But things at least seemed to be changing for the better. More salons, even in D.R. where there's a lot of discrimination because of people's Blackness, are becoming more accepting of afros. More women are being opening up about loving their Afro-Latinidad, even if some still see it as taboo.
That was until Nicky González Mendez said she encountered someone who was definitely not accepting of her Afro-Latinad . Allegedly, she was denied a scholarship because of it.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Mendez claimed a school official at the university Ministerio de Educación Superior, Ciencia y Tecnología (MESCyT) in the Dominican Republic, allegedly denied her a scholarship because of her afro.
“I am enrolled in the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo and study political science. For the last few months, I’ve been applying for a scholarship so that I can pursue a masters degree in models and areas of social science research at the Universidad del País Vasco. During the application process you have to lobby for yourself, which meant interviewing with the head of the Ministerio de Educación Superior, Ciencia y Tecnología, Ligia Amado Melo, and speak to her. So today at about 10 a.m, the honorable minister addressed me in front of others that were also waiting to be seen and said: ‘I don’t give scholarships to people who wear their hair like that. I may be old fashioned, but no.'”
The school official Mendez referred to in her post commented about the claims and said Mendez is "confused.".
Ligia Amado Melo told EL DÍA that Mendez is confused about how their interaction actually happened.
"In no moment was she told anything about her hair, that is, she’s plain and simply confused. She has her scholarship. She has a right to the scholarship. She was called this afternoon, and she hasn’t come. She has an 84-point average, and she has every right to the scholarship.”