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A statement of Te Ao o Rongomaraeroa | the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies

We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. We stand with all those families who have lost loved ones, with communities which have suffered incalculable loss of life and thus human potential.

We have all borne witness to the unconscionable violence exacted variously by police, paramilitary officers, white supremacists and judicial systems against Black people, vulnerable populations and Indigenous peoples throughout the world. Recent events in the United States, Canada and Australia have thrown into sharp relief the inevitable social consequences of allowing deeply embedded institutional racism to be subject to too little challenge. Here too, in Aotearoa New Zealand the insidious effects of conscious and unconscious racial bias, institutional racism and white supremacy are suffered disproportionately by Māori, Pacific, Muslim and migrant families.

As Faculty and students of Te Ao o Rongomaraeroa | the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, we recognise the power and responsibility we have to use our privilege as educators to promote, protect and advance equal human dignity and respect, diversity and inclusion, racial equality, and peace with justice in our institution and beyond. We acknowledge the critical role that education plays in unearthing racial bias and intolerance, supporting human rights and racial equality and working to include marginalised voices and perspectives in the classroom, in the university and in our communities. We stand therefore with those who struggle, those who fight for change, in solidarity with all who act against violence and injustice.

We accept our responsibility to dismantle institutional, structural and interpersonal structures, which oppress those already most marginalised and instead to work toward the design and implementation of systems and structures which are genuinely just, generously inclusive and gentle upon the environment.

We stand in hope that in aligning ourselves with those mobilising in peaceful protest nationally and globally, we too can contribute toward a world free of systemic racism, of discrimination, indeed of injustice, of any kind.

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