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U.S. Department of State Announces Afro-Connections, a New Cultural Heritage Exchange Initiative That Celebrates the 2024 Bicentennial of U.S.-Brazil Diplomatic Relations

As part of the U.S. government’s effort to promote equity, human rights, and social inclusion, today the Department of State launched Afro-Connections, a new exchange program for museum and cultural heritage professionals from Brazil that will foster ethical and inclusive museum practices centered on community engagement that elevates the voices, history, and culture of communities of African descent.

Afro-Connections was developed by the Department’s Cultural Heritage Center, in the Bureau of Educational Affairs (ECA), in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and Office of Global Affairs, which will implement the program, with exchange activities starting later this year. Afro-Connections is one of the Center’s new Heritage Exchange Initiatives – a series of projects which use the power of exchange to engage with cultural heritage professionals and community stewards around the world on priority issues affecting heritage. Afro-Connections also supports the shared goals of the Department of State-Smithsonian MOU signed in December 2023.

The exchange will provide participants with a better understanding of how U.S. museums incorporate the history and culture of African descendants and other historically marginalized communities into national narratives. The program will expand participants’ capacity to establish new institutions and enhance the ability of existing institutions to protect, curate, and support Afro-Brazilian history and culture by fostering exchanges between Brazilian and American colleagues to help embody the program’s values of sharing, dialogue, and professional development.

U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Elizabeth Frawley Bagley announced the launch of Afro-Connections today at Brazil’s National Archive in Rio de Janeiro with Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III and Cultural Heritage Center staff before an audience of Brazilian government officials, curators, and scholars.

For more information on this program, please visit  http://eca.state.gov/cultural-heritage-center or contact [email protected].

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/u-s-department-of-state-announces-afro-connections-a-new-cultural-heritage-exchange-initiative-that-celebrates-the-2024-bicentennial-of-u-s-brazil-diplomatic-relations/

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