WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
25 Mar 2018 | Video

The International Decade of Afro-Descendants: Where Are We Now?

In honor of Black History Month, U.S. Congressional Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) re-introduced a House Resolution supporting the goals of the ‘‘International Decade for People of African Descent.” In order to take stock of the human rights issues facing African descendants and Afro-Latinos in the Americas and Caribbean, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) decided to organize two panels that look at some of the most pressing issues these populations are facing at this time. The conference will result in a declaration by the participants that will be circulated to the U.S. Congress, international community, and others.

Following the acknowledgment from the Durban Review Conference in 2009 that Afro-descendants are “victims of slavery, the slave trade and colonialism, and continue to be victims of their consequences”, the United Nations General Assembly issued a resolution that declared 2015 to 2024 to be the “International Decade for People of African Descent.” The resolution provided a substantive framework for how to support initiatives dedicated towards recognition, justice, and development for Afro-descendant peoples. Hank Johnson’s House resolution (H. Res 713) seeks for Congress to recognize the decennial observation.

Today, widespread international movements in the Americas from Buenaventura, Colombia to Bahia, Brazil among others, stand as testament to Afro-descendants’ condemnation of pervasive and systemic racism. This begs two questions: where are we with racial equality, and how does U.S. immigration policy affect Afro-descendants in the Americas?

With two panels of distinguished experts, we seek to answer these questions.

This event is being co-sponsored with Africa World Now Project and the University of North Carolina’s Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.