Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 17, 2011

Dear Coordinators and Participants of the World Summit of African Descendants:

I am delighted to send greetings to the African Diaspora who have convened for the first World Summit of African Descendants in commemoration of the International Year for People of African Descent. This is an important opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our societies and to honor the contributions of our fellow citizens of African descent.

In Africa, we see a rising generation of talented and tenacious young people working to build a better future for themselves and their countries. Here in the Western Hemisphere, people of African descent are making critical contributions to the economic, social, and political fabrics of our communities.

But we must continue to improve racial equality in the region and around the world. We need to promote greater diversity, openness, and understanding. We need to expand education, entrepreneurship, and employment opportunities to more people to meet the shared challenges before us.

And we know that governments alone cannot solve all of today’s problems. So we need your ideas, your energy, and your commitment. Use your time here to strengthen partnerships, especially with groups with whom you may not have considered working. Bring your ideas to the table with leaders from governments, civil society, and communities to encourage greater understanding and respect.

We hope this summit will help create new opportunities to strengthen existing networks, form partnerships, harness your creativity, and develop strategies that encourage greater economic development and social inclusion. I look forward to hearing what ideas you come up with to create lasting change for more people of African descent in this region and around the world.

[This is a mobile copy of World Summit of African Descendants]