Note No. 6511
7 February 2018

Screening of ‘Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places — A Global African Diaspora’ to Mark Black History Month at United Nations Headquarters, 8 February

As part of the Remember Slavery Programme and the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), the United Nations Department of Public Information is screening the documentary film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places — A Global African Diaspora on Thursday, 8 February, to mark Black History Month.

The screening of the 33-minute documentary film, by filmmaker and cultural anthropologist Sheila S. Walker, will be followed by a discussion moderated by Ramu Damodaran, Chief, United Nations Academic Impact Initiative, Department of Public Information.  The screening will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Conference Room 4 at United Nations Headquarters.

Tens of millions of Africans were uprooted from their homeland over hundreds of years during the brutal period of enslavement.  The African diaspora communities that developed around the world used the knowledge and skills brought from Africa to contribute to the shaping of new societies.  This film takes viewers on a journey from the Americas to Turkey, India and other locales around the globe to discover the rich culture and contributions of people of African descent.

Alison Smale, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, will deliver opening remarks followed by Mauro Vieira, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations, and Ms. Walker, who is Executive Director of Afrodiaspora, Inc.

After the screening, Ms. Walker will be joined by Gloria Browne-Marshall, a writer, law professor and Board Member of the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History; Omar H. Ali, Dean, Lloyd International Honors College and Professor of African Diaspora History, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and Jazmin Graves, a scholar at the South Asian Languages and Civilizations Department at the University of Chicago.  Mr. Damodaran will moderate the discussion and then open the floor to questions.

The screening is one of a series of events organized each year by the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme, which is managed by the Education Outreach Section.  The Programme was established by the General Assembly in 2007 to educate on the causes, consequences, lessons and legacy of the transatlantic slave trade, as well as raise awareness of the dangers of racism and prejudice today.

The International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) was launched in 2015 to promote recognition, justice and development for people of African descent.  It focuses on furthering respect, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for people of African descent through action at the national, regional and international levels.

The event’s opening remarks, as well as the post-screening panel discussion, will be webcast by UN Web TV at

For more information, please contact Catharine Smith, Remember Slavery Programme, at email:, tel.:  +1 212 963 3748; or Martina Donlon, International Decade for People of African Descent, at email:, tel.:  +1 212 963 6816.

For media accreditation, please contact the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit at

For information media. Not an official record.