Governors are sent by Him to punish the evildoers and praise the virtuous (1 Peter 2:14).

     
Congressional Record2017/03/16Senate | House | Extensions

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E334-E335]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO




              INTRODUCING THE AFRICAN DESCENT AFFAIRS ACT

                                  _____
                                 

                         HON. ALCEE L. HASTINGS

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to note my introduction of the African Descent Affairs Act, as we continue to highlight the International Decade for People of African Descent.

We have seen a sharp increase in racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of discrimination across the world over the last year. Human rights violations emanating from racial prejudice and discrimination have negatively impacted people of African descent around the world, resulting in racial bias and disparities in education, employment, health, housing, justice, and other sectors. We must act now to reverse these disturbing trends. The International Decade for People of African Descent provides an opportunity to not only draw attention to these inequities, but to also join efforts with countries around the globe to develop and implement national strategies honoring the vast contributions of people of African descent and to combat continuing issues of prejudice and discrimination such as those currently gripping our nation.

To aid these efforts, I have introduced the African Descent Affairs Act. The Act seeks to improve the situation of people of African descent around the world by establishing within our State Department a Global Office of African Descent Affairs to establish global foreign policy and assistance strategies for people of African descent; creating a “Fund” to support antidiscrimination and empowerment efforts by African descent led civil society organizations; and requiring Annual State Department Human Rights Reports to include a section on discrimination faced by people of African descent. I believe that U.S. foreign policy strategies such as these have improved the situation of vulnerable groups internationally and would greatly assist in responding to increasing levels of prejudice and discrimination faced by people of African descent around the globe.

The State Department has already launched many successful initiatives that have aided vulnerable populations, such as the Office of Global Women's Issues, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, the Special Representative to Muslim Communities, and the LGBT Global Equality Fund. Implementing a Global Office of African Descent Affairs will continue this tradition and facilitate the full and equal participation of people of African descent in society, promote knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contributions of people of African descent, and strengthen and implement legal frameworks that combat racial discrimination.

Mr. Speaker, I sincerely hope that my colleagues will embrace the challenge of combating prejudice and discrimination across the [[Page E335]] world. I encourage them to join me in recognizing the collective history and achievements made by people of African descent by supporting the African Descent Affairs Act. ____________________



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