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Professor Kevin Dunn

Kevin Dunn is the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at Western Sydney University. He is a leading researcher in the geographies of racism, immigration and settlement, Islam in Australia, local government and multiculturalism, and racism and anti-racism. He has championed local anti-racism, bystander activism and online action, as a means to address racism in direct, relevant and more contemporary ways. Kevin’s research has highlighted the culturally and spatially uneven distribution of citizenship in Australia. As a leader on the Challenging Racism Project, Dunn has developed and lead Australian Research Council funded projects that have generated comprehensive databases on racism and anti-racism, and operationalised novel concepts, such as Anglo privilege, belief in ‘race’, and bystander responses.

Two perspectives on the essentials of a national anti-racism plan

"Kevin Dunn:
Online racism can intimidate, injure, degrade belonging and undermine social cohesion. National anti-racism plans and action need to operate in this online space. Action plans are poorly developed for online anti-racism, and research in this area is under-developed. Our paper reviews online anti-racism interventions in Australia using analysis of case studies and novel empirical research to illuminate the ingredients for effective, safe and efficient online anti-racism interventions.

There are virtuous effects from online anti-racism for targets and anti-racist activists, and we provide detail on the diversity of mechanisms for reporting online racism, resources, narratives and strategies for safely and effectively responding to online racism, and we review how best to support people who are affected by online racism. More than eight in ten Australians are active on social media, and youth are the most prolific internet users. Changing norms and expectations of cross cultural relations online will have a substantial and lasting benefit for culturally diverse societies.

Meng Foon:
I will talk about the New Zealand National Action Plan Against Racism, which is led by the Ministry of Justice. The Human Rights Commission has the task of asking iwi and civil society to contribute to the National Action Plan Against Racism. From the feedback it looks like the National Action Plan Against Racism will be in 3 parts:
1 . Constitution change to better align with Te Tiriti o Waitangi
2. Action plan that all firms – public, private and NGO’s can take on board
3. Justice and reconciliation

I believe that that National Action Plan Against Racism is an investment in our communities and organisations. We know the saying that “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast.” I know that by eliminating racism it will help Aotearoa to do better, by creating harmonious communities, more innovation and ideas and more profit if that is the only thing you’re looking for. I’m hoping the Government will adopt the National Action Plan Against Racism in 2022. The government needs to ensure that the implementation is financially sustainable including monitoring and evaluation."

Professor Kevin Dunn
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