UC Connect: Why anti-racism and black lives matter in Aotearoa

A panel of University of Canterbury experts will discuss why anti-racism and black lives matter in Aotearoa, in a special extended public lecture on Wednesday evening, 5 August.

UC Connect talk: Why anti-racism and black lives matter in Aotearoa

As a tertiary institution in Aotearoa New Zealand for nearly 150 years, the University of Canterbury (UC) has an obligation to educate and inform. Since the inaugural address at the founding of the Canterbury Collegiate Union in 1872, this university has stood for accessible higher education, service to community, and the encouragement of talent without barriers of distance, wealth, class, gender or ethnicity.

The University continues to stand for these principles and explicitly aims to produce graduates who are engaged with their communities, empowered to act for good and determined to make a difference in the world. UC supports academic staff taking the role of critic and conscience of society and an active role in shaping society.

This panel discussion on Why anti-racism and black lives matter in Aotearoa, includes: UC’s Amokapua Pākākano | Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori, Pasifika and Equity Dr Darryn Russell, Senior Lecturer Garrick Cooper of Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, UC Arts, and Lecturer Dr Mahdis Azarmandi, School of Educational Studies and Leadership, in the College of Education, Health & Human Development. The kaiwhakapāoho | moderators for the panel discussion will be Jeanine Tamati-Elliffe (Kāi Tahu, Te Ātiawa), a Kaiārahi Māori at UC, and University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) Tumuaki | President Tori McNoe (Te Arawa).

Garrick Cooper is a Senior Lecturer in Aotahi School of Maori and Indigenous Studies. He is from Tauranga Moana (Te Pirirākau) and Hauraki (Ngāti Karaua). He researches, among other things, the philosophy of race and decoloniality, particularly through the canonical works of philosophers Frantz Fanon and Lewis Gordon.  While for many Māori the connection between anti-black racism, the BLM movement and the lived experiences of Māori experiences is self-evident, for others it appears less clear. The apparent lack of clarity or ambivalence perhaps reveal fundamental disagreements about the mechanics and architecture of colonialism. The very forces that created the slave trade and the sets of conditions that African-Americans have endured ever since are the very same forces that drove European colonisation of this land. In some ways, the real progress made vis-à-vis Treaty grievances has made more opaque, one particularly insidious feature of colonialism, that is anti-Maori/black racism.



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