Senior Program Officer, Andean Region
Sindis Meza is a senior program officer in the foundation’s Bogotá office. Her grant making focuses on strengthening the rights, power, and access of Afrodescendants, indigenous communities, and other marginalized groups—with particular attention to gender issues.
Sindis grew up in a home established and sustained exclusively by Afro-Colombian women in the territory of La Boquilla, close to Cartagena de Indias. As the youngest of six sisters in a community that used traditional methods of fishing, she excelled in academics and was the first in her family to receive a college education.
Before joining Ford, she worked as the Secretary of the Government in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. In this position, she advised the city on security management and designed public policies. She also worked for Colombia Humanitaria, the national government’s campaign to aid the victims of the 2010-11 massive floods. Her interest in the struggle of minority groups arises from her belief that equality of opportunity is the only mechanism a democracy has to become truly inclusive, participatory, and pluralistic.
She studied law at the University of Cartagena and, as part of a group of Afro-Colombian lawyers against racial discrimination, Sindis received a scholarship from Racial Discrimination Watch at the University of Los Andes and the Ford Foundation, which allowed her to earn an LLM from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her academic focus was on critical race studies.