Second Expert Workshop on People of
African Descent in the Americas, United States, 2010
The Department of International Law organized the Second
Expert Workshop on People of African Descent in the Americas
on February 22, 2011. The event was part of the activities
that the Department has been carrying out in connection with
persons of African descent since 2008, in the framework of
the project to include issues of indigenous and
African-descent populations in the policies and programs of
the OAS, which is financed by the Canadian International
Development Agency (CIDA).
It should be recalled that the first workshop was held on
January 22, 2010. Present at this second edition of the
workshop were four government experts who shared their
opinions on laws, good practices, affirmative action
measures, and policies being implemented in their countries.
The following speakers were present: Ricardo Weeks,
Secretary of the National Council of Black Ethnicity;
Catherine Chalá, Coordinator of the Plurinational Plan to
Eliminate Racial Discrimination of Ecuador; Zakiya Carr
Johnson, Senior Advisor of the Race, Ethnicity, and Social
Inclusion Unit, U.S. Department of State; and Renato Dos
Santos Ferreira, Projects Manager of the Secretariat for
Programs on Promotion of Racial Equality (SEPPIR), Brazil.
The Department of International Law intends to organize
other workshops in the future and invite more countries in
the region to share similar experiences and so
comprehensively document this issue in the Hemisphere.
Apart from the above speakers, roughly 30 individuals
attended the workshop, including ambassadors of permanent
missions to the OAS, officials with those missions,
representatives of civil society organizations involved in
African descendant issues and other associated entities,
General Secretariat staff, and others.
It is hoped that, as a result of this workshop, the
Department of International Law will, in due course, prepare
a compilation and later publish and distribute a book
containing the presentations offered by the speakers, which
would be made available to the general public.