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High school speakers to discuss race relations

Monday 29 April 2019

New Zealand’s best high school speakers to discuss race relations and compete for the Race Unity Speech Awards

Students from all over the country will gather for two events at Te Mahurehure Marae in Point Chevalier, Auckland on Saturday 11 May.

During the day they will have their say at a Hui on race relations in Aotearoa, followed by an evening event where they will compete in the national final of the Race Unity Speech Awards.

Organiser Aidan MacLeod from the New Zealand Baha’i Community expects the speeches and discussions to be heavily influenced by the March 15 attack in Christchurch. He says “Following the March 15 attack it’s especially important to listen to and amplify young voices. These conversations are often dominated by adults and it’s important for our country’s future leaders to speak their mind. They have strong opinions and they want to be heard by people of influence. We’re inviting MPs and other leaders to come and listen, and they’re saying yes.”

Members of Parliament expected to attend the events include Minister for Youth Peeni Henare, Golriz Gharaman, Melissa Lee, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Michael Wood and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi.

The day time Hui will be attended by high school and university students, young professionals, and community leaders. Speakers and facilitators include a wide range of artists, activists and professionals, including Kiwi Muslim Mehpara Khan, who was the victim of a highly-publicised Islamophobic attack in 2017. Ms Khan recently wrote an article on the 15 March attack titled ‘This is the Real New Zealand’

The evening's event features the national final of the Race Unity Speech Awards. The top six speakers from among the 180 high school students who entered this year's competition will be vying for the awards. The speech awards provide a nationwide platform for senior high school students to express their ideas on how we can improve race relations.

Registrations for the national hui are open until 4 May at www.raceunity.co.nz/huiregister.

About the Race Unity Speech Awards and Hui

The Hui and Speech Awards are organised by the New Zealand Baha’i Community , a religious community concerned with promoting the oneness of humanity at the local, national and international levels. These initiatives are sponsored by NZ Police, the Human Rights Commission and the Hedi Moani Charitable Trust, and supported by Multicultural NZ, the Office of Ethnic Communities and Speech NZ.


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