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Training Afro-descendant Leaders in the Americas Project

Introduction

The belittlement, discrimination and marginalization endured by Afro-descendants in the Americas leads to their being excluded, particularly from political participation in public decision-making spheres and processes. Despite the Afro-descendant community’s endeavors to claim their rights, it is undeniable that Afro-descendants of both sexes are under-represented in official political circles in their countries.

The leadership training offered to Afro-descendant organizations and communities is an attempt to enhance that community’s capacity to participate in political life at the community, national, subregional and/or hemispheric level. It is backed by a regional legal framework which contains standards that directly support the Afro-descendant community and guarantees them a whole set of rights relating to political participation.

The ultimate objective of the project is to contribute to full and free participation, on the same footing as others, in all aspects of political life in the Americas. Beneficiary countries at this initial stage include: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

By the end of the project, it is hoped that leaders of Afro-descendant organizations and communities will have enhanced their capacity to take part in political decision-making spheres and processes at the community, national, subregional and/or hemispheric level, given that the leadership training workshop and manual are designed to familiarize participants with areas such as citizen participation, human rights, effective negotiation, and so on. The idea is to qualify them to train other leaders, creating a multiplier effect that will contribute to enhanced political participation by this segment of the population in the beneficiary countries. In addition, the project should serve to highlight Afro-descendant issues throughout the Hemisphere and lead to reflection on the social inclusion of millions of Afro-descendants in the countries of the Americas.

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