Cultures Working Table

From day one the attitude of the colonizers of North America was one of racism and exploitation. Throughout our continent today we see this same violence, now more covert and institutionalized. And in the face of the great historical injustices done to Native peoples across the continent, and to African-Americans through slavery, we hear from our Governments only a resounding silence, an unwillingness to face up to these crimes and make amends.

Problems exist between and within the cultures in every country in North America, fed by a serious lack of understanding not just of the other's culture, but of one's own. Today, for many, culture has become simply something one wears, a commodity for the market, largely defined by sports or entertainment idols.

Those cultures that do have a stronger sense of self - for example, the communities of indigenous peoples - are being destroyed by neoliberalism, not only through its instruments like the NAFTA, but also through its promotion of a culture of consumerism above everything. What could replace this consumer culture is a question that needs study.

In order to move ahead, we need to go deeper into our own culture, question and investigate our cultures, but also recognize that culture is not something monolithic or unchanging; it is dynamic and alive, and it can evolve.

That is, we can choose to find the best of our cultures and move forward with those elements. If I go deeper into myself, and you go deeper into yourself, that is where we will be able to meet one another.

In this project of New Humanism, we need universal organizers to spread the message that all the cultures of North America have something to contribute. Only in this way can we have true diversity and harmonious integration.

Proposals:
- We are committed to promoting a true reconciliation with the indigenous peoples of North America and with African-Americans, a process which must be carried out through a deep and sincere dialogue with those communities.
- In order to deepen cross-cultural understanding, and the understanding of our own cultures, we will carry out forums, workshops, seminars, and encourage the dissemination of information through publications and the Web.
- We also aim to denounce situations of racism and discrimination across all three countries through the medias.
- Through this work, we want to foster a sense of our identity as North Americans, in order to make the next step towards feeling ourselves as citizens of the Earth.

With all the nations of the world living side-by-side on one continent, North America has an incredible wealth of experience with this theme - experiences both positive and negative. This can be our contribution to the rest of the world, to the formation of a Universal Human Nation. If we can make it here, we can make it anywhere.


Facilitators: Nicole Myers (USA), Roberto Verdecchia (CAN), Fernando Ayala (MEX)