarity.”

Melissa Charles Assistant Director of African American Student Development, UC-Berkeley

“The People’s Coalition was honored to have Zahira Kelly as a panelist for our event on Social Justice in the Trump Era. Zahira’s dynamic social critique was both stimulating and informative. Their ability to communicate macro-structural harm in a digestible way contributed deeply to my personal learning, as well as the education of our participants. Zahira is a shining unique voice in a public sector that often sounds like an echo chamber of recycled ideas. The People’s Coalition would be honored to work with Zahira again in the future. In gratitude,”

Jasmyn Elise Story,
Founder, Executive Manager
The People’s Coalition

“As soon as I created my Afro Latinx organization, the first person on my list to come was the wonderful Zahira Kelly. As a Dominicana I followed her intently and was constantly inspired by her bold, hilarious and honest nature. Another club happened to have the same idea, and offered to have Zahira talk at UCLA. I was floored. She went beyond my expectations; seamlessly transitioned from history a hundred years back until the present day. So many people came up to me and were thankful for the opportunity to hear such a gifted and intelligent woman speak her truth so effortlessly. I loved how open she was and the way she covered so many topics and huge issues in a short amount of time. I look forward to inviting her back and learning more from her! Thank you for coming amor!”

The AfroLatinx Connection, UCLA

“Zahira also known as Bad Dominicana, was one of the speakers for our annual Festival Latinx. Through her talk, she pushed the narrative of what it means to be Latinx to bring to the forefront the experiences and voices of Black Latinxs. She discussed the racism that is experienced by Black Latinx within our communities while also emphasizing the resilience and beauty of this group. During the Q+A portion, it was clear that our students were hungry to discuss these issues and it was very powerful to see how Zahira pushed them but also encouraged them to use their voice.”

Kareli B. Lizarraga, Associate Director – La Casa Latina, University of Pennsylvania