Press release and photos by The Afrolatin@ Project, courtesy of Amilcar Priestley, Director.
Friday, July 25th, 2014 – Today which marks the Día de la Mujer Afro (Afrodescendant Women’s Day), the Afrolatin@ Project is pleased to announce the launch of “CONTAMOS AFRO 2015”, our regional partnership with the United Nations MY World 2015/ World We Want 2015/ Beijing +20 (www.myworld2015.org) campaign.
Between today and December 31, 2014, the CONTAMOS AFRO 2015 initiative will be collecting and facilitating the collection of MY World ballots, using the voting widget embedded at www.afrolatinoproject.org, or via the MY World 2015 app for Android phones, text (SMS) message, the WhatsApp mobile app, email or paper ballot. The MY World campaign uses an innovative set of open source tools to empower global citizens to vote on the post-2015 sustainable development goals, by anonymously selecting 6 out of 16 possible issues of importance to them and their communities. People who want to elaborate on their choices can also record an audio message via our website, WhatsApp, Skype or video message via Youtube.
At the conclusion of the campaign, the information will be given to United Nations member-states to consider in setting national policy. The data will also be accessible and useful for the public as well as activists, journalists and educators. Here is a sample of the data we have collected as part of our soft launch: http://data.myworld2015.org/?partner=AFROLA
Given, 1) the end of the period to achieve the Millennium Development Goals established in 2000, 2) the 20th anniversary of the last U.N. International Women’s conference held in Beijing, China and 3) the start of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), the MY World 2015 campaign and platform is timely.
Building “CONTAMOS AFRO 2015” around the MY World platform brings attention to the synergies in these three important events. The primary goal of CONTAMOS AFRO 2015 is to encourage Afrodescendant communities whose voices are too often excluded to make their voices heard using these digital, mobile and analog tools. Afro-descendants comprise approximately 30 per cent of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean, but are approximately 50 per cent of those that live at or below their country’s poverty levels. The main themes of the Decade of People of African Descent, “justice, recognition and development” inherently overlap with the global projects of post-2015 sustainable development and increased gender equity.
Several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have already had numerous responses, however just as many have very few respondents to the survey. Two topics, “discrimination” and “gender equity”, which impact the socio-economic and political opportunities of afrodescendant communities at a structural level, are barely ranked among the top 10 choices (8 and 10 respectively). The secondary goal of CONTAMOS AFRO 2015 is to move the issues of discrimination and gender equity further into the top 10 within the countries of the region.
While there are no mechanisms mandating UN member-states comply with the survey results, the MY World platform provides some measure of transparency from which communities can hold their governments accountable.
In the coming months we hope to grow the campaign by partnering with other community and social organizations, media, foundations, private industry and local government to ensure that the voices of Afrodescendant communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and the diaspora are counted in this post-2015 sustainable development conversation.
To join the campaign, for more information or to VOTE (THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2015) contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or our list of collaborating organizations by country here.
OTHER WAYS TO VOTE: 1) www.afrolatinoproject.org 2) download MY World app for Android and enterPartner ID: AFROLA, and 4) Text or WhatsApp 001-718-414-5035 and request a ballot form.
Our collaborators in the partnership to date include:
- Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribenos y de la Diaspora (Network of Afro-Latin America, Afro Caribbean and Diaspora Women) (Regional)
- Observatorio Panama Afro “Dr. George Priestley” (Panama)
- Encuentro Diaspora Afro (US)
- Midia Etnica (Brazil)
- I Love Being Black (U.S.)
- Fundacion Drecca (Colombia)
- Agrupacion Xango (Argentina)
- Afropresencia.com (US)
- LUNDU- Centro de Estudios Afroperuanos (Center for Afroperuvian Studies) (Peru)
The Afrolatin@ Project is a digital cultural preservation platform that encourages and facilitates the use of digital and mobile technology for the socio-economic and political development and cultural preservation of Afrodescendant communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
For more information on Afrolatin@ Project’s digital strategy for engaging with the Decade of Afrodescendents please read the following blog post Developing Digital Agendas and Strategies for the Decade of Afrodescendants and Beyond (it was also published in Kreyol and Spanish). You can also follow Afrolatin@ Project on Twitter & Facebook