An awards ceremony for achievement by Afro-Colombians has opened for entries this week.
The gala ceremony, which will take place in the third week of December, is being hosted by the Colombia Color Monitor Foundation, with the support of the Afro-Colombian and indigenous program of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). A jury of journalists from across different media will choose the winners.
For the fourth consecutive year the event will recognize the progress of black people and their contribution to Colombia’s national development. Nominations in 13 categories can be made between the 1 and 20 of November.
A central focus of the awards is to strengthen the self-image of the country’s roughly 5 million Afro-Colombians (which makes up around 10% of the population) and to symbolize their inclusion into Colombian society.
This year for the first time there is a category for sports. The other categories are Music and Arts, Media and Journalism, Justice, Armed Forces, Education, Health, Private Sector, Public Sector, Academia, Science and Technology, Social Sector and Youth.
Afro-Colombians are still a beleaguered community within Colombia, facing significant racial discrimination. Along with Colombia’s indigenous community, they are disproportionately affected by the country’s armed conflict and displacement problem. Earlier this year an Afro-Colombian professor the National University of Colombia was the victim of racial insults in Cartagena. The year before there were news reports of a councilor from Bogota and a representative from Antioquia making racist remarks.
- Se abre convocatoria de Afrocolombianos del Año 2013 (El Espectador)
- Racism, Violence continue for Afro-Colombians (Washington Office on Latin America)