During November and December Reconciliation SA ran our nationally recognised program Generation of Change, supporting students and teachers in years 7-12 to explore their own abilities to respond to racism. Incorporating ActNow’s interactive Forum Theatre performance Responding to Racism, participants were supported to conceptualise and identify various forms of racism, encouraging them to develop appropriate response strategies.

The silver lining from 2020 must be that we were able to pilot delivery of Generation of Change to individual schools, rather than the off-site model (to small groups of students from multiple schools) we provided in the past. The deliveries saw engagement from almost 500 students and 47 teachers across SA. Due to COVID-19, a fifth session has been rescheduled to February 2021.

We need something like this for every student in our school. I feel that it wouldn’t solve everything, but that it will have a positive impact on some people which is a start. (Year 9 student)

It makes [people] think about their choices. Nathan’s story really inspired and made me stand against racism till my last breath. (Year 10 student)

These adapted deliveries were accompanied for the first time by professional development sessions and resources for teachers, facilitating deeper discussion of the underpinning concepts and supporting commitment to longer-term planning for their school’s anti-racism education. Teacher feedback was extremely positive, with schools eager to engage with us through 2021 to develop concerted anti-racism strategies. This is heartening as it indicates an appetite for responding to racisms, and reconciliation more broadly, within school communities.

My first experience of this program and I liked the way students’ voices and opinions are prioritised and valued.

This was an excellent resource to access to provoke thought and action. We would really benefit from ongoing support to target racism.

We look forward to working with these schools throughout 2021 and engaging more and more schools in anti-racism education with our reviewed and updated Generation of Change program.