For the Minister of the Special Secretariat of Policies to Promote Racial Equality (Seppir), Matilde Ribeiro, Brazil is a global guidepost for issues of policy on race.
One landmark was the creation of the Secretariat itself, following the 3rd World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.
“We have received requests from various countries to exchange experiences as well as to disclose our difficulties in the process of implementing this policy,” the Minister said, yesterday, at the opening of the international seminar “Exits from Slavery and Public Policies.”
The meeting is being held in the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Brasília and brings together, through tomorrow, representatives of the Brazilian government and non-governmental organizations from Brazil and 12 countries in the Americas, Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Among the Brazilian actions to promote racial equality is the system of quotas reserving places in the country’s universities for blacks and Afro-descendants.
Parallel to this, the Ministry of Education has an agenda of steps to deal with the country’s problems of racial inequality.
Ribeiro praised the law recently approved by President Lula making it mandatory to teach African history and culture at the fundamental and secondary levels in Brazilian schools.
Translation: David Silberstein