On the 26th anniversary of the announcement of Madiba’s release from prison, the Anti-Racism Network of South Africa (ARNSA) launched its concept for anti-racism week, which takes place from 14-21 March 2016. ARNSA was established by both the Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada foundations last year, in a bid to address the scourge of racism and related forms of discrimination dogging the country.
According to Sean Moodley, national convenor ARNSA, the Nelson Mandela foundation and the Ahmed Kathrada foundation have had a partnership for a couple of years doing anti-racism work and through some research discovered that nationally there is only a hand full of NGOs that specifically do anti-racism work.
“We came to the conclusion that there is no single organisation in this country that will be able to tackle this huge problem so both foundations worked together and decided the only way we can do this is to have a collective approach so we’ve used models that have worked,” Moodley explained.
“We’ve used models that have worked for example the united democratic front and how quick that front was formed and it was made up of organisations right across the country.”
80 civil society organisations form part of ARNSA. Moodley says the main reason for the launch of ANRSA is to have a movement made up of different organisations right across the country. The new national campaign centres around creating awareness around racism and a full programme of events is expected to be released before the 14th of next month. Next month is Human Rights month which coincides with the concept behind the anti-racism week.
“The anti-racism week would run like Mandela day where we call on all societies from faith-based organisations, to the banks and corporate and shopping malls to do stuff around anti-racism at work,” Moodley continued.
“Whether it is t-shirt campaigns, whether it is poster campaigns so it is a campaign where civil society comes together saying that this is what we would like to do.”
The campaign will run from the 14th of March until the 21st March, ending on Human rights day in South Africa. VOC (Umarah Hartley)