The UNESCO Slave Route Project and the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace Research Institute (GHFP) will bring together high-profile speakers and artists to launch a Report on “Healing the Wounds of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery: Approaches and Practices: A Desk Review” during an online webinar on 26 May 2021.
This timely Report draws together the perspectives of researchers and practitioners, to map major approaches and practices to addressing the legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery. It is the fruit of collaboration between an international team of researchers and practitioners, under the guidance of the UNESCO Slave Route Project and the GHFP Research Institute. The Report highlights the imperative to embark on a collective journey towards healing transgenerational trauma and the importance of systemic transformation.
The trauma needs to be addressed at a personal level, but must also be articulated with structural changes, such as revisions of laws, to prevent institutionalized dehumanization, and the development of global restorative justice actions to address inequalities inherited from slavery and reinforced by structural racism. This is why UNESCO has scaled up its work against to combat racism and discriminations.
Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO
Formally launching and disseminating this Report is an active response to UNESCO’s Global Call against Racism. It will inspire the world to learn from the histories of slavery, acknowledge the harms of structural injustice and institutional racism, and promote inclusion, pluralism and intercultural dialogue.
Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, and Sharif Istvan Horthy, Chairman of the GHFP Research Institute, will take this opportunity to announce a broader collaborative project entitled “Educational Transformation and Collective Healing: Addressing the Traumas and Legacy of Slavery“. This ambitious initiative will nurture youth leadership capacities, providing young people with the skills to implement a racial healing programme aiming to build just communities and initiate policy changes to address structural dehumanisation.
Following the official presentation, an international panel of historians of slavery, scholars in race studies, and experts in racial healing – Paul Lovejoy, Myriam Cottias, Achille Mbembe, Walter Mignolo and Joy DeGruy – will discuss the key insights of the Report, including the psycho-social legacy of slave trade and slavery. They will also explore practical steps that the UNESCO Slave Route Project and the GHFP partnership can take to empower and engage global communities and public institutions in collective healing.
The launch will conclude with an inspiring dialogue between two living legends – Marcus Miller, UNESCO Slave Route Project Spokesperson, African-American musician and composer, and Ray Lema, Congolese musician and composer – about the power of music for healing and cultural transformation.