Brazil Debates a Plan for Racial Equality

Blacks, whites, Indians, gypsies, Arabs, Palestinians, Jews, Asians, Muslims, and descendants of runaway slaves. They are all ready to participate in the 1st National Conference to Promote Racial Equality, which will take place from June 30 through July 2, in BrasÀ­lia, the capital of Brazil.

“It is a positive moment for debate,” affirms the executive coordinator of the Conference, Jorge Carneiro.


“Brazil, with its continental scale, needs to consider the entire reality of the country’s social and ethnic relations, in order to be able to formulate official policies that will reduce inequalities, especially racial ones. I think it is fundamental for Brazil to get to know Brazil. And this conference provides the opportunity.”


Carneiro informed that the debates held at the conference, which is expected to gather over 2,000 people, will be incorporated into a National Plan of Racial Equality.


Preparations for the conference began last December. 27 state conferences, two national consultations (with Indians and descendants of runaway slaves), a hearing (with the gypsy community), and two political meetings (with black women and representatives of African religions) were held.


At these meetings the groups presented their principal demands and elected the 1,136 delegates for the encounter in Brasí­lia.


The conference will have three roundtables with the themes: Policies to promote racial equality and affirmative action; Dialogue on cultural policies in America and the Caribbean; and National identity, policy, and legislation to overcome racism.


“The challenge for the State is to produce official policies that consider the traditional aspects of these peoples. We cannot tell them how they should live, because they already have a life history, their own way of being,” says the coordinator.


ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br

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