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ARNSA to host Anti-Racism Week 2017

Date: Aug 14, 2017

The Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA) calls on all sectors of society to support Anti-Racism Week 2017.

The week will be held from March 14-21 next year, culminating on Human Rights Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

ARNSA’s national convenor, Sean Moodley, urged South Africans to factor the week in their plans for 2017. “We are calling on businesses, schools, government departments, sports teams, civil society organisations, universities, the media, trade unions, faith-based institutions and others to plan ahead for Anti-Racism Week. We want South Africans to think creatively around campaigns and programmes to tackle racism in their various sectors, and to allocate the necessary resources for it.”

2017 will mark the second annual Anti-Racism Week, a one of its kind initiative in South Africa driven by ARNSA, a network of some 60 organisations across the country. ARNSA was founded by the Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada Foundations in 2015.

“In the past year, we have seen far too many overt racist incidents. This issue cannot be sitting on the back burner. It is time for us to be frank, and tackle the problem head on. Anti-Racism Week gives us the platform to ensure that race remains on the national agenda, and that campaigns find their ways into communities at a grassroots level. We are once again urging South Africans to #TakeOnRacism,” Moodley said.

The theme for this year’s campaign will focus on the idea of ‘becoming’ a champion against racism. “This could include everything from pledging to tackle one’s own racist notions, to challenging dinner table racism, or becoming a community activist against discrimination,” Moodley stated. “What the theme allows for, is both personal introspection and the challenging of attitudes, as well as critical discussion and ideas on how to capacitate people to deal with structural and institutional racism.”

The daily themes for the week include: Be Aware, Be Frank, Be Challenged, Be Conscious, Be Brave, Be Just, Be Free and Become.

“The themes are universal and apply to all regardless of political or any other affiliation. We hope that they resonate not just during Anti-Racism Week, but throughout the year so that tackling racism becomes an everyday phenomenon,” Moodley stated.

The announcement of the week comes just ahead of the Day of Reconciliation. Commenting on this, Moodley said that tackling racism is key to ensuring that reconciliation is not just celebrated as a national holiday, but is a reality for all South Africans. “The idea behind Anti-Racism Week and its themes is to challenge the racial legacy of the past that still impacts us today, and to work towards a more just and equal society. Until justice and equality is not attained, then reconciliation itself is still work in progress. We reiterate that successful reconciliation requires all who live in South Africa to commit to the slogan: #TakeOnRacism.”

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