3 July 2020
New education resource to support Victorian secondary schools in standing up to racism
The Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) in collaboration with the Victorian Department of Education and Training has this week launched a new resource, Schools Standing Up To Racism.
The Schools Standing Up To Racism website features a series of resources to support Victorian secondary schools to address racism and discrimination within the school community.
The resources are designed to help teachers and school leaders to create safe spaces in which to build the intercultural awareness and understanding required to overcome the barriers to proactively talking about – and addressing – racism in the school environment. The site features a podcast and video developed in partnership with young people, and example lesson plans that align with Intercultural Capability in the Victorian curriculum.
CMY CEO Carmel Guerra said,
“While we would like schools to be inclusive and safe spaces for young people to grow and learn, the unfortunate reality is that students today are experiencing racism at unacceptable levels within the school gates, which is negatively impacting their health, wellbeing and education outcomes.”
Mohamed Semra shared his own experiences of racism as a school student for a video featured on the website, saying:
“Every single time I experienced an act of racism … it just reminds me of how hard it is to succeed, how hard it is to do well.”
“I believe our schools should be more inclusive. There should be mechanisms and support systems that identify and invest in the potential of multicultural youth … schools should take it upon themselves to ensure that their teachers are culturally aware.”
In introducing the resources, CMY acknowledges that addressing racism and discrimination within schools and the broader community is challenging – and that every school, student, staff member and community will be at a different stage of the journey.
Secondary teacher Mia Peardon said the collection of resources caters for everyone:
“You can begin, or continue your anti-racism journey guided by the expert voices and lived experiences explored in the podcasts, and use the assessment tool to see where your school is at.”
“It provides the tools to work towards eliminating racism and creating a safe and inclusive space for everyone.”
“Recent world events remind us that racism is an issue that will not be resolved unless we all take positive action to prevent it, and ensuring that educators have the tools to start these conversations is really critical,” said CEO Carmel Guerra.
“We recognise that every school context is unique, and CMY is here to support schools as they stand up to racism.”
Schools Standing Up To Racism offers multiple entry points to support schools and their staff on their own journeys toward building inclusive environments that embrace the diversity of our Victorian community. The resources call for a whole-of-school approach which actively promotes, encourages and supports student voice, in order to create meaningful and sustainable change.
STATEWIDE FORUM: Educators and school leaders are invited to join our upcoming statewide forum, to learn about the new resource, latest research, as well as hearing directly from young people with lived experiences of racism in the school environment. Find out more
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