Most New Zealanders were deeply shocked by the Christchurch mosque attacks on 15 March 2019.
For human-rights activist Anjum Rahman they confirmed her view that we need a national strategy to ensure that Aotearoa New Zealand is a place where everyone feels they belong – regardless of their ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability status.
“We’d been talking about it before the attack, but afterwards it became evident that it was imperative,” she says. “There were lots of people trying to make a difference, but no overall strategy. We needed someone to step back and take a birds-eye view.”
A few months after the attack she helped set up the Inclusive Aotearoa Collective, a collaboration of people across the country committed to building a socially inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.
To develop the strategy, the Collective is running a series of road trips, holding meetings around the country to get people’s answers to three simple questions about what it means to belong in Aotearoa New Zealand. The answers will be analysed to find common themes that can be used to inform the strategy. It’s also possible to answer the questions online.
“We have no preconceived ideas about what the strategy might be. We see ourselves as the conduit of the community voice,” says Anjum.
Once the strategy is developed, the Collective will support and co-ordinate its implementation.
The Todd Foundation is one of several funders assisting the Collective to achieve its goals, as part of a range of support we offered following the attacks.
For more information click here to visit their website.