UNESCO Master Class against Racism and Discriminations


Promoting Intercultural Dialogue  

On 21 March 2022, UNESCO hosted a special global edition of its Master Class Series against Racism and Discriminations, aiming to shed light on the growing significance of racial prejudice and the spread of racial discrimination and intolerance, and raise the visibility on its consequences.

The Master Class Series is part of the Roadmap against Racism that UNESCO is developing as part of its Global Call against Racism, which is contained in a decision adopted by Member States in December 2020. This Roadmap will strengthen UNESCO’s contribution to the fight against racism and discrimination across its field of competence, providing a strategic and operational framework to guide UNESCO’s action in this important area, especially in the critical post-crisis period.

This Series aims to raise awareness amongst high school students to build their capacity to understand the causes of racism and discriminations, how to constructively combat these ills, and address their consequences. Upon conclusion, each Series culminates with the adoption of the young participants’ commitments in designing and pursuing their own local initiatives. Ultimately, the goal is to empower the young participants to become agents of change and trainers for their own communities.

Set to be the 17th session, UNESCO’s Master Class has empowered more than 5,000 students to become anti-racism champions in their own schools and communities. Around 97% of previous editions’ attendees said the Master Class both educated and inspired them to be more tolerant, and over 75% reported confidence in sharing these new teachings with their family and peers.

This special edition of the Master Class series will address topics surrounding intercultural dialogue, gender-based discrimination, hate speech, negative perceptions of migrants and refugees, LGBTQ+ rights, climate activism and colonial continuities, among others. Each of these themes is uniquely intertwined with the fight against racism and discrimination.

UNESCO will partner with the International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities – ICCAR – who will be inviting young participants worldwide to join this hybrid edition. UNESCO Headquarters in Paris will host an in-person event with plenary sessions in which partner cities and schools can participate virtually. These partners can in turn organize their own satellite sessions and thematic workshops locally.

Institutional partners include the Musée de l’Homme, Permanent Delegation of Canada, Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia, Mongolian National Commission, French National Commission, Gwangju International Center, Cities of Atlanta, Barcelona, Bologna, Bordeaux, Cordoba, Heidelberg, Helsingborg, Karlsruhe, Lausanne, Liège, London, Montpellier, Nancy, Saint Etienne, Toulouse, ETC Graz, ASPNet, International Institute of Human Rights and Peace, Sciences Po, Thorbeke Academy (Leeuwarden - Netherlands), MAG Jeunes LGBT+, UNESCO Bangkok, UNESCO Chair Montreal, UNHCR Spain, UNESCO Cairo Office, UNIC Tunisia, Center for Engaged Foresight, Maison Balmain, Ecole Kourtrajmé.