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Australian school tackles racism

Last week we spoke with Al Jazeera English about our One Parramatta project as part of their story on tackling racism in Western Sydney. The video below demonstrates how one Australian school tackles racism:

If the video does not appear it means you do not have Flash installed, but you can also watch the interviews on Al Jazeera’s website.

Welcome Bruce Djite – our new ambassador

Welcome to our new ambassador, Bruce Djite, Australian professional footballer who currently plays for Hyundai A-League club Adelaide United.

All Together Now is proud to welcome Bruce as a new ambassador in its fight to erasing racism in Australia. Racism happens regularly in sport in general and in football in particular – in Europe, FIFA has taken serious actions to try to prevent it from happening.

Born in Washington D.C. (US), Bruce moved to Sydney when he was three years old. His father, a renowned Professor at the University of Western Sydney, was born in Ivory Coast and his mother in Togo. Coming from a multilingual family and being a rising star in the soccer world, Bruce decided to support All Together Now to take a stand against racism.

“Racism is an issue that I am very passionate about. It’s important for myself to speak out about racism and try to educate people on the immeasurable benefits diversity and multiculturalism bring to our society.”

Bruce has represented the Australian national team (Socceroos) on nine occasions playing in Asian Cup and World Cup qualifiers. He’s also played abroad for clubs in Turkey and China. He currently plays in the A-League for Adelaide United F.C. and has played in three AFC Champions League campaigns with the club.

“Whether it be in the workplace, the community, one’s family or just amongst friends, I hope to bring more awareness to All Together Now and hopefully together, we can all make a difference and have a positive impact on society by eradicating racism.”

Racism in Australia – July 2013


The One Parramatta project – erasing racism in Parramatta

The One Parramatta project is an original pilot dedicated to addressing interpersonal racism in Parramatta.

An initial grant of $50,000 from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship made this idea of erasing racism in Parramatta a reality. From this seed funding, All Together Now managed to quadruple this amount by garnering over $250,000 of project value along the way by leveraging business, volunteer and community support.

Parramatta is one of the most multicultural places in Australia, with 51% of the population born overseas. But it is also a place where 31% have been called names or insulted due to their cultural background or race. Based on the study led by Challenging Racism from the UWS, it appears that young adults are both primary perpetrators and victims of racism in the Parramatta area.

The goals of One Parramatta project was:

  • to encourage people to reflect on their own behavior towards people of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds;

  • to develop the feeling of belonging to the same community;

  • to provide people with information about how to speak up when they witness racism in their community.

  • to ultimately help in erasing racism in Parramatta.

 

Over the course of this one-year project, All Together Now spoke to +250 people, created seven films of one-minute length, and shared their stories at Parramatta local cinema and on social media. More than 50,000 people saw one of the episodes. The project evaluation found that:

  •  79% of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they better understand racism after watching one of the One Parramatta films.

  • 88% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they are more likely to be welcoming of other cultures as a result of watching one the One Parramatta films

  • Several people acknowledged that they realized that they have the right to fight racism and to stand up.

 

“People do change when they are pushed to reflect on their past behavior.”

 

But the One Parramatta project is just a start: a small drop in an ocean of ideas and projects that All Together Now would like to develop. You can contribute to help see other projects become real by making a donation.

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Awarded prestigious Churchill Fellowship

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) provides an opportunity for Australians to travel overseas to conduct research in their chosen field that is not readily available in Australia. It also aims to reward proven achievement of talented and deserving Australians with further opportunity in their pursuit of excellence for the enrichment of Australian society.

Churchill award presentation

Priscilla Brice-Weller awarded a Churchill Fellowship at NSW Government House.

In July 2013 I was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship for my proposal to research the factors which make non-profit racism prevention initiatives effective. Over six weeks I plan to visit organisations in Poland, Belgium, France, England and the USA.

There are a lot of antiracism initiatives in these countries, particularly England and the USA. To narrow down the field I will specifically be investigating organisations which, like All Together Now, are:

  • not for profit (ruling out government and corporate-sponsored antiracism activities);
  • secular and not ethnic-specific (ruling out membership-based initiatives including those based on religion or ethnicity and instead preferencing initiatives which take a whole-of-population approach);
  • nonpartisan (ruling out those initiatives designed to counter racist political parties);
  • taking a big-picture, national focus to racism prevention (rather than a community-focussed approach, as there are some excellent examples of these in Australia already such as LEAD); and
  • successfully increasing awareness, attitude change and behaviour change among adults (which rules out those organisations providing social support, school education initiatives, etc. Using the word “successfully” suggests that they measure their social impact).

This is not to say that the approaches I’m ruling out don’t have any benefit to racism prevention, but rather that I sought other initiatives that were most like All Together Now in their approach. It also leaves a lot of scope for other people to apply for Churchill Fellowships to study racism prevention in the future (hint hint fellow antiracists!).

This list still leaves us with at least 20 effective organisations and programs, among them some of the most highly-regarded and well-known racism prevention initiatives in the world. I will be contacting some of these in the coming months.

When I return home from my trip in mid-2014 I will begin to apply what I learn to All Together Now’s work so that our racism prevention programs are even more effective.

This is a huge opportunity, not only for me personally, but for antiracism practice in Australia. Having searched the Churchill archives I wasn’t able to find a single Fellow who had investigated racism prevention among adults in previous years, meaning that the value of this trip is potentially a massive first step for Australia. I’m so grateful to the WCMT for trusting and enabling me to carry out this important work!

Please stay tuned to this blog over the next year to read about who I’ll be visiting, what I learn and how All Together Now’s work improves as a result.