What does racism look like in different parts of the world and what can we do to fight against it?
On Wednesday the 1st July, with two very special guests, Coumba Toure, movement coordinator from Africans Rising and Saye Joseph, advocacy manager from Black Youth Project 100, we gathered young people from around the world to have an open and global conversation about racism.
It was co-hosted by Faith Kaoma, senior campaign manager at Restless Development and three young leaders and members of our Youth Power Panel -Abideen Olusapo (Nigeria), Amika George (UK) and Andrew Tangang (Cameroon).
There were some powerful testimonies, experiences and ideas shared:
Racism is an ideology that has been running the world for hundreds of years, it is the ideology on which slavery was based and colonisation was based and it is the ideology that programmes of development and international relationships are based. You can be killed, or pushed from your land because your lives matter less than other peoples. Scientists justify it and religious people too. There are many ways in which it is justified and we are socialised in it. And as Africans, we participate because it’s the ideology that sets how things should go.Coumba Toure – movement coordinator – Africans Rising
It took me years to recognize and name the othering and distancing from Blackness. It took me years to unlearn and seek a deeper understanding of the history of America. And I was doing so while being Black in America, not feeling or not being considered American; witnessing and experiencing systematic anti-Black racism with my own family reinforcing the notion that Black Americans were visibly experiencing state violence, because of their own actions or lack thereof.Sayeh Joseph – Advocacy Manager – Black Youth Project 100
We were taught all about the British empire – the glorious revolution, the industrial revolution, the french revolution, empire, the slave trade and colonialism and neocolonialism, but it’s just now that these conversations are happening and we’re asking “why were we taught these things when people from the empire are not taught anything about us”.Andrew Tangang – Local Youth Corner (LYCC) Cameroon
We need to read and gather information, and echo the voices of the people who it affects the most.We need to keep speaking up and ask the questions, make sure the conversation does not die down.Meetup participant, UK
It is about tackling systems, not just changing social attitudes. We need to lobby governments, and call for them to prove their support of anti racism and the black lives matter movement.Meetup participant, US
Racism can be combated if we recognise and understand our own privileges and examine our own biases towards a group of people and address where they might have originated from.Meetup participant, Zimbabwe
When we stop talking and start listening we can find education on racism. We can use our voices on social media to support calls to action that fight racism.Meetup participant, Uganda
We wanted to find out whether these spaces were useful and whether they are practical way for us to continue to have challenging conversations on racism and invoke action. Here’s what we found out: