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2020 Theme: “Confronting Slavery’s Legacy of Racism Together”

One devastating legacy of the transatlantic slave trade was racism. Historically, it was used to justify the enslavement of Africans. And today, it has led to people of African descent being relegated to the poorest and most marginalized sectors of society. The 2020 theme underscores the reality that lasting effects of the transatlantic slave trade, including racism, continue to divide societies across the globe and hamper our advancement towards a world that respects human rights and enables sustainable development for all. Only through confronting these legacies can we truly promote inclusion and move forward together.

Calendar of events

21 February 2020

New exhibit on racism to open at UN Headquarters
An exhibit entitled “Us and Them: From Prejudice to Racism” will be on display in the United Nations Visitors Lobby in New York from 21 February until 27 March 2020. Organized in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, France, the exhibit examines the science behind “race”; shows how racism flourished during the transatlantic slave trade and continues to divide societies today; and teaches that racism is not inevitable and can be fought at multiple levels.

25 March 2020

UN to commemorate International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in New York
The commemorative meeting of the General Assembly to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade will take place on 25 March 2020 at 3:00 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall. Expected speakers include the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and Member States.

24 April 2020

Students from Africa and the Americas to discuss slavery’s legacy of racism at Global Student Videoconference
The United Nations Department of Global Communications will partner with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Associated Schools Network and Links, Inc., to hold its 12th annual global student videoconference on 24 April. High school students from Africa and the Caribbean will join hundreds of students in New York by video link to participate in discussions about combatting slavery’s legacy of racism.

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