International Year of People of African Descendants at City of Knowledge

On December 13 the Information Center of the United Nations in Panama (CINUP), located inside the City of Knowledge, held the closing ceremony in commemoration of the United Nations International Year of People of African Descendants.

The ceremony recounted the local and regional situation of the African descendant population and took the opportunity to distinguish Panamanians who through their work exemplified the greatness of the people of African descent in Panamanian society.

During the event the distinguished Panamanians were: Olga Sinclair, for her career as an artist and painter, Alberto Barrow, for his tireless efforts in favor of human rights, Harley Mitchell Dale, for his amazing trajectory and compromise for justice, Gloria Quintana, for her social consciousness labor, and Johnny D, for being a young symbol of the Panamanian musical culture.

The act was inaugurated by Carmen Rosa Villa, Regional Representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).  After that Laura Flores, Assistant Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and Alma Jenkins, Program Officer of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), provided a presentation highlighting the compelling data about the situation of African descendants in Panama.  Furthermore, Silvia B. García Savino, Coordinator of the Regional Project “African Descendant Population in Latin America”, contributed with an exhibition and by handing a pamphlet entitled “African descendants politics of social inclusion”.  The pamphlet consists of 65 pages in which the concepts of human development and social inclusion politics for African descendants are discussed.

Young people had a significant role in the commemoration ceremony, where they wore the regalia of various African descendant cultures in the region, and spoke about the many contributions of these cultures in Latin American societies today.

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