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2021 Theme: “Ending Slavery’s Legacy of Racism: A Global Imperative for Justice”

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The theme reflects the global movement to end injustices whose roots lie in the slave trade. The theme highlights the importance of educating about the history of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, to bring about an acknowledgment of slavery’s impact on the modern world, and action to address its long-lasting effects. The theme guides the Programme’s development of educational outreach and remembrance to mobilize action against prejudice, racism and injustice.

Calendar of Events

4 March, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

Online discussion: “Return to the Root: Exploring Racism Through Dance”
“Return to the Root: Exploring Racism Through Dance” is an online discussion with Mr. Rafael Palacios, the Artistic Director of Afro-Colombian dance company, Sankofa Danzafro, and Dr.Terry-Ann Jones, Lehigh University Director of Africana Studies. The conversation is moderated by Mr. Mark Wilson, the Executive Director of Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University. The discussion explores themes of systemic racism, the legacy of slavery throughout African diaspora populations, and how we can participate in this discussion globally through multiple art forms. Watch the discussion.

22 March, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EDT

Online discussion: “In Slavery’s Wake: A new global curatorial collaboration on slavery and the making of our world”
In this panel discussion, members of the Global Curatorial Project network discuss new global initiatives bent on telling new and transformative stories of slavery and its afterlives in public spaces. Panelists include: Paul Gardullo, Director of the Center for the Study of Global Slavery, Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture; Anthony Bogues, Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University; Johanna Obenda, Researcher and Exhibition Development Specialist at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool and Ibrahima Thiaw , Professor of Archaeology, Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire (IFAN), University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar. Watch the discussion.

Wednesday, 24 March, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT

Online discussion of Enslaved: Episode 1 – "Cultures left behind"
Over the next six months, the Outreach Programme is screening the six-part series Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, presented by Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, Ms. Afua Hirsch and Mr. Simcha Jacobovici. This discussion examines the series, and the first episode, “Cultures left behind”. Panelists include: Mr. Simcha Jacobovici, series director; Ms. Afua Hirsch, journalist and documentary maker; and Mr. Kramer Wimberly, Lead Diver, Diving With A Purpose. Watch the discussion.

25 March

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
The United Nations commemorated the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on 25 March under the theme “Ending Slavery’s Legacy of Racism: A Global Imperative for Justice”. Events to mark the day included a virtual cultural event from 8:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and a commemorative meeting of the General Assembly from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m EDT.

25 March, 8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. EDT

Online cultural event: "Still We Rise"
This online cultural event includes musical and spoken word input, from a diverse range of people, and a 20 minute discussion with the Honourable Jean Augustine (P.C., C.M., O.Ont, C.B.E. Join her, Melissa Noel, the global youth, hip-hop artist Webster, Musicians Peter Gabriel, Yo-Yo Ma and Angélique Kidjo, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Under-Secretary-General for Communications, UNESCO Deputy Director-General, UNFPA Executive Director, and the Permanent Observers of the African Union and CARICOM to stand up to end slavery’s legacy of racism.

The event was co-organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications, UNESCO and UNFPA.

View the programme and watch the cultural event.

25 March, 10:00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. EDT

General Assembly meeting to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
The commemorative meeting of the General Assembly to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was held on 25 March, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The keynote speaker was Dr. Lisa M. Coleman, senior vice president for global inclusion and strategic innovation at New York University. Watch the commemorative meeting.

26 March, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT

Online discussion “Remember, acknowledge and educate: The Gorée Memorial and Museum”
This online discussion considers Senegal’s approach to memorialization and education about the transatlantic slave trade. The panel includes a discussion of the Gorée Memorial Project, and Senegal’s planned memorial to honour Africa, the global African diaspora, and the victims of the transatlantic slave trade. Panelists include: H.E. Mr. Cheikh Niang Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations; Professor Sylvie Kande, Professor History and Philosophy, SUNY Old Westbury; Mr. Eloi Coly, Chief-Curator of the House of Slaves, Gorée, SENEGAL; Dr. Jeremy Levitt, Distinguished Professor of International Law at Florida A&M University College of Law; and Mr. Malick Kane, Coordinator of the Gorée Memorial Project. The discussion is moderated by Mr. Maher Nasser, Director of the Department of Global Communications Outreach Division. Watch the discussion.

31 March, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. EDT

Online discussion of Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts
As part of its series, “Ending slavery’s legacy of racism through the arts”, the Outreach Programme hosted an online discussion about the film, Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts. The documentary tells the story of artist Bill Traylor. Born into slavery, Traylor lived through the period following emancipation, and witnessed the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The discussion considers Traylor’s legacy, and the relationship between art, justice and the legacy of slavery. Invited panelists include Leslie Umberger, art historian and Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Mr. Jeffrey Wolf, film director; Mr. Radcliffe Bailey, contemporary American artist; Dr. Howard O. Robinson, Archivist, Alabama State University. Watch the discussion.

28 April, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT

Online discussion of Enslaved: Episode 2 – "Rationalization"
Over the next six months, the Outreach Programme is screening the six-part series Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, presented by Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, Ms. Afua Hirsch and Mr. Simcha Jacobovici. Watch the discussion of the second episode, “Rationalization”.

26 May, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT

Online discussion of Enslaved: Episode 3 – “Follow the Money”
Over the next six months, the Outreach Programme is screening the six-part series Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, presented by Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, Ms. Afua Hirsch and Mr. Simcha Jacobovici. Episode 3 examines the economics of the slave trade. Watch the discussion of the third episode “Follow the Money".

10 June, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EDT

12th Annual Global Student Videoconference on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery Theme: Ending Slavery’s Legacy of Racism: A Global Imperative for Justice
The 12th Annual Global Student Videoconference on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery features remarks by His Excellency, Mr, Allie Kabba, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sierra Leone, and a fire-side chat with Afua Hirsch, the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Journalism and Communication at University of Southern California. Students from Jamaica, Nigeria, Panama, United Kingdom and United States share their research projects on sites of memory and the impact of the transatlantic slave trade on the modern world. Kramer Wimberly, lead dive instructor with Diving With A Purpose shared his experiences searching for sunken slave ships, and why the history still matters today. Watch the discussion.

11 June, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT

Online Discussion of Enslaved, Episode 4 “New World Cultures”
This discussion of Episode 4: “New World Cultures” of the series Enslaved: the Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade focuses on how those enslaved have impacted our global culture – from mathematical fractals, to food, to music. Organized by the United Nations Outreach Programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, supporting the International Decade for People of African Descent, and with the help of Fremantle and Associated Producers Ltd./Cornelia Street Productions. Watch the discussion.

29 July, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT

Online Discussion of Enslaved, Episode 5: “Resistance”
Join us for an online discussion about Episode 5: "Resistance". Episode 5 explores how Africans resisted enslavement and risked their lives to help each other escape. The episode includes an examination of the Underground Railroad. Organized by the United Nations Outreach Programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, the International Decade for People of African Descent, Fremantle and Associated Producers Ltd./Cornelia Street Productions. Register for the online discussion and watch Episode 5 (screening available from 19-31 July).

26 August, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST

Online Discussion of Enslaved, Episode 6 “Abolition”
To mark the UNESCO International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, join us for an online discussion about Episode 6: “Abolition”. Episode 6 explores the circumstances that brought the transatlantic slave trade to an end. The discussion is organized by the United Nations Outreach Programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, the International Decade for People of African Descent, Fremantle and Associated Producers Ltd./Cornelia Street Productions. Register for the online discussion and watch Episode 6 (screening available from 16-28 August).

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