Press Release: Study tour USA

Press Contact:
Jamie Schearer
Board of Advisors
jamieschearer[at]isd-bund.org

(Berlin, Germany) –27 NOVEMBER 2013:  The Initiative Black People in Germany concluded its participation in a study tour to the United States of America for Europeans of African descent sponsored by Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) with the support of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and the U.S. Department of State.  The study tour sought to advance empowerment, equality, inclusion and civil rights for Europeans of African descent through a series of consultations in Washington, DC with government officials, foundations, research institutions, and academia.  The  Initiative  Black People in Germany joined organizations from 9 other countries (Austria, Moldova, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, and Ukraine),  taking leading roles in advocating for people of African descent facing challenges throughout western countries in Europe.  The Initiative Black People in Germany was represented by advisory committee member Jamie Schearer.

The Initiative Black People in Germany emphasized the urgent measures to counter institutional racism, racial profiling as well as the acknowledgement that of People of African Descent are a marginalized group which is especially affected by racism and further the need for the creation of visibility though data on structural discrimination.  The Initiative Black People in Germany sought to develop partnerships for sustainable sponsorship for projects like the “Homestory Deutschland” exhibition on Black history in Germany or the “Stop Racial Profiling” Campaign, which remain without sufficient funding to meet growing community needs.  The Initiative Black People in Germany met with representatives at the State Department in Washington, DC to discuss the need to partner with the United States to access resources for minority communities in Europe.  Study tour consultations included key meetings and participation in events with:

·       Advisers to the President Barack Obama at the National Security Council,

·       A Congressional briefing on Europeans of African descent in the United States Senate chaired by U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings of Florida and U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland of the U.S. Helsinki Commission,

·       Democracy and regional focal points at the U.S. Department of State,

·       U.S. civil rights organizations and leaders including Rev. Jesse Jackson, National Action Network, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights,

·       Foundations and Research Institutions including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Women Ambassadors Foundation, and Open Society Foundation,

·       Government Officials at the U.S. Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and U.S. Department of Justice, and

·       Scholars and students of Howard University, a historically black university.

The Initiative Black People in Germany (ISD) has a focus on community building, empowerment and public action – especially in regard to racial profiling, racism and education, colonialism and its continuances as well as racism and language. ISD represents the interests of Black people in the public and in politics.  More information can be found at: http://isdonline.de.

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