I was a participant in the Our Community Our Rights Program organised by Women’s Health West. I initially signed up just to get out of the house and meet other Pacific Women. I had no real expectations to begin with. Once we started I knew that this is exactly where I needed to be, this was how I could help make positive changes for Pacific people in my community.
'I Am Not My Skin' is a CD featuring Pacific Island Youth sharing their experiences with racial profiling in school and the community. It will be used as a resourced for schools and organisations working with Pacific Youth in Melbourne.
I know that racial profiling of Pacific Islanders in Melbourne is an issue. I feel it as I walk into a store and am followed by the sales clerk as if I were the pied piper playing my pipe. I have heard the stories from parents and children. I read and hear the media coverage.
Even though we are all decent human beings with the best of intentions, we are all wearing a coloured lens through which we see the world. Our lenses are individual to each of us and is coloured by our language, culture, people around us, our education, what we see and hear and our experiences.
One of the reasons we chose to make a CD is so we can close our eyes to our tainted lenses and hear the clear voices of Pacific Youth sharing their stories. So that the colour of our skin, the wideness of our nose, the broadness of our shoulders, the curl in our hair, the taro in our thighs and the cheekiness of our grin will not interfere with our need to be heard.
Our hope is that you are able to be more conscious of your thoughts while you listen to the CD so that you are more aware of the coloured lens through which you see the world.
For more information on Women's Health West please visit their website www.whwest.org