IDERD, new Race Discrimination Commissioner, Mardi Gras and more!

by Racism. It Stops With Me Campaign Team | 04 March 2024
Read on to learn about our IDERD fact sheet, meet the new Race Discrimination Commissioner, learn about the incredible work of Black Rainbow and BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation, and an opportunity to provide feedback on anti-racism resources for grades 5&6.

We are just under 3 weeks away from the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD).

Each year on 21 March, nations around the globe recognise the ongoing need to actively address and eliminate racial discrimination.

IDERD is a powerful vehicle to encourage people everywhere to strengthen and amplify their voices against racism, to mobilise against all forms and manifestations of racial discrimination and injustice, and to strategise for change.

Read on to learn about our IDERD fact sheet, meet the new Race Discrimination Commissioner, learn about the incredible work of Black Rainbow and BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation, and an opportunity to provide feedback on anti-racism resources for grades 5&6.

IDERD Fact Sheet

In Australia, IDERD is sometimes referred to as ‘Harmony Day.’

This alternate framing came about in 1999 following a decision to repurpose IDERD to a day for celebration and the focal point of ‘Harmony Week’. Within this framing, the structural and systemic racial discrimination experienced by so many for so long in Australia is effectively swept under the rug.

Last year, the Racism. It Stops With Me. campaign team produced a fact sheet about IDERD. It is designed to support individual and organisational conversations about the importance of keeping the focus of IDERD on mobilising against all forms of racial discrimination and injustice.

The fact sheet describes how ‘Harmony Day’ is an example of the way language can be used to reframe anti-racism, operating to reinforce inequality, and maintain the status quo. In contrast, having proactive, open discussions about racism demonstrates a commitment to tackling racism when it occurs and preventing it in the future.

We encourage you to read the fact sheet and share it with your networks. Please note, the IDERD fact sheet is available in English, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese:

Access the IDERD Fact Sheet.

IDERD Amplification Kit

In the coming weeks, we will share an updated 2024 IDERD Amplification Kit for our stakeholders and supporters to use in their communications.

In the meantime, if you or your organisation would like inspiration and guidance for anti-racist and human rights-based messaging around IDERD, you are most welcome to access and use our 2023 Amplification Kit. It features a suite of ready-to-share social media tiles and carousels, alongside suggested website, social media, and email copy. You will also find a bespoke version of the kit for sporting organisations.

Access the 2023 amplification kit, and all associated content, via Dropbox.

Race Discrimination Commissioner appointment

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of the new Race Discrimination Commissioner, Giridharan Sivaraman, who will begin his 5-year term on 4 March 2024.

The Race Discrimination Commissioner is a statutory position within the Australian Human Rights Commission, established under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth).

The position is responsible for promoting equality between people of different backgrounds, conducting research and educational programs to combat racial discrimination, and protecting people from unfair treatment or vilification on the basis of their race, colour, descent, visa status, national or ethnic origin.

In the words of President Croucher, “For decades, the fight for systemic equality and speaking truth to power have been at the heart of Mr Sivaraman’s work.”

We are excited to welcome Commissioner Sivaraman on 4 March, and will share more information about his term goals with you in due course.

Read the media release in full.

Mardi Gras – 2 March 2024

In the words of TransMob: “First Nations cultures have always recognised and integrated much richer and diverse concepts of gender that expand far beyond the Western concepts of binary cisgender experiences and identities. We have been, and continue to be, part of every First Nations population around the world, including in Australia.”

In the lead-up to Mardi Gras on 2 March, we encourage you to familiarise yourself with the incredible work of Black Rainbow and BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation:

Black Rainbow is a 100% Indigenous owned and operated non-profit, committed to advocacy, leadership, and solutions that identify and address social and cultural determinants of wellbeing related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who identify as LGBTIQA+ Sistergirls and Brotherboys (SB). Bursting with renewed energy and enthusiasm, Black Rainbow are committed to their mission: empowering and uplifting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQA+SB community through meaningful programs like microgrants, connection initiatives, and an impactful glossary poster series and guidebook. Keep an eye out for exciting announcements, projects, fundraising opportunities, and ways you can get involved!  Today, we’re highlighting ‘Breaking the Silence’ – watch or listen to this webinar to identify tips and strategies for how health services, and community and educational organisations can be more inclusive when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQA+SB people.

BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation is an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation committed to empowering the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQ+SB community through innovation, inclusion, understanding and advocacy. BlaQ offers training for organisations to help make their workplaces more culturally safe and inclusive for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and LGBTQ+SB peoples. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and LGBTQ+SB peoples.

Additionally, resources for Sistergirls and Brotherboys are also listed on the Trans Mob page.

ATTN: Grade 5&6 Teachers

We are working with Hue. Colour the Conversation to develop free, online anti-racism teaching resources for primary school students ages 10–12. We’re looking for teachers who have previously taught or currently teach grades 5&6.

If you are interested in helping review and providing feedback on anti-racism teaching plans, classroom activities and teaching content, we encourage you to register your interest. Please note, the deadline is 10am Tuesday 12 March. We also encourage you to share this opportunity with relevant folk in your network.

Participants will be compensated with a $200 gift card and you’ll be part of creating an incredible anti-racism resource for young people and teachers around the country to use.

Register your interest.

Until next time 👋,

The Racism. It Stops With Me Campaign Team