Last night, ‘Stop Racism Now’ was awarded the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Award for Community Campaign of the Year.
In the wake of an alarming increase of over 60% in reported racist incidents since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, concerned individuals and community leaders came together to address this issue head-on. The question was ‘what could be done to combat this plague?’
What steps could be taken to develop an effective anti-racism program that not only educates about the problem, but motivates action to confront it?
This challenge was tackled by Moving Forward Together, a Sydney based, not-for-profit organisation, operating under the umbrella of B’nai B’rith NSW. They have a track record of more than 15 years in designing effective programs aimed at fostering communal harmony.
The winning program was a social media-based campaign, that targeted 1.4 million primary, high school and university students, with the objective of shifting them from ‘bystanders’ to ‘upstanders’. With over 40,000 students actively engaging in the program, it proved that by communicating to young people in their language, using tools that are relevant for them, we can confront and call out racist behaviour when it occurs.
“Stop Racism Now shows us that powerful programs, well thought out and executed in a manner that gets action – will work” said Chris Minns Premier of NSW.
“The focus of project is to look at the individual, instead of stereotyping or discriminating people based of their race, colour, religion or gender. Our vision is that all individuals should be treated with dignity and respect” said Ernie Friedlander OAM, President of Moving Forward Together.
Paul Blanket, who led the communications team, commented, “now that we have the runs on the board, our objective is to roll the campaign out nationally in 2024. However, we are actively seeking a corporate partner who shares our vision to combat hate and extremism. We have the solutions, now we need the backing. We would also like to extend an invitation to organisations and individuals to become Ambassadors of our campaign.”