International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

In support of the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, APA's team of representatives at the U.N. has helped to coordinate an informational briefing that will take place on March 22. The International Day itself is observed annually on March 21. On that day in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, protesting against the apartheid “pass laws.” Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the U.N. General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (Resolution 2142 (XXI)).

The U.N.'s webpage for the International Day states: “The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.‟ The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us of [a] collective responsibility for promoting and protecting this ideal.”

The March 22 symposium to commemorate the International Day is titled “Racism, Migration, and Development: A Human Rights Perspective.” In this symposium, a panelist representing each of the three partnering NGO committees (Indigenous Peoples, Migration, and Mental Health) and the NGO Committee on Human Rights‟ Sub-Committee for the Elimination of Racism will address historical and/or contemporary causes and consequences of racism in the context of migration and development. Their presentations will also take into account the international human rights standards and their implementation, which are the particular focus of each committee‟s advocacy agenda, strategies, and key recommendations for change.

Related APA Resources

APA governance recently approved Dual Pathways to a Better America: Preventing Discrimination and Promoting Diversity — the report of the Presidential Task Force on Reducing and Preventing Discrimination Against and Enhancing Benefits of Inclusion of People Whose Social Identities are Marginalized in U.S. Society.

This Task Force was convened by 2011 APA President Melba Vasquez to identify and promote psychological interventions that prevent and counteract the harmful effects of bias, prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination upon both victims and perpetrators. The Task Force also sought to promote inclusion, respect, acceptance and appreciation of diversity — stressing the understanding that when all members of society are able to develop to their optimal potential, capacity and talent, all of society benefits.

Members of the Task Force include: James Jones, PhD (Chair); Susan Cochran, PhD; Michelle Fine, PhD; Sam Gaertner, PhD; Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, PhD; Margaret Shih, PhD; Derald Wing Sue, PhD; and Sue Houston (APA Public Interest Directorate).