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Against racism? Get involved in anti-racism week

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Leanne Cumming
March15/ 2016

The Anti- Racism Network of South Africa will be hosting a variety of activities this week, as part of its awareness drive to tackle racism. 

A week of anti-racism activities involving conferences, exhibitions, and films will take place this month as part of a programme organised by the Anti-Racism Network of South Africa (ARNSA).

“South Africa finds itself at a point where the denial of racism no longer has a place. Racism is crippling the fabric of who we are and the great nation we can be,” ARNSA said in a statement.

“Frustrations have reached fever pitch and those affected are no longer content keeping their views to themselves.”

ARNSA is organising the week with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. The events aim to confront racism and open up conversations with the hope of breaking down racism in all forms.

The activities are meant to encourage South Africans to get involved anti–racism week. Those who can’t get involved directly should find ways to make a “personal commitment” to anti-racism week.

Conversations about race

The event comes on the heels of heightened racial tensions at a number of South African universities over the last few months.  The University of Pretoria has seen protests over the use Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, which have sometimes taken a racial dimension. University of the Free State has also seen protests following a fight between student protestors and spectators at a Varsity Cup match.

“Our media campaign is designed to promote the steps we feel are important to address racism at a personal level. We’re encouraging South Africans to have the conversation about race and never to allow racist sentiments to persist,” said Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The week’s nationwide activities started off with an anti-racism conference held at Gallagher Estate, Midrand with speakers such as former president Thabo Mbeki on Monday.

On March 16 at 5pm Public Protector Thuli Madonsela will be at Wits to mediate a seminar about criminalising racism at the Wits School of Governance.

On March 19 at 11am a youth rally will take place at Constitution Hill. The week will end on Human Rights Day, March 21, where an anti-racism programme will take place at the Sharpeville Memorial Centre in Vereeniging.

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Leanne Cumming