Organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Date and Time: 3 to 7 April 2017

Venue: Palais des Nations, Room XXI, United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland

What: This session entitled "Leaving no one behind, people of African descent and the Sustainable Development Goals" will be used 1) to advocate for prioritization of people of African descent in work to achieve SDGs and 2) to develop simple operational guidelines for use by stakeholders (Governments, UN and civil society) on how to prioritize people of African descent as a particularly discriminated group at all stages of implementation of the SDGs. For more information, visit

Organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Date and Time: Wednesday, 5 April 2017, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Venue: Palais Wilson, First floor conference room, 52 rue des Pâquis, Geneva, Switzerland

What: During the Twentieth Session of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (WGEPAD), there will be a Consultation with Civil Society. The objective of the consultation is to explore new and innovative ways for the Working Group to work with civil society organizations to strengthen its work. The afternoon will include discussions on three guiding questions outlined below, exploring the key challenges of racial discrimination today and responses by civil society to combat these, engagement to date by civil society with the Working Group and suggestions to strengthen the impact of its recommendations on the ground and recommendations for priority human rights concerns which the Working Group should focus on in the next three years.

Live webcast will be available at For more information, visit.

Every year on 25 March, the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. The International Day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.

For a programme of events, please see

This event is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

Organized by IDPAD Coalition UK

Date and Time: Saturday, 25 March 2017, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Venue: University College London (Room G06, Roberts Building, Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre), Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom

What: The UN Decade for People of African Descent (2015 - 2024) is a catalyst for People of African Heritage to work together on the challenges affecting the Community. The Interactive Conference on 25 March 2017 will provide the time and space to begin the conversation on what change we want to see in 2024.

Admission: Free - To register, please visit

This event is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

Official launch of the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) initiative and unveiling of the 2017 MIPAD ranking.

For more information, please visit

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (resolution 2142 (XXI)).

Theme and events will be listed here

The United Nations Information Centre in Accra hosted an indigenous Nigerian artist, Femi Coker, to underline the important contributions made by people of African descent to our societies as part of a project to promote the International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD). Mr. Coker visited Ghana wearing the world's longest cap, which is 300 feet long and 9 inches in diameter, under his Renaissance Expedition to 1000 Cities project. For more information, visit

The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent will undertake its first official visit to Germany from 20 to 27 February 2017 to study the human rights situation of people of African descent in the country.

The Group’s delegation, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Berlin, Dessau, Dresden, Frankfurt, Cologne, Wiesbaden, Dusseldorf and Hamburg, to meet representatives of the Government, relevant communities, civil society organisations and individuals working on issues of racism and racial discrimination.

A press conference to share the delegation’s preliminary findings will be held on Monday 27 February at 13:00 in the Conference Hall, Federal Press Conference, Schiffbauerdamm 40, 10117 Berlin (corner of Reinhardtstraße). Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent was established on 25 April 2002 by the then Commission on Human Rights, following the World Conference against Racism held in Durban in 2001. It is composed of five independent experts: Mr. Ricardo A. Sunga III (the Philippines), current Chair-Rapporteur; Mr. Michal Balcerzak (Poland); Ms. Mireille Fanon Mendes-France (France), Mr. Sabelo Gumedze (South Africa) and Mr. Ahmed Reid (Jamaica).

Read the press release.

Expert seminar organized by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in cooperation with the Nathanson Centre for Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security at the Osgoode Hall Law School

This expert seminar is an awareness-raising activity contributing to the implementation of the Programme of Activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent.

The overall objective of the seminar is to examine the elements of “access to justice,” in relation to the lived experiences of people of African descent, under the “Justice” theme of the Decade. While the seminar will take place in Canada and consider the Canadian context and national legal framework, it will be a meeting with an international focus, participation and impact.

Follow on Twitter #AfricanDescent

Organised by BTWSC/African Histories Revisited, Akoben Awards, Harrow BHM Group

Date and Time: Monday, 19 December 2016, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Venue: Harrow Mencap, 3 Jardine House (1st floor), Harrovian Business Village, Bessborough Road, Harrow On The Hill HA1 3EX, England

What: The Phillip siblings -- Antonio, Marcel and Destiny -- once again end the Xtra History & Reasoning Sessions year with a presentation -- this time the focus is on IDPAD (International Decade For People Of African Descent) and what it means to the younger generation.

Admission: Free To register, please visit

This event is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

Date and Time: Thursday, 8 December 2016, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Venue: United Nations Headquarters, New York

Opening remarks

Ms. Cristina Gallach

Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information

H.E. Mr. Courtenay Rattray

Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations

Ms. Marie Paule Roudil

Director of UNESCO Liaison Office New York

Short films followed by a discussion with:

Diarah N'Daw Spech

Co-director of the African Diaspora International Film Festival in New York

Electra Weston

Film maker, producer, actor and dancer; founder of the International Child Program

Renzo Devia

Director of "AfroLatinos" documentary

Iyawó Alicia Anabel Santos

Writer / Producer of “AfroLatinos” documentary

Moderated by Mary Ferreira, Television producer, United Nations Department of Public Information

Organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information

Co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations and UNESCO

To attend, RSVP here

Organised by Africans for JC Values & BTWSC/African Histories Revisited

Date and Time: Saturday, 12 November 2016, 1.00pm to 4.00pm

Venue: Unite The Union Building, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN, United Kingdom

What: A meeting looking at a) how the Decade can enhance work African people and African-led organisations (UK & International) are already doing, b) what we would like to come out of the UN's IDPAD 2015-24 by highlighting specific outcomes, and c) networking, hearing from and learning from what individual Africans and African-led organisations are doing or plan doing in furtherance of the IDPAD 2015-24.

Interested persons are welcome to send their four SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-specific) strategies or policies they would like to see within the Decade by 8 November to

The information from the SMART survey will be collated and discussed on 12 November within three workshops covering Justice, Recognition and Development. Strategies agreed at workshops will be fed back to plenary session.

Feedback from 12 November meeting will be shared with IDPAD Coalition UK and related UK and international organisations.

Admission: Free

To register, please visit

This event is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

Organized by Irish in Britain

Date and Time: 8 November 2016, 7 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.

Venue: London Irish Centre, Presidential Room, Camden, London, UK


  • Ambassador Dan Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to Great Britain
  • Professor Elizabeth Anionwu, University of West London
  • Professor Bryan Fanning, University College Dublin
  • Dr Joseph Healy, Historian
  • Mr. Conrad Bryan, Trustee of "Irish in Britain" and the Association of Mixed Race Irish

For more information, please see:

This event is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

Organized by Black Health Alliance

Date and Time: Saturday, 12 November 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Venue: North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The objective of “A Sound Mind” is to start the conversation about mental health in the Black community and in so doing break the stigmas surrounding mental health. This year’s forum puts the spotlight on youth because they are often not heard and in many cases dismissed. The goal is to identify and develop strategies and supports for families and peers to help Black youth living with a mental illness.

Admission to the forum is free.

To register, please visit

This event is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

Ocho Rios Jazz Festival

These events are not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

Date : 29 May – 05 June 2016

Venue: Ocho Rios, Saint Ann

The annual Jamaica International Ocho Rios Jazz Festival has developed and established itself as a vehicle for showcasing international and Caribbean musicians and artistes. This is the Festival’s 26th staging.



Calabash Literary Festival

Date : 03 – 05 June 2016

Venue: Treasure Beach, Saint Elizabeth

A three-day literary festival of readings, music and storytelling. The festival, which features established and upcoming writers from all over the world, is open to the public and held every two years.


Tru-Juice Cross-Country 5K Race

Date: 05 June 2016

Venue: Bog Walk, Saint Catherine

Tel: +1-876-967-4903

One of many running events staged across the island every year, this unique event takes you off-the-road and on-the-farm for a day of fun and competition for runners, walkers and mountain bikers. Held on farmlands in Bog Walk, St. Catherine, the 5K Run & Walk plus a 20K race for bikers, features MyLaps® chip timing, country hospitality and post-race activities including tastings, refreshments and a dip in the Farm’s pristine river!


Racers Grand Prix (Track and Field)

Date : 11 June 2016

Venue: National Stadium, Kingston

The first staging of this international track and field event is organized by Usain Bolt’s track club, Racers Track Club Ltd. This athletic link up seeks to bring some of the world’s most compelling athletes to Jamaica and will certainly whet the track and field appetite for the fans during the Diamond League series and leading up to Rio Olympics.


Caribbean Fashion Week

Date : 17 – 19 June 2016

Venue: Kingston

Tel: +1(876) 960-0049

This year marks the 16th staging of the largest and most significant fashion/entertainment event in the Caribbean region. Caribbean Fashion Week celebrates the best of Caribbean fashion with 3 nights of runway shows, a Black Tie Gala and a post-show wrap event. The show will highlight the work of the Caribbean’s best designers and their international counterparts at an international level.



Kingston on the Edge Urban Arts Festival (KOTE)

Date : 17 – 26 June 2016

Venue: Kingston

KOTE celebrates the artists who live, work and/or are inspired by Kingston and exposes the artistic gems and powerful community spirit of Kingston. It features Studio and Performing Arts including painting, sculpture, installation art, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, furniture design, graphic design, photography, film, animation, poetry, dance, theatre, live music and anything else the artist can conceptualize. KOTE allows for opportunities to discover Kingston’s vibrant art and the city itself through various locations from the surrounding city hills to the downtown harbour front.



Green Run

Date : 21 June 2016

Venue: Clarendon

The Portland Bight Green Run 7.5k Run/Walk is the only event of its kind held off Jamaica’s Beaten Path, the South Coast. This event aims to celebrate the earth and Jamaica’s natural resources. It is extremely important to show support for the protected areas as they are vital in the preservation of our fragile natural resources. The Portland Bight Protected Area spans 1,876 (land and sea) and contains many of Jamaica’s endemic species some of which are endangered. This year will mark the 3rd staging of this exceptional event.



CPL T20 (Regional) Cricket Championships

Date : 01 – 24 July 2016

Venue: Sabina Park, Kingston

Tel: +1-876-967-3976

The regional franchise teams assemble this summer for the biggest party in sports in the Caribbean – the CPLT20 tournament! Catch the excitement, the action and the parties in the stands. Come cheer for your favourite team and players, or meet the stars of the game.

Jamaica International Invitational Masters Tournament

Date : 02 – 03 July 2016

Venue: West Pow Park, Montego Bay Saint James

Tel: +1(876) 866 8557

This event will see twelve (12) teams from Jamaica, the Caribbean and North America, competing for prizes and awards.

Portland Jerk Festival

Date : 03 July 2016

Venue: Folly Oval, Portland


Portland Jerk Festival is the largest annual jerk and food festival in Jamaica which has been a major calendar event for the past 14 years. This food and music juncture is staged at the heritage site at Folly Estate in Portland. The event includes live wholesome family entertainment, jerked food and other tasty delights.

Little Ochi Seafood Carnival

Date : 10 July 2016

Venue: Alligator Pond, Manchester

Tel: +1(876) 610-9692



The annual Little Ochi Seafood Carnival is set for 10 July, 2016. This famous event attracts the entire community, Jamaicans from across the island plus overseas visitors. Choose from a wide array of seafood dishes and end the day with a fun carnival type concert and party on the beach.

Reggae Sumfest

Date : 17 - 23 July 2016

Venue: Catherine Hall, Montego Bay


Jamaica's summer music festival Reggae Sumfest has been "Promoting music - the universal force" for the past 20 years. The festival has seen some of the most talented acts in the industry performing for three themed nights to thousands of patrons. Among the reggae icons who have graced the stage of Reggae Sumfest are Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Bounty Killa, Beenie Man, Beres Hammond, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Third World, Gregory Isaacs, Maxi Priest, Dennis Brown, Queen Ifrica, Etana, Gregory Isaacs, Taurus Riley, Protoje, Konshens and others. International artistes have included Dru Hill, Ja Rule, Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Titi Jackson, Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Fantasia Barino, Usher, LL Cool J, Ludacris and Snoop Dogg

Jamaica Festival

Date : 31 July – 06 August 2016

Venue: Kingston

Tel: Tel: +1(876)926-5726



Celebrate Jamaica’s independence at Jamaica Festival in Kingston or Montego Bay. This period features many exciting events which showcase the talents of Jamaicans. The float parade and grand gala forms the zenith of the celebrations and have helped to strategically revitalize and engender the nostalgic Independence celebrations. Other shows/activities include: Mello-Go-Roun’, Emancipation Vigils, World Reggae Dance Finals, National Thanks giving Church Service, Augus’ Fair and Independence street Dance.

Denbigh Agri-Industrial Show

Date : 01 August 2016

Venue: May Pen, Clarendon

Tel: +1-876-922-0610-2


Showcasing the best in Jamaica’s agriculture, including livestock, agricultural and horizontal exhibits. Competitions include the National Champion Farmer and the National Young Farmer.

Breds Treasure Beach T20 Cup (Cricket Tournament)

Date : 13 – 27 September 2016

Venue: Calabash Bay, Treasure Beach, Saint Elizabeth

Tel: +1(876) 965 3000



In order to foster community empowerment and sustainability, Breds carries out a variety of programmes designed to enhance the livelihoods of Treasure Beach community members, and care for the surrounding natural environment. Breds operate on the belief that when the community's education and sport is enriched; and healthcare and cultural heritage is nurtured, the community will thrive on its own strengths and skills.

Port Antonio Marlin Tournament

Date : 01 – 08 October 2016

Venue: Port Antonio, Portland

Tel: +1 (876) 927-0145/ (876) 909-8818

Fax: +1 (876) 977-6995


Fun, social events and competitive angling summarizes this weeklong sport-fishing event in Port Antonio, Portland in north-eastern Jamaica. Approximately 35-40 boats, inclusive of overseas boat entries, will all be attending this tournament with some 300-400 participants daily along with other guests.

Merritone Homecoming and Reunion

Date : 12 – 17 October 2016

Venue: Sea Garden Beach Resort Kent Avenue, Montego Bay, Saint James


The 66th Anniversary of Merritone Music and the 26th Anniversary of Merritone Music Homecoming are great reasons to celebrate this year. Join the musical Blake clan and friends while they bring back memories of yesterday and present great hope for music as a universal force for unity.

One World Ska & Rocksteady Music Festival

Date : 15 – 16 October 2016

Venue: Sabina Park, Kingston

Tel: +1 (876) 353-0527


The event is conceptualized to promote Kingston, the birthplace of Jamaica’s popular music industry. This special juncture aims to be an annual festival targeting the vast fan base of Ska and Rocksteady music lovers around the world. Over 1,600 Ska bands are estimated to be operating worldwide and with this event these Ska bands will hopefully seek to visit Jamaica to perform at the birthplace of Ska music. Rocksteady influenced the development of the unique sounds of reggae music.

Hook & Line Canoe Tournament

Date : 18 – 20 October 2016

Venue: Treasure Beach, Saint Elizabeth

Tel: +1(876)965 0635


This tournament is a 3-day competition during which local fishermen vie for prizes by catching the largest fish using only traditional fishing methods of a simple hook and line. No fancy yachts or first world equipment are to be seen at this grass roots event. The week-end also includes other exciting events such as a boat race, local talent show, fish fry and community beach party. The competition will feature environmental exhibits and entertainment.

Restaurant Week

Date : 13 – 21 November 2016

Venue: Island-wide



Eight days of culinary exploration, offering special discounts at over 75 participating restaurants across Jamaica. The annual Restaurant Week is in its 11th year and encourages friends and families to dine out with fixed priced menus at participating establishments. The cuisine options range from Morning Bites, Nyam & Scram, Tasty, Savoury, and Delectable to Epicurean.

Annies Revenge Golf Tournament

Date : 16 – 20 November 2016

Venue: Rose Hall, Saint James


Tel: +1(800)294-7687

Now in its 11th year, the Jamaica Tourist Board will partner with Cobra Puma Golf, as Presenting Sponsor, to stage what many players have described as the best Pro-Am in the Caribbean region. The five-star Hyatt Ziva/Zilara in Montego Bay is the host hotel for tournament participants, offering players and guests a five-day, luxury all-inclusive experience, with over 11 gourmet specialty restaurants, full service spa and nightly entertainment. Teams will compete over 54 holes, playing both the Cinnamon Hill and White Witch golf courses, as they vie for the Jamaica Pro-Am Championship trophy. In addition to the competitive golf, the five-day event will include a welcome and awards gala, spectacular tee prizes and tee bag. Event sponsors include Cobra Puma Golf as Presenting Sponsor, Delta Air Lines as the official tournament carrier, Hyatt Ziva/Zilara as host resort, and the Jamaica Tourist Board. For more information and to register please visit or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1800-294-7687

Organised by BTWSC/African Histories Revisited

Date and Time: Monday, 31 October 2016, 6;30pm to 8;30pm

Venue: Brent Civic Centre (Meeting Rooms 4/5), Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ, United Kingdom

This is an updated version of the audio-visual presentation given by history consultant and FOMGB (Friends Of Marcus Garvey Bust) co-ordinator Kwaku at the unveilling of the Marcus Garvey bust at Brent Museum on August 17 2016.

Come and find out a bit more about Marcus Garvey, who he was, what he did, why as a unifying pan-Africanist icon, it's important that his bust is at Brent Museum and that he is regularly celebrated. Not to mention what his connection is to the founding of African History Month in Britain! Garvey also highlighted the need for African self-confidence and empowerment, which are crucial as we deal with IDPAD (International Decade For People of African Descent) issues. This African History Season event is hosted by Cllr James Allie, and as it takes place during the mid-term break, you're welcome to bring young people!

Watch out for details of the inaugural Brent Marcus Garvey Pan-African Presentation on August 17 2017 at Brent Museum. To be kept informed, email

Admission: Free

To register, please visit

This event is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

Organised by BTWSC/African Histories Revisited

Date and Time: Sunday, 23 October 2016, 2:00pm to 4:00 pm & 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Venue: Brady Arts & Community Centre, 192-196 Hanbury Street, Whitechapel, London E1 5HU, United Kingdom

A play exploring identity during African History Month 2016 & IDPAD 2015-24

Taking its starting point from Peter Tosh's 'African' song, 'As Long As You're of African Heritage...' posits that anyone of African heritage is African, irrespective of where they are born or based.

Using the format of a play with five actors set within the course of a management committee meeting of an African-led voluntary organisation, we witness the dynamics of the meeting change from congratulatory back-patting on account of a successful fundraising exercise, to putting plans for a Black History Month (BHM) event on hold, as tensions rise around the issues of identity within the African British community, where there is often a disconnect from Africa, especially by those born in Britain or the Caribbean.

The play also questions what BHM should be about and whether it should be renamed.

The afternoon performance is targeted as an outing for youths, school children, teachers and parents, whilst the evening performance is targeted at the wider community. A facilitated Q&A follows each performance, which provides the audience with an opportunity to engage with the issues raised in the play.

Admission: Free

To register, please visit

This event is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

Organised by BTWSC/African Histories Revisited

Date and Time: Friday, 14 October 2016, 4.30pm to 6.30pm

Venue: Ghana Institute of Journalism, 32 Gamel Abdul Nasser Avenue, Accra, Ghana

The UN declared 2014-2025 the International Decade for People of African Descent under the theme Recognition, Justice and Development.

How aware are we in Ghana of this initiative? And how can we use it for our upliftment and development?

The resolution calls on Member States, civil society and all other relevant actors to join together with people of African heritage and take effective measures for the implementation of the programme of activities. The Decade is an opportunity to push for the elimination of racism, racial and structural discrimination against Africans.

History consultant, community activist and former University of Westminster lecturer Kwaku is visiting Accra and will deliver a presentation on how to use IDPAD to empower ourselves, followed by a Question & Answer session.

Admission: Free

To register, please visit

This event is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

The International Meeting on "International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024): Ten years to Act" was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 19 September 2016. The Meeting was organized in collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Frantz Fanon Foundation. It aimed to better understand the objectives and challenges of the Decade; to share national experiences to implement its Programme of activities; and to discuss strategies to improve synergies between key stakeholders.

More information:

Organized by the African Descent Society Vancouver

The African Descent Festival intends to celebrate the cultural diversity of people of African Descent within Vancouver, while recognizing and promoting attitudes of oneness among all ethnic groups and communities. The event focuses on activating public spaces and bringing a diverse range of programming to connect stakeholders working avidly for the long-term sustainability of this population.

This cultural event will allow Canadians, specifically Vancouverites to enjoy and learn about different cultures and countries from Africa, some of which have strong embedded grassroot initiatives and history within the city. As this is a city event, it is envisioned to be free for the attendees, with no admission fee, but donations are encouraged as well as sponsorship opportunities. The goal of the platform for this year is to establish itself, while using the input gained to build on subsequent years. With a focus on rejuvenating the spirit of Hogan's Alley, this platform will work with a wide range of city groups, main street businesses, and at large Vancouver organizations to bring awareness to Vancouver’s prominent and growing African community.

For more information, please see:

This events is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.

Human rights in practice: Experiences of people of African descent in Germany

Photo by Peter Groth

Organized by the High Council of the African Community in Germany, in cooperation with the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency and Engagement Global (agency for development policy initiatives in Germany).

Date and time: 7 June 2016/ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Venue: Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth; Glinkastrasse 24; 10117 Berlin

For the full Programme please click here

The meeting ended with the presentation of a publication by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth endorsing the International Decade.

Organized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), with the co-sponsorship of Black Women’s Blueprint and the support of UN Women and the UN Department of Public Information

Date and time: Friday, 29 April 2016/ 11.00 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.

Venue: United Nations Headquarters, New York


Opening remarks

  • Maarit Kohonen Sheriff, Deputy Head, New York Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Shahrashoub Razavi, Chief, Research and Data, UN Women
  • Farah Tanis, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Black Women’s Blueprint


  • Ahmed Reid, Member of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (Jamaica) 
  • Nadine Neufville, Deputy Director for Grant Development and Management, Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice (United States)
  • Mmatshilo Tumelo Motsei, Poet, writer and gender activist (South Africa) 
  • Isabelle Boni-Claverie, Author, screenwriter, film director (Ivory Coast / France) 
  • Janet Mock, Writer and transgender rights activist (United States) 
  • Tracy Robinson, Former Commissioner, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, Mona (Jamaica)


  • Alicia Garza, Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter (United States)


  • Ejim Dike, Executive Director, US Human Rights Network

Watch the video recording of the event:

Background: The main objective of this event is to raise awareness and exchange views on the causes and manifestations of compounded discrimination faced by women of African descent, including when it comes to gender-based violence, access to healthcare and the overall protection of human rights, and to brainstorm and share good practices on the crucial role that women of African descent can play worldwide in countering discrimination.

During the event, women of African descent will share their experiences in working with their villages, neighbourhoods and countries to promote women’s rights in various aspects of personal, civil, social and political life. They will discuss sustainable models for transformation and reconciliation to bring about accountability and justice for women of African descent, and make recommendations for improving the lives of women of African descent, showcasing good practices, progress and success in working with their communities and countries.

The UN General Assembly will hold a meeting to mark the International Day on 18 March, at 11:00, in the General Assembly Hall.

Keynote speaker: Mr. Ahmed Reid (Jamaica), Member of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent

Open to guests with UN pass.

This event will be webcast live at

More information on the International Day, please see:

Organized by the Permanent Mission of Brazil and the United States Mission to the United Nations

23 March, 1:15 PM-2:30 PM

ECOSOC Chamber, Conference Building, United Nations Headquarters, New York

To see the full programme and RSVP, click here (PDF)

This event will be webcast live at

Commemorative meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN Headquarters in New York, on 29 March 2016

Theme: "Remember Slavery: Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots"

Webcast live at

Hashtag: #RememberSlavery

More information: 

A two-day animation conference, marketplace and film festival in Kingston, Jamaica, presented by Jamaica’s Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, in partnership with the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank, showcasing Afrodescendant culture and storytelling through animated media.  

More information at:

263 Macy, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 W. 120th St, New York, NY 10025

Screening of three documentary films, followed by a panel discussion:

  • South Carolina: Rights to Ancestral Land: a United Nations Television piece on the Gullah Geechee people, descendants of African slaves, and their struggle to hold on to their land and culture;
  • Josephine Baker: Black Diva in a White Man's World: a film about one of the most famous and popular performing artists of the twentieth century.
  • Sons of Benkos: a documentary about the evolution of Afro-Colombian music over generations and the presence of African culture in Colombia;

More information here:

The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent is carrying out a fact-finding visit to the United States from 19 to 29 January 2016, at the invitation of the Government. The Group’s delegation will travel to Washington DC, Baltimore, Jackson (Mississippi), Chicago and New York City.

“We will gather first-hand information about the current human rights situation of African-Americans, and follow up on the recommendations to fight racism we made during our last visit to the country in 2010,” said human rights expert Mireille Fanon Mendes-France, who currently heads the expert panel.

The delegation, which also includes human rights experts Sabelo Gumedze and Ricardo A. Sunga III, will address current concerns, and assess progress made in combatting racial discrimination, Afrophobia, xenophobia, and protecting and promoting the human rights of African-Americans.

During its eleven-day visit, the experts will meet with Government officials at Federal, state and local levels, representatives of civil society organizations, as well as academics, practitioners and individual African-Americans. Following its visit, the Working Group will present a report containing its findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2016.

press conference to share the delegation’s preliminary findings will be held on Friday, 29 January at 12:00 noon at the UN Information Center in Washington DC. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists. RSVPs are required to access the building.

To RSVPs for the Press Conference (media only!), please contact: Deborah Deyoung ( / +1 202 331 8670) 

Organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information, with the co-sponsorship of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the United States Mission to the United Nations.


The exhibit is on display from 11 to 22 January 2016 (the opening was on 12 January 2016).


United Nations Headquarters, New York. First floor corridor between Secretariat and Conference Buildings


  • Ms. Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information;
  • Mr. Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights;
  • Ms. Marie-Paule Roudil, Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office in New York;
  • Ambassador Sarah Mendelson, U.S. Representative on the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations, United States Mission to the United Nations

Learn about the exhibit on the International Decade for People of African Descent shown at UN Headquarters in New York, 11 - 22 January 2016 here

Organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Date and venue: The meeting will be held in Brasilia, from 3 to 4 December 2015

Background and purpose of the meeting: The International Decade for People of African Descent adopted by the General Assembly (2015 – 2024) is an opportunity to analyze and improve the human rights situation and well-being of one of the population groups most affected by racism and discrimination. By combating racial discrimination, the Decade will also strengthen democracy, the rule of law and equality in societies. In 2014, by its resolution 69/16, the General Assembly adopted a Programme of Activities, identifying the objectives and outlining specific actions to be taken within the three themes of the International Decade: recognition, justice and development.

As part of the awareness raising campaign for the International Decade, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will organize five regional meetings. Such meetings will focus on trends, priorities and obstacles at the national and regional levels to effectively implement the Programme of Activities. The meetings will be also an occasion to exchange good practices.

The first meeting will be for the Latin American and Caribbean region. The discussion will be structured under the themes of the Decade: recognition, justice and development. The meeting will provide an opportunity to reflect on ways and means that governments from the region in partnership with equality bodies, national human rights institutions, civil society, development agencies and regional organizations, may pursue to integrate the provisions of the Programmes of Activities in their policies, programmes and strategies tailored for people of African descent.

Participants: The meeting would bring together Member States, United Nations specialized agencies and bodies, regional organizations, national human rights institutions, equality bodies and civil society representatives, particularly people of African descent from the region. Other Member States of the United Nations would be invited to attend as observers. Experts on the topics will be also invited to participate in the meeting.

Documentation and Working languages: The final report of the meeting will be issued as a United Nations document in all official languages.

Travel support for NGOs to attend the Regional Meetingpdf

Application for the Participation of Civil Society in the Regional Meeting for the International Decade for People of African Descent

Topics for the draft agenda; and 20 November deadline for registration pdf

Download the agenda pdf

Information Note N° 4 pdf

See Documents

Date: Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Time: 1.30 p.m. - 3.30 p.m.

Location: ECOSOC Chamber, UN Secretariat Conference Building

Watch the archived webcast here


The event will be organised in the form of a panel discussion. Following opening remarks and presentations made by the panellists, the floor will be opened for a question and answer session with participants to exchange and express views in a frank and open dialogue.

Welcoming remarks

  • Mr. Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights

Video messages

  • Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Ms. Michaelle Jean, Secretary-General, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie


  • Mr. Harry Belafonte, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
  • Ms. Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France, Chairperson, Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent
  • Mr. Mutuma Ruteere, Special Rapporteur on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

Panel Discussion

  • International perspective
    • Ms. Gay McDougall, Member of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • Latin America and Caribbean perspective
    • Ms. Cheryl Sterling, Ph.D., Director, Black Studies Program, The City College of New York
    • Ms. Ramona Hernández, Ph.D., Director, CUNY Dominican Studies Institute & Professor of Sociology, The City College of New York
  • North American perspective
    • Ms. Alicia Garza, Black Lives Matter
    • Mr. Steven W. Hawkins, Executive director of Amnesty International USA
    • Ms. Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice who was fatally shot by police as a 12-year-old
    • Ms. Nicole C. Lee, Mothers against Police Brutality
  • European perspective
    • Mr. Christian Ahlund, Chair of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance

Moderator: Mr. Bruce Knotts, Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association United Nations Office

Organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the co-sponsorship of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the United Nations Department of Public Information, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Black Lives Matter, and Amnesty International USA.

Date: Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Time: 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Location: UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

More details: Official Website

Date and time: Wednesday, 16 September 2015 | 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Location: ECOSOC Chamber at United Nations Headquarters, New York

This panel discussed the issue of self-representation as it relates to identity and power. As the experiences of the various panelists will show, visibility through self- representation is an important instrument in promoting the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent and in combating racism and racial discrimination. The panelists will present experiences about how individuals, communities and nations have used self-representation as a tool for social change and as a way of achieving political and cultural representation within societies.


  • Celso Athayde, Founder of CUFA, Central Union of Favelas and CUFA Films, Brazil
  • Mahen Bonetti, Director of the African Film Festival (AFF), New York
  • Macdala Prévot, Filmmaker, Graduate of Ciné Institute, Haiti
  • Lenora Fulani, Director, Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids; Co-Founder, All Stars Project, USA
  • Raull Santiago, “Papo Reto Media Collective”, Complexo do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Thomas Allen Harris, CEO, Filmmaker and Transmedia Artist, Founder of Digital Diaspora Family Reunion and Director of "Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People"
  • Fab 5 Freddy, Hip hop pioneer, Visual artist, Filmmaker, Chief Creative Consultant of The Africa Center, New York

Moderated by the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations, Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota

Co-sponsored by UNESCO, the UN Department of Public Information, United States Mission, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and The Africa Center

Watch the archived webcast.

Artists and the Memory of Slavery: Resistance, creative freedom and legacies.

Date: 4 - 11 September 2015

Location: UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

More details: Official Website

Black Philanthropy Month logo

Black Philanthropy Month, held every August, was created in 2011 by the Pan-African Women's Philanthropy Network as an annual, global celebration of African-descent giving in recognition of the International Year for People of African Descent declared by the United Nations General Assembly. Since its founding, millions of people and organizations across the globe have celebrated every August as a month of celebration and renewal of giving to and by African-descent communities. In the spirit of the UN Decade for People of African Descent, Black Philanthropy Month encourages the global community to observe this month, and to celebrate the cultural richness and philanthropic spirit of African-descent communities year-round, recognizing the vital role generosity plays in ensuring a healthy, safe and prosperous community in which to live, work and flourish.

Roundtable Discussion: The General History of Africa.

Date: Friday, 10 July 2015

Location: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Time: Conference Room 5, United Nations Headquarters

Please RSVP by 6 July 2015 here

Unveiling of the Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Download full programme (PDF format).

Date:25 March 2015

Location: United Nations Visitors Plaza

Time: 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

A comprehensive look at the status of women and girls of African descent for the next decade relative to the Beijing Declaration in the post-2015 development agenda

Date: 14 March 2015

Location: United Nations Church Center, NYC

A Forum for People of African Descent will start in 2015. We invite you to get involved in making it a successful platform to advance the promotion and protection of human rights.

The United Nations General Assembly decided, in resolution A/RES/69/16, to establish a Forum for People of African Descent to serve as a consultation mechanism during the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024). There is an emphasis on inclusive participation of all States Members of the United Nations, United Nations funds and programmes, specialized agencies, civil society organizations of people of African descent and all other relevant stakeholders.

The United Nations Human Rights Council, will decide further on the mandate and modalities of the Forum for People of African Descent.

In anticipation of the Human Rights Council discussion, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as Coordinator for the International Decade for People of African Descent, invites interested stakeholders, individuals, groups and organizations to submit information on their vision for the new Forum for People of African Descent.

In your submission it would be useful to include your views on the following aspects: What should be the aims and objectives of the Forum for People of African Descent, its thematic focus, the format and the agenda, how to ensure wide participation in the Forum and what should be its outcomes?

OHCHR will transmit all submissions received to Member States who will hold consultations on the Forum for People of African Descent during the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Procedure for submissions:

  • Submissions should be sent in a written form and must include the contact details for the author(s) of the submission.
  • OHCHR will receive submissions until Friday, 6 March 2015, midnight Geneva time.
  • Submissions may be sent:

By email to:

By post to: International Decade for People of African Descent, Anti-Racial Discrimination Section, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UNOG-OHCHR, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Due to resource and time constraints, OHCHR would be grateful if submissions could be clearly marked Forum for People of African Descent, be concise up to 1-page, in English, French and Spanish only.

The Book of Negroes is a miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Lawrence Hill. The six-part miniseries derives its origins from the historical document Book of Negroes and tells the story of a woman forcefully brought to South Carolina from West Africa at the time of the American Revolution


2:50 - 3:05 p.m. Drums prelude
3:05 p.m. Musical introduction
3:10 p.m.


Keynote speaker
Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of the West Indies


5:50 p.m. Musical finale
6:00 p.m. Closure of Launch
  • H.E. Mr. Sam K. Kutesa