Victims of Slavery & the Transatlantic Slave Trade remembered in Accra

Accra, March 26, 2015 – Despite the surge of an unexpected heavy rain in the morning which lasted several hours, UNIC Accra-planned events to mark International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade came on as scheduled in Accra with its target audience, mainly students, excited and eager to learn more about the Day.  The events included two separate fora for students, exhibition and the screening of the film “They are We”.

Students watching the film "They are We"

Students watching the film “They are We”

Over 500 students from Christ the King International School, Morning Star International School, Tema International School and the Independence Avenue Basic School One participated in the first film screening and forum. The students watched part of “They are We”, a film of survival, hope and reunification of a family that has been separated by the Transatlantic Slave Trade for 170 years. It documents how the descendants of Josefa searched and found each other.  Also present at the forum were representatives of

Cross section of students at the forum

Cross section of students at the forum

the Ghana Museums and Monument Board (GMMB) and UNESCO, who took turns to address the students on the significance of the Day. According to Mr. Carl Ampah of UNESCO, it is important for the youth to take part in such events to know about the issues in order to prevent its re-occurrence. Ms Naana Ocran of the GMMB advised schools to organize educational tours to historical site in the country, noting that such trips could whip up students’ interest in issues such as slavery, culture and history.

 Group of students at the exhibition

Group of students at the exhibition

Some students shared their experiences to explain what they believe are modern forms of slavery, racism and prejudice in society. It provided an opportunity for them to discuss the issues and gain meaningful insight into modern forms of slavery.

The National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah, facilitated the session and presented the UN Secretary-General message to the gathering.  She encouraged

 Group of students at the exhibition

Group of students at the exhibition

the students to learn more about the Transatlantic Slave Trade and to eschew all forms of discrimination.

A 6-day exhibition on the theme of the Day, “Women and Slavery” was opened to the general public.

In a related development, students of Trans Africa University College, in Accra, were linked up with their counterparts in Port of Spain, via Webex, to discuss their understanding of slavery and how it has transformed society. The discussion was preceded by the screening of the film “They are We”.

UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon addressing the audience during the unveiling ceremony in New York

UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon addressing the audience during the unveiling ceremony in New York

Later on in the day, the historical unveiling ceremony of the memorial monument, the “Ark of Return” was shown live to a gathering of local journalists in Accra.