Fighting Slavery’s Legacy of Racism Through Transformative Education, Partnerships For Recognition, Justice and Development.
On International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, I am remembering the millions of Africans who were torn away from their families, deprived of their human rights and left with trauma spanning generations. The racist legacy of the transatlantic slave trade continues to reverberate today in harmful prejudices and beliefs that impact people of African descent across the world.
As proclaimed by the General Assembly, the theme for the 2015-2024 International Decade is “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.” In proclaiming this Decade, the international community is recognising that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected. Around 200 million people identifying themselves as being of African descent live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the continent.
As I attended various work engagements at the United Nations HQ in NYC this week, with the UN Water Conference 2023 taking place, it was clear that inequities emerge from the shadows of complacency, and that discrimination and hate speech are a plague of their own. We must not let down our guard in dismantling racism and prejudice. My Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s trusted partnership and work with UN ECOSOC, UN Global Compact, UNFPA, Every Woman Every Child, and African Womens Leaders Network, harnesses years of thought leadership and experience in programming for the needs of the most marginalised and disadvantaged, as we advance equity and social justice for people of Africa and African descent, and toward the fulfilment of human rights and dignity for all.
Through recognising this period of history, we can help people see the world through an ethical lens and change the status quo, with transformative education being essential to the learning of slavery in order to end racism and injustice, and to build inclusive societies based on dignity and human rights.