Note No. 6526
6 May 2019

Eleventh Annual United Nations Global Student Videoconference to Consider Role of Arts in Seeking Justice for Slavery, Transatlantic Slave Trade

“Remember Slavery:  The Power of the Arts for Justice” will be the theme for the eleventh annual United Nations Remember Slavery Global Student Videoconference, to be held on Friday, 10 May, at New York Headquarters.

Organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) and Links, Inc., the event will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 12 noon.

The conference will bring together 500 students from the New York metropolitan area, as well as from Kenya and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  They will discuss the history of the transatlantic slave trade, its impact on societies across the globe and the role that the arts played in the abolitionist movement and in promoting justice.  The event will be webcast live at:

Essence Gant, Beauty Director at BuzzFeed, will deliver the keynote address on black representation in the arts and its impact on justice.  Students will present the results of their research leading up to the conference on influential art forms such as narratives, paintings and sculpture, as well as modern art forms and memorials that honour the victims.

Special guest speakers will include Mauro Vieira, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations; I. Rhonda King, Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; and architect Rodney Leon, designer of the Ark of Return, the Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at United Nations Headquarters.  Moderating the event will be Kimberly Mann, Chief of the Education Outreach Section in the Department of Global Communications.

Unveiled on 25 March 2015, following an international competition, the Permanent Memorial pays tribute to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.  Mr. Leon will explain his interpretation of the three design elements of the Ark of Return:  acknowledge the tragedy; consider the legacy; and lest we forget.  The Remember Slavery Programme conducts guided tours of the Ark of Return free of charge at 10:30 a.m. each Wednesday from March to December.

The Remember Slavery Programme, managed by the Education Outreach Section, was established by the General Assembly in 2007 to further remembrance of and learning about the causes, consequences, lessons and legacy of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.  It also aims to raise awareness of the dangers of racism and prejudice today, through activities organized by the Programme in New York and around the world through the global network of United Nations information centres, as well as educational materials produced throughout the year.

To learn more about the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme, please visit

For more information on the event, please contact Catharine Smith, Public Information Officer, United Nations, at tel.:  +1 212 963 3748, or email:

ASPnet encourages schools worldwide to educate students on issues related to UNESCO’s overarching goal of promoting peace and international understanding.  The network now includes around 10,000 educational institutions in more than 180 countries.  ASPnet schools work in four key areas:  intercultural learning; peace and human rights; education for sustainable development; and United Nations priorities.  They integrate related knowledge, values, skills and attitudes, as well as their teaching and learning practices into their curriculum.

For more information on ASPnet, please contact Sabine Detzel, International Coordinator, ASPnet, UNESCO, at tel.:  +33 0 145681052, or email:

For information media. Not an official record.