The United States and Brazil are holding a steering group meeting of the U.S.–Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (Joint Action Plan) December 8-9, 2011, at the Department of State in Washington, D.C.
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson leads the U.S. government delegation. Officials from the Departments of State, Education, Commerce, Labor, Justice, and Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Inter-American Foundation are also participating.
The government meetings and panel discussions include members of civil society and allow Brazilian and American participants to address issues relating to the promotion of racial and ethnic equality in both countries. The primary goals of the meeting include seeking greater opportunities for African descendant students in international higher education through President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas goal and President Rousseff’s Science without Borders initiative; eliminating racial health disparities in the United States and Brazil; mitigating environmental impacts in rural and urban communities of African descent; addressing challenges in the criminal justice system; and guaranteeing equal access to economic opportunities ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic games. The meeting also focuses on accomplishments since the signing of the Joint Action Plan and will develop a plan of action for the next year.
The Joint Action Plan, signed in March 2008, pledges ongoing collaboration between the two governments to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity for all.