In memorandum: Gloria Loyola Black, Revered Mother, Grandmother, and inspiring COHA Colleague

Gloria Loyola Black played a major consultative role on Chilean and Latin American Affairs at COHA’s Washington office, but most of all she distinguished herself as a fierce foe of bureaucracy, advocating for the rights of Latin America’s professional women while playing a brilliant role for a number of years after she left the Organization of American States.

During her time at the OAS, where she served with great distinction, she was an open critic of U.S. policy at the regional agency and began working closely in the expanding the role of women in the OAS in the days after she left that body.

COHA had been created in 1974 by a number of established Latin Americanists. These included Larry Birns (COHA’s director), Earnie Chanes, Dr. Kalman Silvert, and famed audio-psychologist D. Michael Studdert-Kennedy. As a Senior Research Scholar, Gloria, along with her husband David Black when he worked with COHA, serving with his wife as a senior volunteer at COHA’s Washington Office.

Gloria’s immensely engaging personality and her trenchant and towering intellectual abilities allowed her to establish closest of ties with many of COHA’s 1,000 interns who served the organization over the years, who were trained at COHA during the period that Gloria and her husband, David Black, both of whom served in important positions and carried out invaluable roles as COHA Senior Research Fellows. Both Gloria and David also ran a series of professional in-service roles at COHA in carrying out one or more of COHA’s multiple in-service trainings sessions for the Inter-American community, including the empowerment of a number of diverse indigenous communities throughout the Americas.

Gloria Loyola Black joined David in assuming an important post in dealing with a stream of earlier Latin American intellectuals who later took their prominent positions in the roles of regional professionals. Because of her particular commitments to the access of the rights of professional women to be awarded high positions commensurate with their undeniable abilities and talents, on a number of occasions found herself assuming leadership positions at COHA, aided by David Black. Gloria Loyola Black spent much of the past decade working on women’s rights as well as serving as a mentor to COHA director Larry Birns, who together with New York financier Ernest Chanes worked to fund and conceptualized several of COHA’s economic projects.

Gloria Loyola Black was a supremely sovereign person and a joy to her wide circle of friends. She also maintained a modest gallery in her Washington DC neighborhood. After the overthrow of the constitutional government of Chilean president Salvador Allende, Gloria used her highly visible role to make connections within the network of Chilean exiles, with whom she maintained a very important series of connections. Gloria also had strong links to democratic intellectual activists throughout the region, sustaining key connections to anti-Pinochet Chilean constitutionalists.