“Being a refugee. I mean, I fear this name will stick on me forever.
And you’re alone and you feel you’ve lost ALL that you had.
And it is hard to build them again.”
“Racism as a new African Australian.”
“I want to learn English as soon as possible to improve my qualifications. Then I can change my life.
“Mental health issues that experiences of racism can cause.”
“Paranoia regarding subtle racism – am I just imagining it?”
These were some of the thoughts shared by the young people during a workshop by The Two Chairs as a part of the Lead to Achieve youth forum organized by Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre last month.
These thoughts came from the young participants when asked about their fears and concerns about living in Australia.
And these thoughts were shared not only to shed some light on what are the issues currently affecting young people from multicultural backgrounds but also to reflect that – none of us were dealing with these issues by ourselves.
Many of us went through them — some of us are STILL going through them — which is why we need to look out for each other and support one another.
That insight and others were made during our workshop and keeping in line with The Two Chairs’ objective of talking about racism in a creative way, we tried out different ways that day to discuss and explore the old topic of racism, hoping that by the end of the workshop, not only do we get to understand what racism IS but also how racism can FEEL like.
And hopefully we did manage to do that because we did activities that involved ropes, boxes, papers and surprise bags and all of those things got us moving around, having fun as well as meaningful discussions about fears, concerns, race, racism and the future as migrants; as refugees; as racial minorities; as Australians.