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Exhibition Eye-dentity, Identity. Angele Etoundi 2010 (Mincultura Colombia)

Visible Hands Corporation, Embassy of Colombia in the United States


Power and Effective Inclusion Afro-Colombian Young Professionals Agenda June 5-6, 2012

Afro-Colombian Young Professionals Agenda: Power and Effective Inclusion

Exhibition Eye-dentity, Identity. Angele Etoundi 2010 (Mincultura Colombia)

“Our professional classes are not aristocrats and our masters – they are and must be the most efficient servants and thinkers whose legitimate reward is the advancement of the great mass of negroes and with them the uplift of all men�. (Rosenwlad Conference, W.E. Du Bois)

Brief presentation Colombia has prioritized the Afro-Colombian population and its situation as an important area of bilateral cooperation with the United States. During the last 10 years, Afro-Colombian advancement and equality have been pointed as a major common task. Since 2004, two major educational programs have been implemented such as the MLK scholarships and the Fulbright scholarships for Afro-Colombians created in 2008. In 2010, the Joint Action Plan for Racial Equality was signed, establishing culture, education, environmental issues and income generation as strategic areas to be addressed. The possibility to hold a meeting of Afro-Colombian youth leaders, who have benefited from the scholarships programs and are advancing in their Master and Doctorate studies in the U.S. is a unique opportunity. More than 50 top Afro-Colombian professionals from different backgrounds are studying in the U.S. in areas of major importance for Colombian development. It is important to facilitate meetings for the reflection and awareness of the new Afro-Colombian generation and their preparation as major leaders of social, political and economic change for the country and their communities.

Goals To share the Afro-Colombian youth proposals for social advancement and competitiveness of Afro-Colombian communities and learn about their experiences as scholars in the US with academics, public policy officials, members of government and congress, as well as the general public in Washington DC. To organize the Afro-Colombian youth leaders network with an agenda, in order to guarantee the fellows contribution to their community and the professional projection in Colombia. To highlight the importance of these educational programs as major contributors for development change in power an inclusion in Colombia. To reflect about the use of culture as an element of unity for the African Diaspora in the Americas.

Justification The world is in need of more leaders that are capable of gauging, interpreting and understanding the situations that surround them. These leaders must be able to take the chief role in acting as the voice for others who feel that they are not being heard. They must also have the ability to unify the dreams and ideas of the community and channel them into a functional, workable plan of action. They must be able to inspire the masses so that everyone has a firm grasp on where they need to go and just how to get there. In Colombia, and especially within the Afro-Colombian population, there is a dire need for leaders who truly believe in the equality of all, leaders who do not resort to violence or coercion or debauchery to obtain goals, leaders who feed off of the solidarity of the people to rise above obstacles. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Program and the Fulbright program help their beneficiaries obtain personal, professional and educational goals in the same manner so fervently endorsed by its namesake: through perseverance, hard work, patience and self-assuredness. Colombia, like any other country with a significant percentage of minority populations, suffers from sociopsycho-economic inequalities. Afro-Colombians do not have unabated access to higher education, English language learning, post graduate studies or professional opportunities. The MLK Fellowship Program and the Fullbright Program aims to tackle these issues headon by offering young Colombian leaders of African descent the tools necessary to make them competitive on a national and international level. The obtainment of these tools will, in turn, have a marked influence upon the development and strengthening of the AfroColombian community. The MLK Fellowship Program and the Fulbright program seeks to combat the social isolation felt by many by training young, high-achieving Afro-Colombian leaders who possess the spirit that allows them to overcome all obstacles and who are conscious of the social responsibility they carry.

Exhibition Eye-dentity, Identity. Angele Etoundi 2010 (Mincultura Colombia)

CONFERENCE PROGRAM June 5 9:30 - 10: 30 a.m. Opening remarks Gabriel Silva Ambassador of Colombia to the United States James Early Director cultural heritage policy, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage 10:30-11:.00 a.m. Coffee Break 11:00-12:00 p.m. The New Afro-descendant leadership Professor Philip Thompson Associate professor of urban politics, Department of Urban Studies and Planning Introduction: Paula Moreno President Visible Hands Corporation Brief: This conference will be focused on the changes, challenges and new trends in the African diaspora, particularly in the U.S. The main questions to be answered are: ¿What are the main achievements in the U.S. and globally of the African diaspora? ¿Which elements have been the cornerstones for obtaining these achievements? ¿What are the main challenges in the agenda for ethnic diversity? ¿Where should the ethnic agenda move towards? ¿How can an effective and sustainable power be built for African-descendant professionals and labor movements? 12:00-12:30 p.m. Questions and feedback from the fellows and public 12:30-1:00 p.m. Brief Lunch Break, to continue as a working lunch 1:00-2:00 p.m. The power of culture for integration: diasporic encounters John Franklin Director of Partnerships & International Programs, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Brief: This conference will be focused on how culture can be harnessed for change and inclusion in afrodescendant communities around the globe and to foster connections between communities of different countries.

2:00-2:30 p.m. Questions and feedback from the fellows and public (END OF PUBLIC PROGRAM) 2:30-3:30 p.m. Spearheading bilateral and multilateral linkages: The power of the African diaspora Zakiya Carr Johnson Race, Ethnicity and Social Inclusion Unit, Department of State. Judith Morrison Senior Advisor IADB Unit of Gender and Diversity. Introduction: Paula Moreno President Visible Hands Corporation. Brief: This panel will delve into the key elements for the advancement of the African Diaspora. The two panelists will discuss the global trends in the collaborative frameworks for strengthening the solidarity among the African Diaspora. In this regard, they will answer the following questions: (i) ¿In this last decade, what have been the main achievements in the social, political and economic advancement of the African diaspora as a crossborders movement? ¿What are the gaps in the integration process of the African diaspora? ¿What are the main opportunities for social, economic and political power by strengthening the multilateral alliances in the Americas, Africa and the diaspora elsewhere? ¿What should be the next steps for African- descendant professionals and leaders to move forward the ethnic equality agenda in Colombia and the U.S. ? 3:30-4:00 p.m. Break 4:00-4:30 p.m Closing Remarks Congressman Gregory Meeks 4:30-5:30 p.m. First round: MLK and Fulbright fellows presentations Health and ethnic equality Urban public health for Afro-Colombian settlements. Janeth Maria Mosquera Cancer prevention from an ethnic epidemiology perspective. Juan Carlos Paz Optics and water treatment for major Afro-colombian municipalities . Diego Felipe Garcia 7:30p.m. Welcome Dinner

June 6

12:30-1:00 p.m. Lunch break

8:30-9:00 a.m. Summary of first day interventions Opening remarks:

1:00-2:00 p.m. Social Networking Tools.

Colombian reality, Afro-Colombian professionals challenges and opportunities

Suzanne Philion US Department of State

Paula Moreno, President Visibles Hands Corporation 9:00-10.30 a.m. Second round: MLK and Fulbright fellows presentations Afro- Colombian territories and sustainability Land management and environmental protection from an ethnic perspective. Susana Lizcano Agroforestry and community development in the Pacific coast. William Ballesteros

2:00-5:00 p.m. Workshop: A critical mass: Afro-Colombian professional network How to organize, what to do and the strategy to build the new Afro-Colombian representativeness and power. Paula Moreno President Visible Hands Corporation 5:00-5:30 p.m. Closing remarks

Climate change and ethnic territories. Nilsen Lasso The urban renewal and local economy of major AfroColombian settlements. Kimmel Chammat The social stratification of public services in the Pacific coast. Roger Mina 10:30-11:00 a.m. Break 11:00–12:30 p.m. Third round: MLK and Fulbright fellows presentations Memories, languages and representativeness Re-writing history: the effective visibility of AfroColombians. Francisco Flores Bilingual education: a main tool for ethnic inclusion. Richard Francis The challenge of strengthening Afro-Colombian Social Organizations. Pedro Cortez Network organization of Afro Colombian legal professionals for the legal advocacy of Afro Colombian communities. Yuri Romaùa The diplomatic power of ethnic representation. Gustavo Makanaky

Exhibition Eye-dentity, Identity. Angele Etoundi 2010 (Mincultura Colombia)

Power and Effective Inclusion  

Afro-Colombian Young Professionals Agenda

Power and Effective Inclusion  

Afro-Colombian Young Professionals Agenda