International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March)

By Amber Tennant

Today is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination!

On this day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws. Proclaiming the day in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

Although we have come a long way towards achieving racial equality since the United National proclaimed the day, there is still a long way to go. Take a look at simple things you can do day-to-day to challenge racial discrimination:

Start with yourself

It’s important to remember not everyone is raised in the same way and that we are all a product of our backgrounds. Be open to learning more about your own bias and make an effort to get to know other people – including their points of view, and the motivations and thought processes behind why they are the way they are.

Speak up against discrimination 

Don’t ignore discriminatory behaviour in others, even if you are close to them. Speaking up against discrimination when you see or experience it will help raise awareness, educate people and challenge others’ views.

Support others

Support others who are experiencing discrimination and encourage them to take the appropriate action needed to improve their situation; this could be anything from taking records of discrimination, pushing forward with workplace/legal procedures or seeking advice where necessary.

If you feel you are being discriminated against on placement, at work, or in College; please contact us. The College has a zero tolerance policy towards racial discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional. Incidents of discriminatory behaviour are a serious matter and will be dealt with appropriately.

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