The United States and Brazil will hold a technical meeting of the U.S.–Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (Joint Action Plan) on August 21-22, 2012 in Brasilia. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kevin Whitaker will lead the U.S. Government delegation along with the Department of Education’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali. The Secretary’s Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs, Reta Jo Lewis, the Director of the Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit, Zakiya Carr Johnson, and other officials from the Department of State, the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Commerce will also participate.
The meeting will focus on accomplishments since the December 2011 Steering Group Meeting in Washington, DC. A seminar on “Equity in Education” will take place August 23 and 24 following the technical meeting.
Joint Action Plan government meetings include members of civil society and the private sector 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 sharing best practices and seeking greater opportunities to expand access to education for students of African descent; 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 systems; and guaranteeing equal access to economic opportunities ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.
The Joint Action Plan, signed in March 2008, pledges ongoing collaboration between the two governments to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination and to promote equal opportunity for all.