African Youth Forum
For Immediate Release
Location: Wesley Community Centre
(740 Sandringham Road Extension, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1041)
Date: 5th of March 2016
Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
“If the police hadda (had of) carried guns, I’d be dead by now” – African youth experiences with the police and the New Zealand justice system
African youth are the fastest growing minority population in Auckland, New Zealand and make-up the largest percentage of their community. Many African youths in Aotearoa New Zealand are currently either studying towards a qualification or are qualified, and have the potential to contribute to their communities and to New Zealand. However, this potential is significantly affected by their seemingly disproportionate encounters with the police and the New Zealand justice system.
On the 5th of March 2016, Wesley Community Centre will be home to the inaugural ‘African Youth Forum’. The forum is an annual youth-led event that brings together African youth, community leaders, public officials and academics to discuss relavant issues that are hindering African youth from reaching their full potential. During this year’s inaugural event, we will be launching a research report on African youth experiences with the Police and the criminal justice system.
Marvin Kamau, the forum organiser anticipates that the event will be the beginning of a culturally appropriate dialogue between African youth and relevant authorities.
“The purpose of this year’s event is to raise awareness and discussions about the findings of the report in a safe and controlled environment. Through this event, and the research findings, we hope to engage the youth in countering the identities represented within and responded to by the justice system in an effort to improve their participation and well-being”, says Marvin.
Associate Professor Camille Nakhid from AUT’s School of Social Sciences and Public Policy was the principal researcher of the report. She says that the research revealed some concerning findings that has major significance to the African community, service providers and justice and law enforcement officials.
“This research highlights a fast growing, though small and as yet invisible, community in Aotearoa New Zealand. However, African youth are very visible targets and victims of racism and discrimination by the police in New Zealand. The research reveals the unknown or less known behaviours and practices of the New Zealand Police that result in African youth being disproportionately profiled and abused by those within the justice system”, she says.
The event will also feature a panel discussion with African youths, community leaders, public officials and academics, as well as live performances from members of the community, and an opportunity to network over some African cuisine.
Confirmed panelists for the evening include:
Love Chile – Associate Professor, AUT University
Mike Hinton – General Manager, Restorative Practices Aotearoa
Marvin Kamau – Postgraduate student, AUT University
Inspector Joseph Tipene – Maori Responsiveness Advisor, NZ Police
Fatumata Bah – Undergraduate student, AUT University
Support for the African Youth Forum has been provided by Auckland Council and ACOFI.
The research report can be accessed online from 6 March 2016 through the Africa on My Sleeve webpage: www.africaonmysleeve.com
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