Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter at Hale
Recently we have seen a resurgence of discussion about the lives of people of colour across the world. There has been activism in the United States focused on how all people of goodwill are able to stand up for often marginalised minorities.
In Australia, the marginalisation of black people is an issue we have yet to properly address. Hence a new conversation is beginning that connects to stories of our past and to how we can create a better future in what is such a diverse melting pot of races, cultures, and religions as found in contemporary Australia.
At Hale, we stand in deliberate solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and with all people who are oppressed by systemic racism.
Recently, led by the Year 12 Prefects group, we have begun our own discussion at school about why Black Lives Matter and how we can better celebrate the many rich backgrounds of our students and staff.
We have decided to do this as issues associated with racial discrimination and prejudice are ever prevalent in society and they impact us all - regardless of the colour of our skin. People of a range of cultures and backgrounds are infringed upon and discriminated against and have, sadly, learned to feed from the hatred of those perceived to be different to them.
As a school, we have realised that it is our responsibility to seek to improve our society. We recognise that the marginalisation of minority groups comes about because of a human predisposition to hate, alongside a lack of will to change. Further, that racial discrimination with all its negative associations will continue among us unless we collectively insist that there is change.
We know that further embedding acceptance and respect for all groups in the school community will be a great step forward. We are convinced that we have to be there for one another regardless of race or cultural background; in fact, the Prefect motto we decided on for this year is ‘Together we can’. Together we can and should celebrate the rich diversity of all the many groups we have at school, because that is part of what makes us special.
We started with a series of chapel services for Years 7-12 to provide a forum for beginning the discussion about Black Lives Matter. I introduced this initiative across the school by sharing some of my personal experience with racism and discrimination.
The chapel services became an intimate moment where each year group were able to safely consider these issues and discuss ideas of diversity and respect for all people groups. Our ongoing plan is to find ways of bringing further recognition and celebration of the diversity of cultures in our school community.
Following on from recognising and celebrating the indigenous students in our school during NAIDOC week, we will be looking to hold whole school events and events in our boarding houses to acknowledge the many different cultural backgrounds at Hale.
Such an international and cultural focus will enable us to stand in solidarity together as one Hale community at such a crucial time for the world. Black Lives Matter!