INDEPENDENT NEWS

Hundreds of students set to speak up for race unity

Published: Mon 25 Mar 2019 02:34 PM
As New Zealand mourns the devastating terrorist attack in Christchurch, high school students are preparing to speak their mind on racial prejudice and unity in diversity.
As many as 200 students are expected to participate in the The Race Unity Speech Award next month in 14 centres across New Zealand.
The competition is a forum for year 11 to 13 students to share their thoughts on how to improve race relations in Aotearoa.
Zoha Shuaib, 2018 National Runner-Up, says she entered the speech competition last year so young Muslim voices would be heard.
“I knew Aotearoa needed to hear our truth. I knew we needed to show New Zealand what a Muslim looks and speaks like.
"I knew that if the world knows us, they will not fear us, and if they do not fear us, they will not hate us.”
This year's competition has taken on a special significance following the terrorist attack in Christchurch says Aidan MacLeod, one of the national organisers: "We knew before that racial and religious prejudice can lead to hate and tragic violence, and that the work of promoting unity is serious and vital. But never before has it seemed so urgent."
Year 12 student Arabella Marshall of Tauhara College is entering the speech competition for the first time this year.
Arabella was one of the leaders of Taupō’s ‘school strike’ for climate change on Friday, and had just finished the march when she heard about the attack in Christchurch.
“I was being interviewed and I’d been expressing my doubts about being hopeful in relation to climate change. When I heard about the massacre it only served to further dampen my sense of optimism”.
Arabella says that events like the Race Unity Speech Awards can help young people regain their sense of hope.
“Going to these sorts of events where people are fighting for change is a way we can get that hope back.”
There's still time for students to register for the Race Unity Speech Awards via www.raceunity.co.nz until 27 March.
The Speech Awards are organised by the New Zealand Baha'i Community, with sponsorship from the New Zealand Police, the Human Rights Commission and the Hedi Moani Charitable Trust.
The regional heats of the Speech Awards will be held 6-11 April 2019. The National Final of the Race Unity Speech Awards will be held in Auckland on 11 May 2019.
• Unity Speech Awards"
• Video - Zoha's speech at the 2018 Race Unity Speech Awards: https://youtu.be/222HD9y_klk
ends

Next in New Zealand politics

Gordon Campbell on the farming sector’s persecution complex
By: Gordon Campbell
Independent review of prisoner mail management released
By: Department Of Corrections
IPCA releases reports on the unlawful detention of teenager
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
New safety measures for modified pistols
By: New Zealand Government
Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
By: New Zealand Government
Budget investigation shut down and new inquirer appointed
By: State Services Commission
Mysterious foundation loaning New Zealand First money
By: RNZ
Criminal Cases Review Commission established
By: New Zealand Government
National backs farmers marching against Govt policies
By: New Zealand National Party
Ag Proud NZ encourage positive not provocative actions
By: Ag Proud
March on Parliament deliberately created confusion
By: NZ Forest Owners' Association
Who will pick up Essential Freshwater’s $80b price tag?
By: DairyNZ
DairyNZ claim of economic ruin "misleading"
By: Fish and Game New Zealand
New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef launched
By: Beef And Lamb NZ
Personality important in farmer anxiety
By: Lincoln University
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media