Are you against racism

#StopRacism: Are you sure you are not thinking racially?

Bolzano - Around the international day against racist discrimination on March 21st, actions are taking place worldwide. In many countries they are grouped into action weeks. In Italy, the national anti-discrimination agency “UNAR” suggests this. For South Tyrol again this year the OEW has to “Stop Racism! Action Weeks Against Racism ”. Around 30 organizations responded to their call and from March 8th to 21st (online and offline) are participating in the campaign weeks with various events. At the start, representatives of the organizations gathered in front of the Waltherhaus in Bolzano today and some events of the campaign weeks, which can be viewed at www.stopracism.it, as well as the accompanying social media campaign, can be accessed at www.stopracsim.it/la-campagna , presented.

“Are you sure that you are not thinking racially?” Is the headline of the campaign for the “Stop Racism!” 2021 campaign in South Tyrol. It refers to moments of everyday racism that all too often come about without hurtful intent.

The social media campaign, which is published on the website of the initiative www.stopracism.it/la-campagna and since Monday on the social media channels of the OEW and the participating organizations (e.g. facebook.com/oew.org and instagram.com/oew_zebra), was designed by Samia Kaffouf, student of communication and cultural studies at the University of Bressanone. With the campaign, she wants to raise awareness of the fact that racism is deeply rooted in our social context.

“Nobody wants to be called a racist, but prejudices embedded in society constantly and unconsciously influence the way we think and act,” said Kaffouf. In most cases it is not meant badly when people with a visible migration background are praised for their excellent language skills, when they are positively surprised about their degree or when strangers are interested in their hair. However, such statements are exclusive. Because they make it clear to the addressees again and again that they do not fit into the prevailing image of a South Tyrolean. And this solely because of the external appearance.

"In addition, in a globalized world, racism has to be contextualized anew," adds the campaigner. One thinks, for example, of the so-called “new generations”, made up of people whose ancestors immigrated to Italy, but who did not necessarily migrate themselves. These generations face new forms of discrimination, often more subtle than those experienced by “first generation” individuals. The 30 organizations would also like to address these forms of discrimination during the campaign weeks.

“It is important to reflect on your own thoughts and actions, especially if you have the privilege of not being exposed to racist discrimination,” says Adrian Luncke, OEW division manager “Diversity & Together” and coordinator of the “Stop Racism!” Initiative. It requires ruthless honesty to admit to oneself how one is shaped by racism and how this - even if unintentionally - can be perpetuated by one's own actions. And this at the expense of some citizens. In addition to self-reflection, encounters can be a means of checking one's own prejudices and achieving a fair relationship, he continues.

Ombudsman Gabriele Morandell was also there and commented positively on the actions of the South Tyrolean associations. In the very near future, the anti-discrimination agency will be opened within their office, which - set up by the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol - will permanently deal with racially motivated inequality of treatment. In doing so, important networking and awareness-raising work will also be afforded.

"Today, what can unite people and peoples is undoubtedly more important than what contributes to misunderstandings, division and conflicts," said Fernando Biague, head of the Centro di Ricerca e Formazione sull'Intercultura, at today's press conference in Bolzano. Encounter ”.

So it is encouraging that every year more organizations take part in the campaign weeks, which this year will again be implemented with offers throughout South Tyrol. The calendar is available on the website (www.stopracism.it/events). It is constantly updated in line with the measures taken to contain the pandemic. Please inform yourself promptly via the website or directly from the participating organizations if you want to attend one of the numerous events.

The following organizations take part in the campaign weeks against racism (2021):

Associazione Centaurus Arcigay Alto Adige South Tyrol; Associazione Scioglilingua; Bildungshaus Kloster; Neustift; Caritas; Caritas Diocesi Bolzano-Bressanone; Centro giovani Connection; Centro Pace; Centro per la Pace / Peace Center; Cgil Alto Adige; Circolo Culturale ANPI; Circolo Culturale cultural association; Franca “Anita” Turra e Hans Egarter; Cooperativa Contro Tempo Teatro Bolzano; Evangelical Congregation Bolzano; Violence Center - Forum Prevention; Women's museum; HRI-Human Rights International; Youth service Brixen; Youth Service Lana-Tesimo; Youth club VKE Bozen; Youth Service Lower Eisack Valley; Youth center Kass; Kolping Youth South Tyrol; Cuba-Kaltern; State Vocational School Savoy; Lungomare Bolzano-Bozen; OEW organization for a world of solidarity; Bruneck City Library; Sterzing City Library; Volunteer.

From: mk