This is the email I sent today to my son’s school about the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. I tried to make it as gentle as possible without losing the core message. Apologies for the formatting.
I simply wanted to express my sadness at the celebration of Harmony Day at Nepean School, instead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
My son Jerome goes to Nepean and it is a great school.
But I think that in this instance, even though the thought is well meaning, there is a superficiality and ease in which we ignore the key issues, such as the continuing racism against First Nations people.
In fact, I would class this as a racial microaggression. I define a microaggression  as:
A microaggression is a clear sign to a marginalised person that they do not belong in that environment.
In this case it is the ignoring or “watering down” of the message of anti-racism.
I also point out when presenting to audiences on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that “Neutral sides with oppression” .
I think many others can explain better why this particular instance is not helpful to race relations in Australia, so I will share them here .
I’m hoping that by raising this as an issue, it might spark reflection within the school around this day and other areas as well.
Thank you for all the great work you do, I hope you can see this as an opportunity to start a discussion.
nitv/article/2022/03/11/full- anger-and-grief-kumanjayi- walkers-family-devastated-not- guilty-verdict
practicaldiversity.org/2021/ 10/31/definition-of- microaggression-in-diversity- equity-and-inclusion/
practicaldiversity.org/2021/ 11/05/resource-improving- diversity-and-inclusion-in- senior-leadership-a-workshop- to-help-recruit-diverse- senior-leaders-2/
posts/djirra-vic_harmonyday- iderd2022-callingitout- activity-6911905966246572032- O2bz?utm_source=linkedin_ share&utm_medium=member_ desktop_web
posts/cate-ballantyne- 988b471b0_racism-firstnations- activity-6911516650605355008- VeQy?utm_source=linkedin_ share&utm_medium=member_ desktop_web