U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan To Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination

The U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan To Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (Joint Action Plan) was signed in March 2008. It is the first bilateral agreement targeting racism. This initiative leverages the interagency policy expertise in both countries, in a unique partnership with civil society and private sector committees, to address racial health disparities, environmental justice, access to education, equal access to economic opportunities, and equal access to the justice system.

The Joint Action Plan recognizes Brazil and the United States are multi-ethnic, multi-racial democracies whose ties of friendship are strengthened by shared experiences. Both countries celebrate the rich contributions of people of African descent and indigenous populations to the fabric of our societies. The Joint Action Plan’s unique structure and the goals of racial and ethnic equality and social inclusion sparked interest in other Western Hemisphere countries to pursue similar partnerships, and in January 2010, the United States signed a similar Action Plan with Colombia. The Joint Action Plan 2011 Steering Group meeting, with high-level representation from the U.S. and Brazil governments, was hosted in Washington, DC in December 2011.

U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan Access to Education

Historically Black College and University (HBCU) & Brazilian Universities Exchanges

The alliance between HBCUs and Brazil is part of a commitment to cooperation under the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan signed in March 2008. The initiative targets racial and ethnic discrimination, establishing a Historically Black College and University network, a short-term exchange program, and programs to target racism and human rights through education in the U.S. and Brazil.

Xavier University and Zumbi dos Palmares Exchange

Xavier University and Universidade da Cidadania Zumbi dos Palmares (Unipalmares) Exchange in an effort to strengthen linkages between Brazilian universities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States, initial funding was provided for a two-week exchange consisting of two students and one faculty member from the Universidade da Cidadania Zumbi dos Palmares (Unipalmares) and Xavier University. The goal of promoting these linkages is to increase opportunities for information exchange on promoting racial equality and fighting discrimination in the two countries, along with promoting increased educational opportunities for Afro-descendent youth.

U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan Access to Health

In health, we have made strides in interagency and inter-ministerial cooperation. In a bi-weekly basis, representatives from the U.S. and Brazilian Governments in the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Ministry of Health, respectively, meet to discuss opportunities for technical exchanges and discussions to eliminate racial disparities in health. From August 22-26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hosted representatives from the Ministry of Health and the Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality to share U.S. policies and programs addressing racial disparities in health during field site visits in Atlanta; Chicago; and Charleston and Georgetown, South Carolina. The study visit to the U.S. included learning about U.S. public policies and CDC funded programs which seek to ameliorate racial disparities in health. The exchange was successful and the working group is exploring other opportunities to exchange good practices and technical expertise.

U.S. Department of State

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