hero image
Kia Lilly Caldwell, Ph.D. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Kia Lilly Caldwell, Ph.D. Kia Lilly Caldwell, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, College of Arts and Sciences | UNC-Chapel Hill


Dr. Caldwell can discuss the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on people of color in the U.S. and Brazil.



Kia Lilly Caldwell, Ph.D. Publication Kia Lilly Caldwell, Ph.D. Publication



loading image loading image book cover loading image





Dr. Caldwell's most recent book, "Health Equity in Brazil: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Policy" gives a closer look at how institutional and structural factors impact gender and racial health equity in Brazil.

She has published journal articles in "Frontiers," "Transforming Anthropology," "The Journal of Negro Education," "Genero" (Brazil), and "Revista Estudos Feministas" (Brazil).

She has conducted HIV prevention research focusing on African-American young adults and African-American women in North Carolina.

Caldwell is the co-director of the African Diaspora Fellows Program, which provides professional development opportunities to middle and high school teachers in North Carolina.

Areas of Expertise (10)

Critical Race Studies

Black Feminism

Gender and Race in Brazil

Afro-Latin Studies

African Diaspora Studies

Diversity in Higher Education

Health Policy

Human Rights



Accomplishments (5)

Recipient of University Diversity Award for Intergroup Collaboration for TEAM ADVANCE (professional)


National Science Foundation Grant, UNC-Chapel Hill

BRIDGES Academic Leadership Program for Women (professional)


Inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece (professional)


Established in 1904. It is the highest and oldest honorary society at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Academic Leadership Program Fellow (professional)

2013, Institute for the Arts and Humanities

Black Women in the Academy Symposium, Organizer (professional)

2009, held at UNC's Friday Center

Education (3)

The University of Texas at Austin: Ph.D., Social Anthropology (specialization in African Diaspora Studies)

The University of Texas at Austin: M.A., Latin American Studies

Princeton University: B.A., Romance Languages

Languages (2)

  • Spanish
  • Brazilian Portuguese

Media Appearances (5)

Black Americans, Black Brazilians Suffer More From COVID-19. Structural Racism Is To Blame.

The Real News Network  online


"I do think it’s really important to put a racial lens on what’s happening in Brazil, because we do see the number of cases skyrocketing. We know that the US and Brazil are first and second in the world in terms of the number of confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19. And back in late March, I was really concerned about the impact that the pandemic would have and was having, even at that time, on Afro-Brazilians. And so when we think about structural racism, it has not been commonplace to talk about structural racism in Brazil, sort of in a widespread manner. Black activists certainly have called attention to racism and the existence of racism."

view more

COVID-19 is deadlier for black Brazilians, a legacy of structural racism that dates back to slavery

The Conversation  online


The United States and Brazil have much in common when it comes to the coronavirus. Both are among the world’s hardest-hit countries, where hundreds die daily. Their like-minded presidents, Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, have both been widely criticized for their poor handling of the pandemic. And in both countries the virus is disproportionately affecting black people, the result of structural racism that dates back to slavery.

view more

"Ending Maternal Death in the African Diaspora"

Black Women Birthing Justice Blog  online


view more

Recovering Rio de Janeiro’s black history

The Miami Herald  online


The turning point in government involvement in the question of race, however, can be traced to the previous administration of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, said Kia Caldwell, an associate professor at the Department of African, African American and Disaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “He publicly acknowledged that racism existed in Brazil. That was really the start of the government being involved,’’ she said...

view more

"MVPs, MVP Moms and Structural Inequalities"

The News & Observer  online


view more

Event Appearances (2)

"The Alyne Case: An Intersectional Analysis of Gender, Race, and the Human Right to Health in Brazil"

Boston University Lecture  http://worldofideas.wbur.org/2016/02/21/kia


Keynote Address, "Toward an Intersectional Understanding of Health and Human Rights in the Americas"

4th Conference on Ethnicity, Race and Indigenous Peoples in Latin America  Virginia Commonwealth University


Partnerships (1)

Special Assistant to the Provost

Office of the Provost UNC-Chapel Hill


• Works with Provost and Executive Vice-Chancellor and Provost to provide oversight for STEM-focused faculty mentoring programs across UNC-Chapel Hill departments and schools • Works with National Science Foundation TEAM ADVANCE grant members to develop and roll out mentoring programs for women faculty in STEM across the UNC-Chapel Hill campus • Works closely with deans and department chairs to strengthen and enhance mentoring programs and initiatives • Assesses effectiveness of current mentoring programs and areas of need for units across the UNC-Chapel Hill campus

Courses (8)

The Black Experience to 1865

AFAM 101

Introduction to African American and Diaspora Studies

The course tracks the contours of history, life, societies, and cultures of the Atlantic African diaspora from their origins through Emancipation in the United States, the Caribbean, and South America.

Black Women in America

An examination of the individual and collective experiences of black women in America from slavery to the present and the evolution of feminist consciousness.

Blacks in Latin America

The majority of people of African descent in this hemisphere live in Latin America. This course will explore various aspects of the black experience in Latin America.

Human Rights and Democracy in African Diaspora Communities

This course examines how questions of democracy and human rights have been conceptualized in African Diaspora communities in the Americas and Europe.

Health Equity in the African Diaspora

Examines historical and contemporary processes shaping health and well-being in Africa Diaspora communities. Emphasis will be placed on health and health equity within African-descendant communities in the United States, Haiti, and Brazil.

Race, Culture, and Politics in Brazil

Examines race, culture, and politics in Brazil from historical and contemporary perspectives. Focuses on dynamics of race, gender, class, and nation in shaping Brazilian social relations.

Transnational Black Feminist Thought and Practice

This course uses social science approaches to explore the development of black feminist thought and activism in diverse cultural and national contexts. Students will gain knowledge of black feminist thought writing and activism in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

Articles (6)

(*BOOK CHAPTER): “Black Women’s Studies in the United States and Brazil: "The Transnational Politics of Knowledge Production"

Race and the Politics of Knowledge Production: Diaspora and Black Transnational Scholarship in the USA and Brazil,

2016 Edited by Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman and Gladys Mitchell-Walthour, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

“The Role of Relationship Type, Risk Perception, and Condom Use in Middle Socioeconomic Status Black Women’s HIV-prevention Strategies”

Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships

2015 By Kia Caldwell and Allison Matthews

(*BOOK CHAPTER): “Advocating for Citizenship and and Social Justice: Black Women Activists in Brazil”

The Public and The Private: Latin American Women’s Movements

2010 Edited by Nathalie Lebon and Elizabeth Maier, Rutgers University Press.

(*BOOK CHAPTER): “Collectivity and Comparativity: A Feminist Approach to Citizenship”

Gendered Citizenships: Transnational Perspectives on Culture, Activism, and Knowledge Production

2009 Chapter by Kia Lilly Caldwell, Kathleen Coll, Tracy Fisher, Renya Ramirez and Lok Siu. Book edited by Kia Lilly Caldwell, Kathleen Coll, Tracy Fisher, Renya Ramirez and Lok Siu. Palgrave Macmillan.

(*BOOK CHAPTER): “Transnational Black Feminism in the 21st Century: Perspectives from Brazil”

New Social Movements in the African Diaspora

2009 Edited by Leith Mullings. Palgrave Macmiillan.

(*BOOK CHAPTER): "Intersectional Health Policy in Brazil: Race and Gender as Determinants of Health and Wellness”

The Intersectional Approach: Transforming Women’s and Gender Studies through Race, Class, and Gender

2009 Edited by Michele T. Berger and Kathleen Guidroz. University of North Carolina Press.