Brussels, 16 September 2015 - A delegation of Black Europeans to the first global Summit on Valuing Black Lives and Annual Conference of the US Congressional Black Caucus will give evidence of Afrophobia in Europe and discuss concrete action plans to ensure Black lives become just as important as White lives.
The Summit is taking place on 17 and 18 September in Washington D.C. and gathers leaders of African descent from around the world.
People of African descent worldwide face a specific form of structural racism and discrimination, first instigated with the slave trade and continuing to this day. To improve the situation of Black people – whether in the economic, education, health or political fields, we must address the fact that society continues to view and treat Black people as inferior because of their skin colour.
This is at the root of the too-common police killings of Black people, both in the US and Europe. It explains why, to so many people, Black lives do not matter as much as White lives do, and why people of African descent face exclusion, discrimination and unequal access to labour market, education, housing, justice, the media etc.
EU Member States must adopt concrete measures to tackle these issues, especially in the framework of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent launched this year. Given Europe’s role in the slave trade and colonisation, European leaders have a special responsibility to ensure equality of outcomes for the 7 to 12 million people of African descent living in their countries. Despite this, no EU country has put in place a specific programme as requested by the UN. During the 2011 International Year for People of African Descent, no event or commemoration took place in Europe. We urge EU Member States to adopt an EU Framework for national strategies to combat Afrophobia, with concrete and measurable objectives.
Momodou Jallow, Vice-Chair of ENAR leading the delegation of Black Europeans, said: "Devaluation of Black Lives and Afrophobia have always been and continue to be a global problem. We need to build partnerships, to learn from our diverse experiences and to support each other’s struggles, working closely with allies who share our vision and commitment to a transformative socio-economic and political justice movement beyond borders. This has never been this urgent."
“Black people around the world are under siege,” said Enola Aird, founder and president of Community Healing Network, creator of the Summit, “and in this, the United Nations-designated International Decade for People of African Descent, we must develop a unified global response to address the root causes of the countless injustices against people of African ancestry.”
Dr. Taasogle Daryl Rowe, Immediate Past President of the Association of Black Psychologists, co-organisers of the Summit, said: “The aims of the Summit are to re-ignite a movement to restore human agency and dignity to people of African ancestry. This movement warrants maximum vigilance, resolve, commitment and focused action to bring an end to the disregard for Black lives and dignity.”
For more information or interviews, contact:
Jallow Momodou, ENAR Vice-chair: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tarice Gray, 818-907-5956, or Al Gentry, 240-370-4757, Community Healing Network, http://www.communityhealingnet.org/2015-global-emotional-emancipation-summit/
Notes to the editor:
Are you an organisation working on anti-racism and anti-discrimination in a European country?
ENAR’s Equal@work Platform brings together businesses, social partners, NGOs, public authorities and academics committed to diversity and inclusion, to find solutions for the participation of ethnic minorities in the labour market.