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Young people talk culture and social change for Youth Week

Young people talk culture and social change for Youth Week 2016

Ara Taiohi, the peak body for youth development and Shakti Youth, a group of youth from Asian, Middle Eastern and African communities passionate about social justice are excited to launch Youth Week 2016 with a unique poster and video series that shares young people’s voices and thoughts on this year’s Youth Week theme: Aroha Mai, Aroha Atu - Giving Back is Giving Forward.

“This video puts young people in the centre, sharing what giving back looks like to them while also challenging assumptions of young people from minority backgrounds.” says Anya Satyanand, Chief Executive of Ara Taiohi. “Demographics are shifting in Aotearoa, with over 200 ethnic groups recorded in the last Census. Our youth population are increasingly ‘superdiverse’ so it’s exciting during Youth Week 2016 to turn up the volume of voices that are not often heard.”

Alongside the videos and posters the young people have developed multi-lingual resources and media for members of their respective communities who may not speak English as a first language.

“Young people from our communities are often misrepresented and stereotyped in the mainstream media. This project supports them to represent themselves, their values and experiences as young migrants” says Mengzhu Fu, Youth Project Coordinator at Shakti.

Four high school and university students involved in Shakti Youth created messages that were important for their communities and wider society to hear. These ranged from reimagining gender dynamics in the home, balancing two cultures, to reminding young people how powerful they can be.

“Young people, especially young people of colour, are often seen as problems”, said Aaliyah Zionov, one of the participants of this project. But, she continued, “young people can be really really powerful.”

The video is available to watch online on Ara Taiohi’s Youtube channel or by going to Shakti’s Youth Week ‘Recognise and Represent’ on 27 May, 6pm at Metro Theatre (Mangere East Hall). Everyone is welcome to join Shakti in celebrating the contribution of their youth volunteers with live music and dance performances.

Posters can be downloaded here


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