The United Nations will mark the 2021 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”. Several virtual events will be organized throughout the month to commemorate the International Day.
The 2021 theme for the International Day 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 educational outreach and remembrance activities organized by the United Nations outreach programme on slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, to mobilize action against prejudice, racism and injustice.
On 22 March from 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m., the Department of Global Communications will host an online panel discussion entitled “In Slavery’s Wake: a new global curatorial collaboration on slavery and the making of our world”. Members of the Global Curatorial Project network will discuss new global initiatives bent on telling new and transformative stories of slavery and its afterlives in public spaces in a panel discussion. Please register at http://bit.ly/3qdGPTi.
On 24 March, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., the Department of Global Communications will host an online panel discussion entitled “Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade”, and its first episode – “Cultures Left Behind”. The Department of Global Communications, with the support of Fremantle, will be screening the six-part series, presented by Samuel L. Jackson, Afua Hirsch and Simcha Jacobovici, over the following six months. Episode one will be made available in advance to those who register for the discussion. Please register at https://bit.ly/3ud7a7e.
“Still We Rise”, an online cultural event, co-organized by the Department of Global Communications, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will take place on 25 March, from 8:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. The online event will include musical and spoken voice input, a mini-documentary, a multilingual poetry reading with diverse representation and a discussion. Invited speakers include the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, the Deputy Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Permanent Observers of the African Union and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Please register at https://bit.ly/3s8Q7RU.
The Commemorative Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly will be held in person on 25 March from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The meeting will be chaired by the President of the General Assembly and will include remarks by the United Nations Secretary‑General and Member States. Lisa M. Coleman, Senior Vice‑President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation at New York University, will deliver the keynote address. Health security protocols will be observed. The commemorative meeting will be live streamed on UN Web TV at http://webtv.un.org/.
On 26 March, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Department of Global Communications together with the Permanent Mission of Senegal, will host an online discussion entitled “Remember, acknowledge and educate — The Gorée Memorial and Museum”. The panellists will consider Senegal’s approach to memorialization and education about the transatlantic slave trade. The panel will include 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. The Permanent Representative of the Mission of Senegal to the United Nations will give welcoming remarks. Please register at https://bit.ly/3qhdlUB.
On 31 March, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Department of Global Communications will organize a discussion of the documentary Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts. Traylor was born into slavery, lived through the period following emancipation, and witnessed the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The discussion will consider Traylor’s legacy, and the relationship among art, justice and the legacy of slavery. Invited panellists include Leslie Umberger, art historian and Curator of Folk and Self-taught Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Jeffrey Wolf, film director; Radcliffe Bailey, contemporary American artist; and Howard O. Robinson, Archivist, Alabama State University. The film will be made available to view in advance of the discussion to those who register for the discussion. Please register at https://bit.ly/3uaL2uw.
General Assembly Resolution 62/122 of 2007 identified 25 March as the International Day of remembrance of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade and mandated the establishment of an outreach programme on slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.