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Combatting racism starts with education

17 June 2020
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At the heart of racism is ignorance.

I believe strongly that education is the key to creating a better world for all who share this planet. In the light of recent worldwide protests, it’s important to remember the responsibility we – as educators – hold in combatting racism.

The Black Lives Matter movement highlights the injustices and discrimination that have occurred and are still a major issue in many countries including Australia. When I grew up, a very limited view of Australian history was taught and the first Australians’ story was silent.

In recent times, racial vilification of Asian Australians has been heightened with the COVID-19 pandemic being blamed on the Chinese community.

At a 2018 UNESCO conference titled ‘Education is key to deconstruct racial narratives’, participants agreed that from an early age, children should be taught to look at others as equals. And that promoting intercultural exchanges was “crucial for the education system to build more harmonious societies”.

When Martin Luther King Jr. declared he had a dream, it was that his children would not be judged by the colour of their skin, but “by the content of their character”.

Where do we begin to deconstruct racial narratives? At Beaconhills College, it begins in our Little Beacons Learning Centre and is embedded throughout our curriculum across all year levels.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan aims to build relationships with Indigenous people and communities, to embrace diversity and improve understanding. Just recently, the College recognised National Reconciliation Week, through programs and activities across both campuses.

Our international service and language programs give our students exciting opportunities for cultural learning, a life-changing experience for many. The chance to host international students from across the world means Beaconhills families have the chance to appreciate and understand ways of life other than their own.

When it comes to racism, the power of education to create positive change can’t be underestimated.

Year 7s designed clothing with anti-discrimination messages in their French class this week

 

 



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