African Youth Forum

For Immediate Release

 

Location: Wesley Community Centre

(740 Sandringham Road Extension, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1041)

Date: Saturday 5 March, 2016

Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm

 

“If the police hadda carried guns, I’d be dead by now” – African youth experiences with the police and the New Zealand justice system

With only five days left till the inaugural launch of the African Youth Forum 2016, excitement is brewing within the community. It is anticipated that the event will be the beginning of a culturally appropriate dialogue between African youth and relevant authorities. 

According to the forum’s Communications Officer, Makanaka Tuwe, the event is not only about creating a dialogue, it is also contributing to creating and situating a space for self-determination and sense of belonging among the youth.

“I am very excited about this event as it will assist with addressing factors that contribute to a lack of a sense of belonging. As belonging is primal and fundamental to one’s existence, well-being and contribution to society, the findings from the research will enable us to take steps towards a process of understanding and emancipation,” she says.

The research reveals issues that have major impacts on the African community, and should hold significant concern for service providers, and justice and law enforcement officials. Associate Professor Camille Nakhid from AUT’s School of Social Sciences and Public Policy was the principal researcher of the report. She says that within the findings are themes of profiling, racism, stereotypes, provocation and police action as well as the impact on the youth, families and communities. 

The brutal and discriminatory treatment of African youth by the police cannot continue if the youth are to have more successful outcomes from their integration into society and if all of New Zealand are concerned with building a socially just and harmonious society" says Dr Nakhid. 

*Lucille a social worker noted the impact that the African youth encounters with the police had on  the youth and their families and said that it resulted in the shame and condemnation of the family with family members feeling that they could no longer participate in their community. 

“It actually just drains them and most of the family members suffer from depression. They don’t ever admit that they are depressed or seek help so they just keep it in and you find that they are locking themselves in. You will discover that they are not attending community events as they have been subjected to feelings of shame,” she says.

This is a youth led event and there will be performances from local youth including Raiza Biza, Munashe Tuwe, Mukuka Hope and Elijah Neblett. The event will also feature a panel discussion with African youth, community leaders, public officials and academics, as well as provide 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

*Name changed for the purpose of this press release

The African Communities Forum (ACOFI) and Auckland Council have provided support for the African Youth Forum.

The research report can be accessed online from 5 March 2016 through the websites of ACOFI, MAT and Africa on My Sleeve webpage: www.africaonmysleeve.com

For media related inquiries please contact:

Makanaka Tuwe

Email: africaonmysleeve@gmail.com

Mobile: 021-1321-481

 

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