About the Author: Erica Marrero serves as Adviser to the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.
A group of university students and civil society leaders 4,700 miles apart will be connected for the first time in a live-streamed digital town hall about “How the Media Shapes our Views on Race,” as part of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Promote Racial and Ethnic Equality.
American actor and author Hill Harper (CSI: NY) and civil rights activist Bernice King, III, the daughter of civil rights leader and “I Have a Dream” orator Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will join two Brazilian journalists, Paulo Rogerio and Juliana Cezar, to discuss the influence of the media on perceptions of race. The speakers will address an audience of 150 youth and civil society leaders, as well as U.S. and Brazilian government officials gathered at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia for the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Promote Racial and Ethnic Equality.
But this year, for the first time since the signing of the Joint Action Plan in 2008, the discussion about racial equality will reach beyond the confines of the conference auditorium to a library in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and across the globe in a live webcast on May 21, 2010, at 9:30 a.m. EDT. The U.S. Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro partnered with the Pedro Calmon Foundation and the Brazil-U.S. Cultural Association to host a viewing party at the Public Library of the state of Bahia in Salvador. The live audience in Salvador will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to the panelists in Atlanta. The speakers will also answer questions submitted online via webchat as well as from the in-room audience in Atlanta, Georgia. Following the digital town hall, participants can continue the discussion on the Joint Action Plan Facebook page.
The two-day Joint Action Plan conference, "A Call to Action," will bring U.S. and Brazilian government, civil society, and private sector representatives together to explore the unique challenges facing African Americans and Afro-Brazilians in the areas of economic empowerment, health, environmental justice, education, and equality in the justice system.
Signed in March 2008, the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan recognizes that Brazil and the United States are multi-ethnic, multiracial democracies whose ties of friendship are strengthened by shared experiences. The Joint Action Plan pledges an ever-deepening and ongoing collaboration between the two governments to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination and promote equality of opportunity in both countries. Click here for more information about the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan.