"Vidas negras importam" (Black Lives Matter), read the sign of one of the protesters gathered in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

"Vidas negras importam" (Black Lives Matter) read the sign of one of the protesters gathered in Porto Alegre, Brazil, one day after the brutal killing of Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas, a black man, at the hands of two white security guards on November 2020.


Speakers will explore the urgent need to transform our world, exposing and redressing the systemic injustices of racism, colonialism and slavery that continue to pervade all aspects of society – local, national and international.

For Dr Ryan Smith, World Council of Churches programme executive for the Ecumenical Office to the United Nations in New York, this year’s Symposium will be “a great opportunity to bring the voices of the faith community, governments and the United Nations (UN) system together to highlight work that has been done and work that needs to continue to eradicate systemic racism and reshape the future.”

As a common table bringing together institutions of governance and of moral and cultural influence, the symposium will also explore how the lingering historical injustices shape the social inequalities that have been exposed by crises of global proportions, including COVID-19.

The symposium will also aim to identify solutions and concrete recommendations for how the UN and governments, in partnership with religious bodies, faith-based groups and other stakeholders, can foster an antiracist and anticolonialist society—a society based on the genuine embrace of the whole human family as one humanity, bound by the imperative of respect of every person’s dignity and inalienable worth.

The 2022 edition of the Annual Symposium is promoted by the World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, Islamic Relief USA, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, United Religions Initiative, and Soka Gakkai International.

Click here to register for the Symposium

Learn more about the program of the 8th Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs

Learn more abut the work of the Ecumenical Office to the United Nations