Sustainable Development Goals and Racial Justice Town Hall

Working with community partners, Miami Law's Environmental Justice Clinic and Human Rights Clinic and Program are collaborating with the Black Audit Project to assess Miami-Dade County.
Sustainable Development Goals and Racial Justice Town Hall

The University of Miami School of Law's Environmental Justice ClinicHuman Rights Clinic and Program, and community partners, are convening a Town Hall on Sustainable Development Goals and Racial Justice in Miami-Dade County March 2, 2024, at The Freedom Lab Miami.

A special symposium issue of the University of Miami Race and Social Justice Law Review will further capture lessons and reflections from the Town Hall and deepen the analysis of the problems raised. Additional sponsors of the Town Hall include the Miami Law Human Rights Society, Freedom Lab Miami, Black Audit Project, University of Miami Center for Global Black Studies, and Miami Law Office of Intellectual Life.

In 2015, the United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals acknowledge that eradicating poverty is an "indispensable requirement for sustainable development." The goals and targets focus on health and well-being, housing, gender equality, and climate action and correspond with fundamental human rights.

However, according to a report by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Racism, despite the 2030 agenda's promising rhetoric, it largely fails to fulfill its pledge to 'leave no one behind' when it comes to the principles of racial equality and non-discrimination. As the Black Audit Project explains, "Systemic racism and racial oppression manifest in similar ways worldwide, including racial wealth gaps and economic inequity, stark health disparities, fewer educational opportunities, higher incidents of police violence, and decreased safety for Black people. Black communities often live under different conditions despite sharing the same geographical areas as other groups." In the United States, no state is even halfway to achieving the SDGs by 2030 for all racial groups.

By exposing these gaps, the SDGs can serve as an accountability framework guiding disaggregated data collection and highlighting racial inequalities. The Black Audit Project, a multi-city initiative across the U.S., assesses progress on the SDGs and human rights for Black residents. Key findings are then shared with the U.N. Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, established in 2021 by the U.N. General Assembly to "improve the safety and quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent."

Opening remarks will be given by Professor Justin Hansford, member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, and Valencia Gunder, founder of The Smile Trust and Black Collective. The event will address critical issues to Miami-Dade's development, such as housing, food justice, criminal justice, maternal health, and gender-based violence.

The Saturday, March 2, 2024, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. event at The Freedom Lab Miami at 4300 NW 12th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33127, is free and open to the public with registration.

Approved for Florida CLE Credits: 3.5 Please see the Town Hall concept note, agenda, and speaker bios.

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