In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a program of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination. On this occasion, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on 21 March, would be organized annually.
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21, commemorates the anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 and falls at the beginning of this week of solidarity. On that day in South Africa, peaceful demonstrators against apartheid were killed. In 1966, the United Nations declared that each year on March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination should be observed as a symbol of the worldwide need to end racism.
Education for Justice resources to mark the Week of Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination:
- Film Guide-The Help: Adapted from a best-selling and popular book club novel, The Help provides a disturbing and ultimately hopeful message in its portrayal of Jackson, Mississippi in 1961. It tells the story of Aibileen and Minny, two African American maids, who agree to share their experiences as domestic workers with Skeeter, a wealthy young white woman seeking to make it as a journalist and grieving the disappearance of the African-American maid who raised her.
- Reflections on Ending Racism: Various Church leaders have spoken out about the evil of racism and the
need to eradicate it in the thoughts and actions of each person as well
as in the soul of our society. This resource collects significant
quotes from nine different documents and places them in a context for
reflection, discussion and prayer.
- Native American Racial Justice Unit: This resource looks at the history, culture and spirituality of Native Americans. Included is a prayer service, discussion questions, case studies and a quiz.
- Racial Justice Awareness Quiz: This quiz aims to raise your awareness about issues of racial justice in the United States.
- Fact Sheet on Environmental Racism: This two-page resource provides background information and facts about the nature and prevalence of environmental racism. Included with this resource you will also find discussion questions and prayer connections.
- Other Education for Justice resources on racial discrimination