March 16th to the 21st is the annual Action Week Against Racism – one of central campaigns we focus on here at UNITED.
The campaign comes from the commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, set on the 21st March, a day mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1966.
The reasons for this campaign are somber.
During the Apartheid, protests against laws for racial segregation took place on the 21st of March. Around 5000 people took the streets to march against the injustice. As the day wore on, the crowds swelled in size, and the police were sent in to contain it. Scuffles broke out, and the police escalated their actions. They shot indiscriminately into the crowd. 69 people were killed. Another 180 were injured.
In commemoration of this horrific event, UNITED coordinates a Europe-wide Action Week Against Racism every year. The purpose is not only to remember the victims and the lives lost, but also to make a stand against the rising nationalism and xenophobia that has remained present since this massacre. We urge NGOs, community organisations, schools, local councils and all manner of groups and individuals to join forces and confront racism with direct action. Whether by organising activities, supporting others, or spreading the message we encourage ourselves and others to stand hand in hand for diversity.
This year is no different – we are coming to you for inputs!
Now is the time to show that no matter the distance between us, we are all united in our efforts to combat discrimination, united in our goal to create cooperative, diverse European societies.
Want to join the European Action Week against Racism by organising an activity, but stuck trying to come up with ideas? No worries, UNITED has got you covered! Over the years, we have collected many ideas for different activities that can be used to stand strong against racism, celebrate diversity, and build connection and understanding. You could:
Organize a organise a workshop or a non-formal webinar
Host a socially distant anti-racism picnic
Host an online jam session/open mic/poetry event
Organize a historical walk, bearing safety measures in mind
And many more!
If you can’t find anything that suits you, feel free to come up with your own ideas! Want to get inspired with examples from previous years? Take a look at our collection of best practice examples from previous years.
Whatever you organize, email us at email@example.com.
And like our Facebook page to keep an eye out for campaign visuals, which we will share soon!
CALL FOR MICROVOLUNTEERING
Alongside your actions above, UNITED calls on you all to participate in offering your time to your fellow people in the form of microvolunteering.
What is microvolunteering?
We have all been been in the familiar situation of needing help, and having a close family member or friend to ask for help. However, there are many who don’t have this option. This is where you come in – you can microvolunteer and make someone’s day a little bit better.
Microvolunteering is volunteering done in palatable, bite-sized chunks. It’s donating little bits of your time when and where you can, from wherever you are at, to contribute to a worthy cause. It’s more than retweeting a tweet, reposting a hashtag, signing a petition, taking a photo, or attending a webinar. It’s seeing someone in distress and offering help, it’s taking out the trash when your neighbor is sick, volunteering to share food, signing up at a hospital to donate blood. Anything with a good intention counts. It’s actions on a micro scale, that with enough time and enough numbers, build up to something grander and larger. This is where our campaign comes in.
This time it is difficult to organise any offline action, so you are more than welcome, and also encouraged, to microvolunteer with us!
Print out the photo below, and take a picture with it during your activity, or draw it on your hand and take a picture and post it with the #SOLIDARITY or #LIMITLESS.SOLIDARITY. Don’t forget to tag UNITED, whether on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!