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OAS to Celebrate VI Inter-American Week for People of African Descent in the Americas

  March 16, 2023

The Organization of American States (OAS) will celebrate from March 20-24 the VI Annual Inter-American Week for People of African Descent in the Americas under the theme “Fighting slavery’s legacy of racism through transformative education in the Americas."

Established in 2018 by Permanent Council Resolution 1093, the Inter-American Week for People of African Descent in the Americas aims at fostering reflection on the socio-economic issues faced by people of African descent as well as to laud their contributions to the development of the Americas. This year’s celebration will highlight the significance of transformative education in addressing historical injustices and promoting meaningful action towards equity and inclusion in the hemisphere.

The OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Nestor Mendez, will launch the week on Monday, March 20th, with a ceremony at the OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, featuring artistic performances including one by Afro-Colombian soprano, Betty Garcés.

The week's other activities will include:

March 20 to 24
• A literary exhibition of the works of fiction or non-fiction of Afro-descendant authors, which align with the week’s theme, will be displayed at OAS headquarters.
• The Children and Youth Reading Corner, an initiative to promote transformative education and highlight the stories of Afrodescendants in the Americas, will feature submissions of works of fiction (poetry, drama or prose) or non-fiction which eloquently illustrate the fortitude, perseverance, and heritage of people of African descent to inspire critical thinking and promote racial justice.

March 21: A visit by a delegation comprised of Permanent Representatives to the OAS, Permanent Observer States, and senior staff of the General Secretariat to the National Museum of African American History. The guided tour will help to raise awareness of the history, heritage, and culture of people of African descent and their contribution to the development of societies in the region.

March 22: A special session of the OAS Permanent Council to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

March 23: A webinar organized by the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI) and the Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity (SARE) will feature a panel discussion on the topic “Best Practices in the Incorporation of Ethno-education in curricular Programs.”

March 24: A special edition of "A Chat with the OAS," a virtual, live event organized by representatives in OAS National Offices, that will feature panelists addressing the theme, Decolonizing Education in the Americas: Mainstreaming policies and practices that engender pride in African heritage and identity.

The OAS will also produce and broadcast a podcast series on “Blockchain technology: a transformative technology for persons of African descent,” which will analyze the possibilities for inclusion and wealth-creation which transformative technologies such as blockchain present.

Additionally, the Organization’s country offices will hold activities in respective member states, including lecture series featuring interviews with prominent individuals in the field of education and national authorities on how the shifting needs of education have the potential to contribute to the development agenda of their nations and the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Press Contact: [email protected]

What: Inter-American Week for People of African Descent in the Americas
When: March 20-24
Where: OAS Headquarters, Country Offices, website and social media

Reference: AVI-038/23