UNESCO recently welcomed a new batch of youth champions from around the world to fight racism and discrimination through a change in mindsets. More than 1500 students and teachers completed the 17th edition of the UNESCO Master Class against Racism and Discriminations held on 21 March 2022 on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
WEBWIRE – Friday, March 25, 2022
Students from high schools and universities from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States of America participated in-person at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Students also connected online from Argentina, Austria, Egypt, France, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Mongolia, Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Gabriela Ramos, UNESCOs Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, opened the Master Class with a powerful call to action:
Despite progress made, racism and discrimination remain a reality. The fight is not over! It requires the involvement of us all. As young people have the means to reverse racism and discrimination, including hate speech, intolerance and violence, we need your help, your heart, and your voices to deliver!
Professor Evelyne Heyer of the Musée de lHomme and Professor Helena Alviar of Sciences Politique delivered lectures on the processes of categorization and hierarchization to better understand racism. They explored questions on discrimination based on gender, race and class. City officials from UNESCOs International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities ICCAR and the Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia shared their experiences to combat racism and discrimination at local level. Students from IES Profesor Domingo Ortiz school from Azuqueca de Henares in Spain projected an inspiring video which encapsulated all the activities undertaken since they attended the Master Class in March 2021.
Olivier Rousteing, Balmains Creative Director, won the young students hearts as he inspired them to push for their freedom. He told them to be proud of who they are, regardless of their origins, background, gender and color. Sharing his personal experiences of growing up and facing racism himself, he encouraged the young women and men to take action to fight racism and discrimination.
If you do not have love around you, try to find the strength in yourself to fight for your own freedom. Prove to the world that they are wrong. The world is changing, I feel it is still slow, but we need to keep believing. We have to fight for freedom, for who we are or who we want to be. Fight for yourself without any discrimination. – Olivier RousteingBalmains Creative Director
Participants were also invited to take part in 8 intensive workshops on the topics of hate speech, antisemitism, negative perceptions of migrants and refugees, LGBTQ+ rights, systemic racism, the role of youth, intercultural competencies, and antiracism efforts in cities.
As part of the Master Class methodology, students are asked to formulate their own commitments on what they will do as new antiracism champions in their schools and communities. Inspired by the immersive discussions throughout the day, the students committed to teaching their peers and communities about understanding otherness and interculturality. They came up with ideas to apply in their own environments, such as producing school journals with articles about discrimination that occur in their school, celebrating International Days and conducting social media campaigns. UNESCO will engage in a continuous dialogue with the participating schools to keep track of the inspiring activities that they will implement.
The Master Class also included artistic performances:
- a dancer from the École de cinéma Kourtrajmé, and
- a student-led choir from Nancy (France), Karlsruhe (Germany), Liège (Belgium) and Newcastle (United Kingdom) who sang an original composition that spoke of hope and solidarity.
- Programme in English or French
- Learn more on the Master Class Series
- More on UNESCOs Social and Human Sciences Programme
Institutional partners of this global edition include the
- Musée de lHomme,
- Permanent Delegation of Canada,
- Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia,
- Mongolian National Commission,
- French National Commission,
- Gwangju International Center,
- Cities of Atlanta, Bologna, Bordeaux, Cordoba, Heidelberg, Helsingborg, Karlsruhe, Lausanne, Liège, Montevideo, Montpellier, Nancy, Newcastle and Saint Etienne,
- ETC Graz,
- International Institute of Human Rights and Peace,
- Sciences Po,
- Thorbeke Academy (Leeuwarden – Netherlands),
- MAG Jeunes LGBTI+,
- Center for Engaged Foresight,
- Maison Balmain and
- École Kourtrajmé.
The Master Class Series is part of the Roadmap against Racism that UNESCO is developing as part of its Global Call against Racism, which is contained in a decision adopted by Member States in December 2020. This Roadmap will strengthen UNESCOs contribution to the fight against racism and discrimination across its field of competence, providing a strategic and operational framework to guide UNESCOs action in this important area, especially in the critical post-crisis period.
As a part of ARAI Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav week from 10th to 16th January 2022, a student Hackathon on Smart Safe and Sustainable mobility hosted on ARAI-TechNovuus was e-inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries, Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar today. He addressed the young participants and said that innovation is an important factor for the development of the country. To find solutions for the problems faced by the county is the way of building the nation. The youth should be motivated for thinking rapidly and innovatively and Hackathon will be helpful for this endeavor.
He further said that automotive sector has a major contribution in the economic devolvement. However, excess use of fuels, green house effect, pollution, and accidents have created challenges but new innovations will ensure the safe mobility with sustainable progress. The government is also concentrating on these aspects. The Hackathon will pave a way with the participation of young students, he added.
The Hackathon will host 10 problem statements on the broad theme of Smart, Safe and Sustainable mobility solutions for Aatmanirbhar Bharat. A prize pool of Rs. 10 lakh is proposed for the problem statements. Winners would also be considered for further internship or up-levelling through TechNovuus.
The opening remarks were delivered by Dr Reji Mathai, Director, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI ). Ms. Medha Jambhale, Deputy Director, ARAI shared the message from Minister of Heavy Industries. Dr. Abhay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) at Ministry of Education, explained the importance of Hackathon and its role in shaping the future of technology in India. He also shared the opportunities India has created with rest of the nations through the success of Hackathons. Ms. Ujjwala Karle, Deputy Director, ARAI presented an overview of the student engagement programs held at ARAI.
Mr. Venkataraj K, Dy. Director General, Society of Automotive Engineers, India proposed vote of thanks.
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Young people from across The Gambia have expressed their commitment to embark on sensitization campaigns to make their constituents and societies aware of how to access, critically evaluate, consume and use media and information.
This commitment was made at the end of a three-day training on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) for 40 young people from national and regional youth associations in The Gambia. Held from 20th to 22nd December, the training was organized by UNESCO Dakar and delivered by the Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia Chapter (GYIN Gambia) through the Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists (MDP).
The course examined the nature, functions and vulnerability of the media and other information sources. The various forms of information disorder and how to counter them was addressed. Civic participation using media and information literacy skills was discussed to promote participants engagement in national discourse.
Prior to the training, participants had been engaged in community participation but the training has equipped them to expand their scope by engaging the use of mass media channels.
One of the participants, Mariama Kinteh from the Regional Youth Committee of West Coast Region affirmed her learning points: I have learned about how best I can secure myself from being harmed on the Internet by using safe browser and sites.
I will advocate for similar training to be organized by young people at regional level and I am committed to conducting stepdown training so as to further share the knowledge with more young people. – Mrs Mariama Kinteh, Regional Youth Committee of West Coast Region
Binta L.Y Touray said in addition to learning about the concepts of misinformation and disinformation, she learned how to protect herself in the online world.
The most amazing part of the experience is how to counter or verify fake news and Photoshop image using TinEye, Google Reverse Image, and as well as privacy protected websites like DuckDuckGo and TOR Browser – Ms Binta L.Y Touray
Ms Touray intended to use what she learned at the training to protect herself online and also to share the knowledge with fellow young people.
All the participants expressed commitment to mainstream MIL into their organizational activities and programs, mainly by revisiting their organisations mission and mandate to include aspects of MIL. Others want to have issues of MIL captured in their organisations communications and advocacy strategy.
Almost all the organisations also vowed to working with development partners and funding agencies that are interested in MIL to seek collaboration to implement their projects and programs.
One of the trainers, Dr Morolake Omowumi Adekunle, pointed out that given the degree of information disorder in The Gambia and the need to promote civic participation among the youth, it is very timely that youth associations are encouraged to go into MIL.
Young people need to be equipped with skills on media and information by strengthening their ability to source for information, assess the information and use the information to address individuals and societal needs. – Dr Morolake Omowumi Adekunle, trainer
Mamadou Edrisa Njie, executive director of GYIN Gambia, noted that there is lot of disinformation and misinformation spread in The Gambia because of the low level of literacy and the high smartphone penetration rate. The so-called fake news is mainly shared and propagated on the internet, particularly on the social media.
Alagie Jarju, executive director of National Youth Council, said the number of people hell bent on spreading fake news might be small, but the spread is very fast and powerful, and the potential impact of the spread could be catastrophic.
Through the Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists (MDP), UNESCO has been embarking on initiatives to improve community media and media and information literacy in The Gambia.
Hong Kong Youth Chinese Orchestra to showcase eminent masterpieces
The Hong Kong Youth Chinese Orchestra (HKYCO) of the Music Office under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will hold its annual concert, “East-West Convergence – A Portrait of Folk Tunes” at 3pm on January 9 (Sunday) next year at the Auditorium of Sha Tin Town Hall.
The concert will be conducted by Music Office instructors Mr Tsui Ying-fai and Mr Kwok Kin-ming. The Orchestra will present various vivid classic masterpieces, including “Guarding the Frontier on Horseback” with powerful and propelling music; “The Night of the Torch Festival”, a plucked-string ensemble piece commissioned by the Music Office; “Moonlight on the Spring River” featuring a leading pipa; “Slavonic Dances” and “English Folk Song Suite” arranged from Western folk tunes; “Grapes are Ripe” which is characterised by its ethnic minorities elements; percussion ensemble piece “Camel Bells of Xinjiang”; and “Battle on Taihangshan” which depicts the spirit of farmers.
Established in 1978, the HKYCO has around 80 members with ages under 25. The Orchestra has performed in numerous major local performances. It also played the role of music ambassador for Hong Kong and has toured extensively to high acclaim.
Tickets priced at $55, $75 and $95 are now available at URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk). For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999. For programme enquiries and concessionary schemes, please call 2796 7523 or 3842 7784 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/musicoffice.
All persons will be required to use the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile application to scan the venue QR code before they are allowed to enter LCSD offices and venues, except for exempted persons who are aged below 12 or aged 65 or above and those with disabilities that render use of the app difficult. Exemptions will also be granted to individual persons depending on the actual circumstances. All exempted persons are required to complete a record form to register their personal particulars and the date and time of their visits. As it will take time to verify personal particulars of exempted persons under the new arrangement, their waiting time for using public services or entering the relevant venues may be lengthened. The LCSD suggests that members of the public arrive early and appeals for their understanding. The department also encourages the exempted persons to use the app as far as possible to save time.