Martin Luther King III to join online consultation on racism

Human rights activist Martin Luther King III, son of Martin Luther King Jr., leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968, will be joining the second edition of UNESCO’s Regional Expert Consultations against Racism and Discriminations to be held online on 29 September 2020 from 4:30 to 6:00 PM (CEST).  

This series aims to deconstruct racism, and unpack the societal challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic related to racism and discriminations. It seeks to facilitate deep reflection on the directions the international community should take in this context.

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the international community has witnessed the stigmatization and discrimination of populations of Asian origin and/or appearance. #IAmNotAVirus movement has risen up to combat such hate speech, but the xenophobic rhetoric used by leaders and populist groups has sparked a new wave of extreme right-wing movements that have galvanized racist messages advocating violence.

Today, citizens demonstrating around the world on behalf of the #BlackLivesMatter movement to call for racial justice for people of African descent has substantiated that the legacy of slavery is still haunting us. The racial wounds that persist are once again uncovering the centuries-old legacies of bias and prejudice and has taken a toll in the construction of the moral fibre of our societies.

Beyond providing a collective understanding and diverse perspectives on these issues, the consultation series will also guide UNESCO to develop a tool to identify the institutional structures, including legal and cultural frameworks, that contribute to the fight against racism and discriminations.

Mr King will be joined by

  • Professor Jane Landers (Member of the International Scientific Committee of UNESCO’s Slave Route Project),
  • Professor Naa Afua Dadesen Cooper (Founder of the Black Canadian Studies Association),
  • Ms Alice Miquet, President of the Montreal Youth Council, and
  • Webster, Hip-Hop Artist and antiracism advocate.

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