Department of State to Host Meeting of U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Promote Racial and Ethnic Equality

Media Note
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 22, 2009

On April 29-30, the U.S. Department of State will host the second meeting of the binational Steering Group of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas A. Shannon and Brazil’s Minister for Promotion of Racial Equality Edson Santos will co-chair the Steering Group. The official government meeting, as well as panel discussions with members of civil society and the private sector, will allow Brazilian and American participants to address together a variety of issues relating to the promotion of racial and ethnic equality in both countries.

Following opening speakers, a series of thematic panels will bring together interested members of civil society and the private sector from both countries to present best practices, develop project ideas, and consider next steps of the Joint Action Plan. Themes to be discussed are Museological and Cultural Exchanges, Political Advocacy and Effective Media to Combat Racial Discrimination, Increasing Access to the Judicial System and Decreasing Racial Discrimination, Best Practices in Multicultural Education and Teaching Strategies, and Best Practices in Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility.

An additional panel organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) will address shared civil rights experiences. Rapporteurs from each panel will provide input to the Steering Group. Thirty young Afro-Brazilians who are undertaking an exchange experience in the United States on entrepreneurship under the auspices of the Joint Action Plan will provide an update on their experiences. Their program is administered by Levantamos: The Center for Afro-Brazilian-American Cooperation.

The Joint Action Plan was signed in March 2008 and launched in Brazil in October 2008. Major goals include working together to promote multicultural education, to increase educational and professional opportunities for Afro-descendants and other racially discriminated groups, to increase cultural exchanges focused on Afro-descendants, and to increase access to the judicial system.

For more information, please contact Charlotte Peterson in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at (202) 647-6537 or or Heide Bronke Fulton in the Bureau’s Press Office at (202) 647-0842 or

PRN: 2009/362