Media Advisory

WOMEN OF THE DIASPORA: A Global Virtual Summit on Gender and Racial Discrimination

10 Sep 2020

NEW YORK —Women of the Diaspora: A Global Summit on Gender and Racial Discrimination is the first in a series of webinars centering around the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. On Friday, September 18, the summit focuses on Goal 5: gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, particularly those from the African Diaspora. The online discussion is from 11:00 am EDT to 1:00 pm EDT (3:00 - 5:00 pm GMT).

Organized jointly by the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN) , the Republic of Costa Rica and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the virtual discussion addresses racial discrimination and violence against women and girls. Among the participants are H.E. Epsy Campbell-Barr, First Vice President of the Republic of Costa Rica; Dr. Natalia Kanem, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Population Fund; the Honorable Constance Newman, Chair of the Board of ARDN and former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs of USA; the Honorable Diane Abbott, British Member of Parliament; and Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, President and Chair of the Board of National Council of Negro Women.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights reminds us that all people are equal in dignity and rights. However, we still live in a male-dominated world where men dictate, and women are expected to follow, even on matters that are fundamental to a women’s personhood," said Dr. Djibril Diallo, President and CEO of ARDN, a New York-based global NGO. “Women of the diaspora are doubly burdened because they face discrimination and violence not only on account of their gender but also their ancestry. We hope this summit will amplify their voices and help open a path for women and girls, everywhere, to be able to make real choices in every aspect of their lives.”

In partnership with several other global organizations, including UN Women, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), the US African Development Foundation, and the Global Partnerships Forum, a broad-base of women leaders who bring an African diaspora and global perspective to the discussion are panelists. They include Dr. Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Ms. Aya Chebbi, Special Youth Envoy for the African Union Commission; Ms. Dakota Gant. ARDN Youth Representative for the United States; and the Rt. Honorable Michaelle Jean, 3rd Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and 27th Governor-General of Canada.

“At UNFPA, we envision a world where every woman and girl lives free from violence and harm, and where the rights and potential of people everywhere are respected, protected and fulfilled,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA. “For women and girls of the African diaspora, gender and racial discrimination compounds the violence they face. Together, let us build peace in the home and in our societies by ensuring that the rights, choices and bodies of women and girls everywhere are fully their own.”

The summit falls within the framework of ARDN initiatives and programs linked to promoting the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals such as ARDN’s Red Card Pledge Campaign to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls. Future Women of the Diaspora virtual summits will address the impacts and opportunities for women and girls related to business, education, the arts, and sports.

“Peace cannot prevail as long as oppression, injustice, and inequality infect the heart of society,” said H.E. Epsy Campbell-Barr. “To aspire towards peace is to work towards ensuring that the marginalized, disenfranchised and forgotten amongst us are not alone, and will not be left behind. So long as it harms none, all persons must be able to pursue their destiny, potential and promise, without being discriminated against based on gender, race, or other status. We are here to empower them to do so with confidence and conviction.”

View the virtual summit live on Friday, September 18 at and at Visit for update information on the summit panelists and agenda. 

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Arlene Katzive, +1 (917) 613-6616,
Ms. Sandrine Delgado, +221 70 309 70 80,

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