Brazil and USA to combat racial and ethnic discrimination

The partnership focuses on access to education and healthcare system

Published on 24/05/2023 - 11:28 By Daniella Almeida - Repórter da Agência Brasil - Brasília

Brazil and the United States held their first working meeting under the Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (Japer) since 2013 on Tuesday, May 23.

During the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brasília, the two governments committed to working together on behalf of marginalized racial and ethnic communities in both countries, including people of African descent and descendants of indigenous peoples. 

The joint work plan focuses on expanding access to education and the healthcare system, combating violence and promoting justice, cultivating culture, and preserving memory.

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols highlighted the mutual benefits of exchanging experiences and emphasized the shared history and challenges between the two countries. He acknowledged the historical aspects such as slavery, marginalization of indigenous people, anti-Semitism, and discrimination, and recognized the progress made while acknowledging the ongoing work ahead. He expressed the opportunity for collaboration to find solutions that will benefit both populations.


Regarding the Japer educational exchange, which facilitates study opportunities for Brazilians in the United States and vice versa, Desirée Cormier, the United States Special Representative for Equity and Racial Justice, highlighted that 465 Brazilians have already benefited from this program. She emphasized the importance of building upon this success and ensuring inclusivity. Furthermore, Cormier expressed “the commitment to working together to expand educational opportunities and access for individuals of African descent and indigenous populations in both Brazil and the United States.”

Racial violence 

In addition to education, culture, and healthcare, Brazil and the United States have outlined joint efforts to combat violence against black individuals. During Tuesday's meeting, Minister Anielle Franco and American representative Desirée Cormier underscored the shared concern that young black males are disproportionately affected by violence in both countries. 

The Brazilian minister emphasized that Japer will collaborate closely with the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Safety to address violence against black individuals. The minister stated that the focus remains on combating and confronting the ongoing genocide of the black population, referencing notable examples such as George Floyd and Marielle Franco. Recognizing the importance of addressing this critical issue, the minister asserted that it is imperative for Japer to prioritize and actively engage with the issue of violence against black people.

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Aline Leal/Nira Foster

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