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February 4, 2006
"Community Outreach" Seminar on Planning Process


"Community Outreach" Seminar on Planning Process for SANTIAGO +5 Official Government-Non-Governmental Organization [NGO] Follow Up Meeting to the 2001 United Nations World Conference on Racism, Xenophobia, and Other Forms of Social Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa.”

GALCI's International Relations Director Humberto Brown [also a member of International Committee for the Planning of the SANTIAGO+5 meeting in Brasilia, Brazil], Nilza Iraci of GELEDES the Afro-Brazilian Women's NGO in Sao Paulo, Brazil [and member of International Committee for SANTIAGO+5], and Edna Lima-United Nations Eminent Person Committee and Monitor of Racial Relations for Latin America and the Caribbean/United Nations Consultant to the SANTIAGO+5 Process Committee met with representatives and activists of African Descendant communities in Greater New York, and academics to discuss the difficulties in planning the conference that will represent the official follow up activity to the 2001 World Conference in Durban. The Brazilian Government though its National Secretariat [with status of a Ministry] for Historically Marginalized Ethnic Groups [SEPPIR] is organizing the three day meeting currently scheduled for May 31-June 2, 2006 in Brasilia, Brazil. This scheduled meeting in reality is a follow up to the Preparatory Conference for the Americas that was held in Santiago, Chile in December, 2000.

At that historic meeting, the governments of the Western Hemisphere and the United Nations accepted the term "AFRICAN DESCENDANT" in reference to all of the participants of African heritage, providing a political and generic term that now is used by political activists around the world. The magnitude of the African Descendant population of the Western Hemisphere also was ratified at the Santiago Conference of 2000, as it was estimated that at least 150 Million persons within the Western Hemisphere could be considered African Descendants. The February 4, 2006 meeting at CCCADI informed the public that perspective participants for the Brasilia meeting would be divided between Government representatives and civil society representatives from all of the countries of the Western Hemisphere. It was important that civil society organizations develop a process to nominate their representatives for the Brasilia meeting, as civil society would need to actively engage and debate with governments as to their tangible and visible progress in implementing the agreed to 2001 Durban Action Plan. A "Report Card" from civil society representatives will demonstrate progress or the lack of progress in the areas of access to all levels of formal education by African Descendant youth throughout the Hemisphere. Health conditions including HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Dengue Fever, and Sickle Cell Anemia will be monitored. Incarceration rates for young African Descendant males and females will be monitored, as well as their greater access to employment opportunities. Land belonging to African Descendant groups -- including Quilombos, Palenques, and Cimarron -- will be debated with governments by civil society representatives attending the Brasilia meeting, and relations between Indigenous Groups and progress towards potential alliances between African Descendant and Indigenous groups will be monitored in Brasilia.

Despite the challenges represented by the SANTIAGO+5 process and the lack of significant funding for the proposed meeting, one left the February 4, 2006 meeting with a renewed since of commitment to try to fulfill the Durban Promise of Increased Access for the African Descendant communities within the Western Hemisphere.


February 3, 2006
Redefining African American: “What’s at Stake?”

Redefining African American "What's at Stake?" was conceived by the Global Afro Latino and Caribbean Initiative (GALCI) to engage us all in an active discussion focused on the diversity of a significant population of African descendant communities in the Americas. Latin America/Caribbean has a population of more than 150 million African descendants. The United States is home to more than 40 million African descendants that represent United States and foreign born African descendants. The conference Redefining African American "What's at Stake?" which took place on February 3, 2006, at Hunter College in New York focused upon the varied ways that our countries that are home to African descendants define and maintain our populations marginalized and disenfranchised. Central to the conversation was the need for our communities to self define based and our joint struggles and success at the United Nation's Durban Conference in 2001 against World Racism, Discrimination, and Xenophophia where the term African descendants emerged as our self definition.

It is the intent of GALCI to encourage our communities to host similar conferences that provide a forum for an open discussion among African Diaspora communities. It is through critical conversations that insist that we acknowledge our differences and similarities while forging a future that is inclusive of us all contributing to the building of an equitable global society.

A discussion with James Early, Keynote speaker and Director of the Cultural Heritage Policy at the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage; Clarence Lusane, School of International Service, at American University; Padre Glyn Jemmott Nelson, Mexico Negro Asociación Civil, Mexico; Basil Wilson, Senior Vice President and Provost of the Office of Academic Affairs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY; Miriam Jiménez Román, The Afro-Latino Project in New York; and Dr. Agustin Lao-Montes, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


February 2, 2006
Visit to Brotherhood/Sister Sol

Mission Statement
The Brotherhood/Sister Sol has been created to address the dire need for supportive programs for Black and Latino youth who are surrounded by the poverty, drugs, violence, racism and mis-education which plague America's cities. The Brotherhood/Sister Sol provides these youth with the knowledge, resources, opportunities, and love necessary in order to understand and overcome these negative pressures, as well as the skills to combat them.

The Brotherhood/Sister Sol is not simply an organization; it is more accurately a way of life. Providing youth with an opportunity to explore their ideas, identity and future among peers, with the support and guidance of their immediate elders, is a natural method of promoting positive development into adulthood.


August 10-August 13, 2005
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America [ECLA]


GALCI attended the SANTIAGO +5 meetings in Santiago at the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America. A mini-regional United Nations gathering, there were several representatives of indigenous groups/nations, emigrants’ rights groups, landless movement representatives, women’s organizations, and African Descendant communities from all points in the Western Hemisphere from Canada to Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Brazil’s Special Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality Policies/SEPPIR offered to host the official SANTIAGO+5 meeting, in Brasilia, D.F. Vice-Minister Douglas Martins galvanized those attending the meetings in Chile with his eloquence in defending and re-affirming the basic principles and plan of action of the Durban World Conference on Racism, Xenophobia, and Other Forms of Social Intolerance. The fact that SEPPIR was willing to accept the challenge of holding the conference—despite an absence of international financing for the event—made the Brazilian commitment to the meeting all the more impressive. Recent information from Brasilia has indicated that dates for SANTIAGO +5 will be May 31- June 2, 2006 in Brasilia, Brazil. Those interested in participating in this event are awaiting confirmation from SEPPIR that funding has been secured from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights/Geneva to assist international civil society representatives to travel to Brasilia to attend SANTIAGO +5.

August 7- August 8, 2005

GALCI and the Afro Latino Youth Activists traveled to Santa Fe, Argentina to better understand the complexity of race relations in the Southern Cone. The Afro-Indigenous Cultural Center in Santa Fe hosted the visitors. The city of Santa Fe was almost destroyed by floods and mud slides in 2003. Municipal authorities in Santa Fe, according to the Afro-Indigenous Cultural Central provided minimal financial assistance to local residents. Large sections of the city continue to exhibit the scars of the floods and mudslide, while many Santa Fe youth have dropped out of high school and institutions of higher learning believing that their futures hold little promise for them. One reason for the visit of the international youth to Santa Fe was to demonstrate solidarity with the local youth.

Visits to the local Santa Fe museum and to the President of the Santa Fe Municipal Council by the international youth activists proved somewhat contentious, as the activists peppered local officials with questions concerning the need for affirmative action policies to provide outreach programs to poor mixed-race youth to allow them to work as “interns” at the local museum, as well as have that institution promote exhibitions respecting the ethnic diversity of Santa Fe. The activists also suggested that the Municipal Council encourage ethnic diversity in the curricula of Santa Fe’s primary and secondary schools, as well as encouraging mixed race local youth to consider internships at the Municipal Council. Clearly the reaction of all local officials to the comments and criticisms of the Spanish-speaking international youth activists often was one of amazement and some irritation. GALCI-officials reminded local officials that youth activists around the world have the characteristic of irritating officials, as the perspectives of youth usually manage to irritate their elders!


August 4-August 6, 2005
Status of Afro Latino and Caribbean Communities in the Americas


GALCI Collaboration with National Afro Argentine Steering Committee to highlight the existence and contributions of Afro Argentines, the Centennial of Argentina’s Cape Verdean Community, and the diverse African professional community currently residing in Argentina.

Major conference events were held at the Universidad 3 Febrero, Argentina’s first academic institution with a Master’s Degree Course in Human Rights and Race Relations. The three-day conference closely analyzed the social and economic history of Afro-Argentines, and their current successful efforts to compel the Argentine government to include a racial category on the 2005 national census process. Because of generous financial assistance from the Inter-American Foundation and the Ford Foundation, GALCI was able to invite Afro Latino youth activists from the United States, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Honduras, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Uruguay, and Argentina to participate in the Buenos Aires conference. The perspectives of the Afro Latino youth activists greatly enhanced the seminar, with their grassroots community development experiences employing contemporary multi-media techniques. Afro Argentine and Afro-Indigenous cultural activists from Santa Fe, Argentina performed a mixed-media event in Buenos Aires demonstrating the cultural realities of mixed-race Argentineans in the interior of Argentina.

Holding the Afro Argentine conference at the Universidad 3 Febrero campus in central Buenos Aires provided important visibility for the minority Afro Argentine and African communities, as their history, social problems, and development agenda became known to a much wider local audience and the visiting international African descendant representatives.

Chanzo Reflections
Villalobos Reflections

March 11, 2005
Panel Discussion: “Crisis in African and African Diaspora, Latin American and Caribbean Studies within the Context of Ethnic Studies Programs.
Panel 1: The Need for African American, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, a Historical Perspective.

Panel 2: The Status for African American, Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Panel 3: Movement Politics of the Past and Strategies for the Present and Future: A Higher Education Curriculum of Inclusion.

Panelists included Dr. Carlos E. Russell, formerly of Brooklyn College; Arlene Torres, Latina and Latinos Studies Program at University of Illinois - Urbana; Basil Wilson, Senior VP & Provost at John Jay College; Ramona Hernández, Director, CUNY-Dominican Studies Institute at CCNY; and many others.


September 2004
African Diaspora in the Americas Roundtable and Issue Forum, part of the Congressional Black Caucus 34th Annual Legislative Conference.
GALCI Co-Director, Marta Moreno Vega, moderated a Panel on Social Issues and Development for the Caribbean and Latin America. J. Michael Turner took the opportunity to develop and strengthen GALCI's national outreach.

May 28th & 29th, 2004
The "Points of Unity" Dialogue took place at the Franklin H. Williams Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. As a result of the Dialogue, the Afro Latino/African American Points of Unity AdHoc Committee has been formed.
Immediate action will be taken to:
-Create a Multi-Disciplinary Institute
-Create an African Diaspora Publication
-Develop a databank of intersecting organizations, institutions and individuals
-Networking Site


Sonia Manjon
Ed Paulino
Vania Penha-Lopes

February 20, 2004
In Support of African Descendants in the Americas
Public Officials & Special Guest Speakers will address the issue of Afro Latino communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and Central America with regard to H. Con. Res. 47--legislation designed by Rep. Rangel and Rep. Conyers. Speakers included Rep. Charles Rangel, NY 15th Congressional District; Rep. Gregory Meeks, NY 6th Congressional District; Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat, NY-72nd Assembly District; Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, Caribbean Cultural Center/GALCI; Esmeralda Brown, SERPAJ-AL/CODEHUCA, UMOUN; Ney Oliveira, Visiting Professor from Universidade Federal Fluminense; Moises Perez, Alianza Dominicana; Humberto Brown, GALCI, J. Michael Turner, LACS/GALCI

*A similar resolution was submitted Spring 2005 and the result is H. Con. Res. 175 passed on June 8, 2005


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