May 18, 2020
Whakapapa drives racial unity speech
The winner of the annual Race Unity Speech Awards says as a Māori with white skin she doesn’t experience direct racism, but many people close to her do.
Jess Jenkins, a year 13 student at Tawa College, used her mixed Ngāti Kahungunu and Pākehā heritage as a metaphor for the past and future of race relations in New Zealand.
She says racism exists here, and we must face the blatant separation occurring within society today to secure an ideal racism-free future.
Huti Watson from the Baha’i community, which has organised the competition since 2001, says Ms Jenkins’ speech distinguished between naive self-image as a unified society and the true unity the country should be striving for.
The awards were held online this year.
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