Pasifika youth make a stand against racial profiling
A number of Pasifika youth around Melbourne have shared their experiences, their thoughts and opinions of racial profiling and recorded them on a CD titled ‘I Am Not My Skin” that was launch on June 5th. 2017.
It can be downloaded and listened to here.
Women’s Health West held a series of workshops for Pacific Island Women as a part of their ‘Our Community Our Rights’ Program. After learning about Human Rights, Discrimination, Activism, Legal Rights and a range of other topics a group of these women decided that they wanted to address the racial profiling of Pacific Youth in Melbourne.
Pacific Islanders make up less than 1% of the total population of Australia. However, Pacific Island youth make up 14% of the population in juvenile detention. Pasifika youth have spoken out and identified racial profiling at school and in the community as an issue that they face. It is plausible that this could be a contributing factor to the over representation of Pasifika youth in detention.
The ’I am not my skin’ design features hands to show the skin we all have. They are shaped in a flower as flowers are a big part of the Pacific. The colour purple is to show that when we are racially profiled we are made to feel as though we are aliens with purple skin, not a human being. The yellow heart signifies the love and respect that we hope everyone will feel as a result of this project.
First published in Samoan Planet May 22, 2017