Skip to main content




A.B., Spanish Literature and Civilization, Princeton University; M.A., Latin American Studies, University of Texas, Austin; Ph.D., Social Anthropology (specialization in African Diaspora Studies), University of Texas, Austin

Teaching and Research Interests:

Critical race studies; black feminism; gender and race in Brazil; HIV/AIDS, health policy, and human rights; Afro-Latin

Current Researchers:

Dr. Caldwellis a sociocultural anthropologist and Professor of African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is also the Director of the African Diaspora Fellows Program, which provides professional development in African diaspora studies to middle and high school teachers in North Carolina.  Her research focuses on race, gender, black feminism, anti-racism, and health in Brazil and the U.S.  Her current research focuses on three main areas: (1) the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on Black communities in the U.S. and Brazil; (2) how Black women have re-envisioned democracy and human rights through activism and office holding across the Americas; and (3) maternal mortality among Black women in the U.S. and other areas of the African diaspora.


Occupy Politics: Black Women’s Democratic Engagements in the Americas (in progress)

Kia Lilly Caldwell and Emily Susanna Chávez, eds.  Engaging the African Diaspora in K

through 12 Education.  New York: Peter Lang, 2020.

Kia Lilly Caldwell, Health Equity in Brazil: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Policy.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2020.

Kia Lilly Caldwell, Kathleen Coll, Tracy Fisher, Renya Ramirez and Lok Siu, eds. Gendered Citizenships: Transnational Perspectives on Knowledge Production, Political Activism, and Culture. New York:  Palgrave Macmillan, Comparative Feminist Studies Series, 2009.

Negras in Brazil:  Re-envisioning Black Women, Citizenship, and the Politics of Identity.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2007.

Special Journal Issues

Edited with Sonia Alvarez, Special Issue on Afro-Descendant Feminisms in the Americas,  Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, vol. 14, no. 1 and 2,  2016.

Recent Articles and Essays

Kwame Dixon and Kia Lilly Caldwell, “Afro-Civil Society and the Struggle for Racial Equality in Latin  America.”  In The Oxford Handbook of Latin American Social Movements, edited by  Federico M. Rossi.  New York: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

“Teaching Slavery beyond the United States” in Engaging the African Diaspora in through 12 Education, edited by Kia Lilly Caldwell and Emily Chávez.  New York: Peter Lang, 2020.

Kia Lilly Caldwell, “The Contours and Contexts of Afro-Latin American Women’s Activism.” In The Handbook of Afro-Latin American Politics, edited by Ollie Johnson III and Kwame Dixon, 249-270.  New York: Routledge, 2019.

Vijaya Hogan, Edna M. de Araujo, Kia L. Caldwell, Sarah Gonzalez-Nahm, and Kristin Z. Black, “‘We Black Women Have to Kill a Lion Everyday’: Toward an Intersectional Analysis of Racism and Social Determinants of Health in Brazil,” Social Science and Medicine, SpecialIssue on Racism and Health Inequalities, vol. 199 (February 2018), p. 96-106 (published online July 2017).

Niasha Fray and Kia Lilly Caldwell, “Communication between Middle SES Black Women and Healthcare Providers about HIV Testing,” Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 109, no. 2, 2017, p. 115-125.

Kia Lilly Caldwell “Black Feminism and HIV/AIDS in Brazil:  Intersections and Ruptures,” Special Issue on Afro-descendant Feminisms in the Americas, Meridians, vol. 14, no. 1, 2016, p. 121-147.

Selected Public Scholarship

Interview with The Real News Network, “Black Americans, Black Brazilians Suffer More From COVID-19. Structural Racism is to Blame.”July 30, 2020.

Featured interview, “Inequality amplifies African Americans’ COVID-19 risk,”article by Megan May, UNC Research, June 14, 2020.

Kia Lilly Caldwell and Edna Maria de Araujo, “COVID-19 is deadlier for black Brazilians, a legacy of structural racism that dates back to slavery,” The Conversation, June 10, 2020.

Black Agenda Report Book Forum, “Kia Caldwell’s ‘Health Equity in Brazil,”February 13, 2019.

Kia Lilly Caldwell, “Sexism and Racism Drive More Black Women to Run for Office in Both Brazil and US” The Conversation, October 4, 2018.

Kia L. Caldwell, Wendi Muse, Tianna S. Paschel, Keisha-Khan Y. Perry, Christen A.Smith, and Erica L. Williams, “On the Imperative of Transnational Solidarity: A U.S. Black Feminist Statement on the Assassination of Marielle Franco.”  The Black Scholar, March 23, 2018.

Alvaro Jarrin and Kia Lilly Caldwell. “Beyond #MeToo, Brazilian women rise up against racism and sexism.” The Conversation, January 12, 2018.

“Intersectional Health Equity in Brazil,” Interview with Erica Williams, Black Perspectives Blog, October 2, 2017.


Consulting Producer, “I, a Black Woman, Resist/Eu, Uma Mulher Negra, Resiste” a documentary about Marielle Franco, a production of Free Southern Media, co-directed by Sharrelle Barber and Amber Delgado, 2018.