Reflections of the Participants of the 2011 Fellowship Program for People of African Descent
of the Anti-Discrimination Section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

10 November 2011

Honorable High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay,

In light of the realization of the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance following the
Durban Declaration Program of Action, as participants of the first Fellowship Program for People of African Descent organized by the Anti-
Discrimination section of the OHCHR, and as members of different organizations and representatives of the civil society, we would like to express
our deepest gratitude for having had the opportunity to participate in this program. We would like to share for your consideration some

We are confident that the knowledge we gathered of the functioning of International Mechanisms in addressing violations of Human Rights that
People of African Descent face, will prove to be a valuable asset in our work in combating racial discrimination at the national, regional and
international levels. Presently, The Office of High Commissioner within the Strategic Priority in combating anti-discrimination has in its context an
office that includes a section for Indigenous People and Minorities as well as an anti-discrimination section in general for Durban Follow-up
activities. We believe that considering the plight of People of African Descent, we would like to recommend that priority be given to a section
within OHCHR for the creation of a section that could address specifically the promotion and protection of Human Rights of People of African

Africans in the Diaspora, from unique historical streams, have all encountered Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related
Intolerance in varied forms.  As such, they all should be equally entitled to every legitimate form of redress, social justice, reparation, equal
status, as recommended by the Durban Declaration and the subsequent resolutions.  
In the attempt to right these wrongs it is imperative
that consideration be given to the distinct historic, structural and systemic differences that uniquely characterize these various
forms of discrimination and oppression.

The fellowship program is of utmost importance in contributing to the fight against structural discrimination as it relates to the situation of People
of African Descent. It is essential that the program be extended.  Through the continuation of the program – Past, Present and Future fellows
have the unique opportunity to engage in a meaningful dialogue at national, regional and international levels.  Dialogue based on dignity,
respect and creating societal change is fundamental to promoting human rights. It is in this spirit that we remain committed to a struggle that
provides mutual benefits to the human family.

Best Regards,

Participants of the first Fellowship Program for People of African Descent

Aline do Carmo (Brazil)                                           Daniela Silva (Brazil),
Lia Maria dos Santos (Brazil)                                  Fariduddin Muhammad (USA)
Juan Carabali (Colombia)                                       Milton Brown (UK)
Plashka Meade Webster (Panamá)                        Rocio da Cunha (Uruguay)
Yasmine Mathurin (Canada /Haiti)                          Yohannes Bayu (Ethiopia/Israel)

VIEW video clip done by the  
 United Nations (office of the high
 commissioner) documenting our
 thoughts on issues facing
 people of African Descent... all
 fellows are represented: