Racism In The Work Space: United Nations

Updated: Mar 11

My name is Mainza and I'm a co-lead on Training and Awareness raising on Anti-Racism at the United Nations.

The scourge of racism violates the United Nations Charter and debases the core values of the Organization. The Secretary-General has recognized that the United Nations is not immune to this scourge and has called for action to identify, prevent and address racism and racial discrimination in the United Nations. In support of these efforts, the Peace and Security Pillar established an Anti-Racism Action Group (ARAG) in November 2020 to help address staff concerns within the pillar. The group works closely with the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Addressing Racism and Promoting Dignity for All in the United Nations.

Contributing to this space, the Peace and Security Anti-Racism Action Group has organized a series of interactive discussion forums with experts on racism, diversity and inclusion. The aim is to provide practical tools to combat racism in the workplace, address cases of racism either when directly impacted or as a bystander. In addition, the experts will help us navigate the complexity of the topic, as well as identify how unconscious bias can manifest in the workplace.

The first of four initial sessions is scheduled to take place on Monday, 22 March, from 9am to 10.30am. Our guest speaker will be Michelle Silverthorn, a renowned diversity speaker and bestselling author. Ms. Silverthorn has been featured on NPR, PBS and has published extensively on this issue, including her book entitled “Authentic Diversity, How to Change the Workplace for Good”. We are attaching Ms. Silverthorn biography for your information.

We chose this particular day to launch our expert discussions as 21 March is the International day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. We strongly encourage you all to attend and participate; only together will we be able to build a work environment were racism and discrimination cease to exist and all individuals, regardless of their race, ethnicity or the colour of their skin can be equally valued.

Many thanks to Anayansi Lopez and team!

Special thanks to USG Rosemary Dicarlo and Jean-Pierre Lacroix!