Rep. Johnson Reintroduces Resolution Recognizing International Decade for People of African Descent
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Valentine’s Day, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) sent a love letter to people of color throughout the world by reintroducing a resolution to designate the ten years between January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2024, as the “International Decade for People of African Descent.”
“It is fitting that during Black History Month, Americans continue to set aside time to acknowledge the contributions of Africans and Afro Descendants throughout the world,” said Rep. Johnson. “This bill is needed today more than ever. In an increasingly divided society, it is important that we acknowledge the many benefits of diversity, both in the United States and around the world. Our President frequently speaks disparagingly about many of these counties and their people, and Congress should speak out to prevent further discrimination against African and Afro-descendant peoples.”
The United Nations declared 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent to globally recognize, protect, and celebrate individuals of African descent. While an encouraging declaration, racism and xenophobia remain pervasive and persistent.
In the Americas, there are about 200 million people who identify as Afro-descendants, and they constitute some of the poorest and most marginalized communities in the world.
Rep. Johnson’s bill, H. Res 133, puts the spotlight on those communities and seeks to expand their access to social, economic and educational prosperity.
Designating the “International Decade for People of African Descent” creates a path towards increased visibility, and encourages a productive relationship between government, non-governmental, and advocacy organizations with Africans and Afro-descendants to develop programs that promote inclusion, champion justice and equality, unravel racism, and uproot intolerance.