Dear Vice President,

A few days ago, the world commemorated the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This event has had profound and lasting effects on both enslaved individuals and affected communities. Systemic racism continues to persist worldwide, depriving people of African descent of equal opportunities and rights.

In Latin America, studies have shown that in at least 18 countries, people of African descent live with a wide range of deprivations related to poverty, employment, maternal and child health, lack access to adequate housing and basic services such as safe water and sanitation. We still live in an era of systemic racism against people of African descent.

While we commend efforts and progress aimed at preventing racial discrimination and improving equality for all, institutional and individual racism continues to rise in the Americas and European countries.

In the United States alone, the roots of economic and medical disparities and gaps in the justice system trace back to the legacy of slavery, segregation, ongoing discrimination, and disparities that begin at birth with pregnancy-related deaths.

The Dialogue and Development Forum, the Geneva International Center for Justice, and the Right to Rights and Freedoms Center call for urgent action to address the systemic racism faced by African-descent communities. We emphasize the need for practical measures to combat discrimination and improve the lives of those affected. This includes enforcing anti-discrimination laws, investing in education and healthcare, promoting economic empowerment, and strengthening accountability mechanisms.