Presentation of Michael Franklin

Organization of Africans in the Americas

CEGCI Meeting

November 7, 2000

  1. Make specific mention of Afro-descendants in the language of the Summit. Not to do so serves to: A) render Afro-descendants invisible, and B) erase possibilities of implementing change or measuring progress. Denying them inclusion in the language is de facto exclusion
  2. Incorporate race/ethnicity as a component in census and household surveys for simile reasons described above.
  3. Develop appropriate mechanisms for ensuring that Afro-descendants benefit from the Action Plan. We call for better plan, execution and monitoring.
  4. Support and foster through programs and policies the creation of independent and sustainable civil society among Black Population. To do will require an assessment of best practices and dialogue between Black Communities, Governments, Organizations and other interested elements.
  5. Within the OAS work towards a declaration on the rights of Afro-descendants.
  6. Institute educational reforms that meet high standards for cultural/ethnic diversity
  7. A): Monitor and investigate the activities of the World Bank, IDB, PAHO and UN agencies with regard to their work in poverty alienation in Black Communities.                                                                             B): Develop a dialogue with these institutions, the OAS, and Black Organizations to insure proper treatment of Afro-descendants
  8. When we talk about "realizing human potential" we are speaking about creating self-empowered, self-realized agents of their own change. It means that you have some important level of control over your cultural, political and economic space.

    The mechanisms and modalities of your own development, and the meanings which you make of your own environment. Amarta Sen talks about development as "instrumental rights and freedoms" i.e. political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees and protective security.

    Being administered to does not realize human potential can not be met in the absence of self-esteem and solidarity. Therefore if the instruments of socialization and polity have been trained against a certain group – consciously or unconsciously, it will be impossible to have development. Those brutal and supremacist entrenched aspects of our common cultures must be unmeshed and dealt with.

    As for the multi laterals, for AA21 and others, they represent negative examples of how to effect change: I will provide some quick examples of these problems:

    1.     Ecuador:

    Prodepine Project

    • Create CAN, Told everyone to join or no benefits
    • Relegate Black issue below control and indigenous
    • Did not share information
    • Funds only to their own persons


    • Violence
    • One person dead
    • Frustration
    2.     Panama

    Darien Project – IDB

    • Not a single Black NGO used in a region 40% Black
    • Few to no meetings with Blacks or Community
    3.     Honduras

            World Bank

    • Significant controversy in the Rescate cultural Project
    • Attempt to create a more pliable alternative called "Mesa Indigena" by paroing the existing and natural organizers process
    4.     U.S.A.

    World Bank

    • Attempts to find White Institutions as intermediaries or (interbantes) on the Afro-Latin American issue
    5.     Peru

    World bank

    • Official Arranged meetings
    • To funnel money to Blacks
    6.     Colombia

    Plan Pacifico – IDB

    • Structure used politically during the last administration
    • Only source of funding other than the "Direccion de Comunidades Negras" through which again the sort selected it black leadership
    7.     IDB – World Bank

    No Black-Latin-American Employees

    When we complained in Chile about these (issues) the Representative from BID and World Bank Warned Us That if we continued our "political spaces" would be cut off. For your information our space can not be cut off because they don’t exist for most.

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