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Racial and ethnic equality, gender equity, and social inclusion are critical to democratic stability that requires participation by all stakeholders, including central and local governments, law enforcement, multilateral organizations, civil society, businesses, and academia. U.S. diplomacy in the Western Hemisphere seeks to ensure that distinct groups of people are not excluded from access to goods and services, basic security and human rights. These policies are focused on historically marginalized groups, including indigenous peoples; people of African descent; women; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons; youth; and people with disabilities. To accomplish this, the U.S. works in partnership with other countries in the region and outside the region to promote basic rights for all. Our four main initiatives are:

  • The Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit, established in July 2010, coordinates U.S. diplomacy on social inclusion and racial equality in the Western Hemisphere.
  • The U.S.- Brazil and U.S. - Colombia Action Plans on Racial and Ethnic Equality, launched in 2008 and 2010 respectively, address discrimination and promote equality in the U.S., Brazil, and Colombia.
  • Pathways to Prosperity, launched in the fall of 2008, is a policy-level dialogue where countries learn from one another’s experience to spread the benefits of economic growth more broadly to all of our citizens.
  • The Inter-American Social Protection Network (IASPN), endorsed by President Obama during the 2009 Summit of the Americas, facilitates technical training and sharing of expertise on innovative strategies to reduce poverty such as conditional cash transfer programs.