Press Release

IACHR Holds Third Lecture in the Lecture Series: Transforming the Invisible into the Visible

May 9, 2014

Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, the Rapporteurship on the Rights of People of African Descent and Against Racial Discrimination will have the third lecture in its lecture series: Transforming the Invisible into the Visible. The lecture will be delivered by Prof. Tanya Hernandez of the Fordham University Law School. The title of Prof. Hernandez’s lecture will be Racial Innocence in the Americas: a U.S. - Latin American Comparison.

It will take place on May 14, 2014, 2013, at 1:00 pm in the Salón Guerrero OAS Main Building (MNB) corner of 17th Street and Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006, USA.

Professor Hernandez’s scholarly interest is in the study of comparative race relations and anti-discrimination law, and her work in that area has been published in the California Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review, the New York Times, and the Yale Law Journal amongst other publications. Her most recent publication is the book Racial Subordination in Latin America: The Role of the State, Customary Law and the New Civil Rights Response.

Previous lectures in the series have been delivered by Dr. Sheila Walker, renowned cultural anthropologist and Prof. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, a distinguished sociologist and race theorist.

The lecture series emphasizes the IACHR’s commitment to giving greater voice and visibility to people of African descent in the Americas; and to changing historic patterns of social invisibility that continue to be visited upon Afro-descendants, despite the international guarantee of equality and non-discrimination.

Commissioner Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Rapporteur on the Rights of People of African Descent and Against Racial Discrimination, will chair the event, while Ambassador Bocchit Edmond, Interim Permanent Representative of Haiti to the OAS will offer opening remarks.

The Office of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of People of African Descent and Against Racial Discrimination was created in February 2005 to encourage, systematize, strengthen, and consolidate the Commission's work on the rights of people of African descent and against racial discrimination. Since its creation, the Commission has closely monitored the situation of Afro-descendants in the Americas, identified priority challenges faced by people of African descent, developed case law in this area, and published a report on "The Situation of People of African Descent in the Americas."

Appointed in January 2012, the current Rapporteur is Commissioner Rose-Marie Belle Antoine.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

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