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Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
October 30, 2008

U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan To Promote Racial and Ethnic Equality

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“I am, of course, myself partly of African descent and I’ve always believed that Brazil and the United States, in some ways, look more like each other than any two countries in the world…”

—Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

Date: 03/13/2008 Description: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Brazilian Secretary for the Promotion of Racial Equality Edson Santos agree to Joint Action Plan as Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim looks on. State Dept PhotoA bilateral plan, signed in March 2008 by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Brazil’s Secretary for the Promotion of Racial Equality Edson Santos, pledges deepening and ongoing collaboration between the two governments to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination and promote equality of opportunity in both countries. The U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan recognizes that Brazil and the United States are multi-ethnic, multiracial democracies and that our shared experiences strengthen the ties of friendship between the two countries. We recognize and celebrate the rich contributions of Afro-descendents and indigenous populations to the fabric of our societies.

The Joint Action Plan calls upon both governments to collaborate in promoting cooperation, understanding and exchange of information to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination and promote equality of opportunity for all. Both governments have instituted legislation and policies to provide social justice and social inclusion for all members of society. Under the Joint Action Plan, the partners will share their best practices, resources and information to promote equality of all racial and ethnic groups.

A binational Steering Group will develop specific areas of cooperation and meet alternately in Brazil and the United States. Members of the Steering Group will represent Brazilian and U.S. Government entities, as well as civil society. Civil society will be integral to the successful implementation of this initiative.

Subjects for consideration by the Steering Group include:

  • Education, including equal access to quality education and the role of education in countering ethnic and racial discrimination;
  • Culture and communication;
  • Labor and employment;
  • Housing and public accommodation;
  • Equal protection of the law and access to the legal system;
  • Domestic enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and policy;
  • Sports and recreation;
  • Health;
  • Social, historical and cultural considerations that may be related to racial or ethnic prejudice; and
  • Access to credit and opportunities for training.

Possible techniques and initiatives for the promotion of equality include:

  • Training programs;
  • Regional initiatives to strengthen democratic institutions;
  • Public-private partnerships with enterprises and nongovernmental organizations;
  • Workshops and seminars;
  • Exchanges of technical experts; and
  • Scholarships and fellowships.

Secretary Rice's Remarks in Brazil.

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