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Working To End Racial Oppression Supported By $10m MBIE Grant

Press Release – University of Waikato

Researchers at the University of Waikato are leading a project that will investigate racial oppression across society. Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki, Dr Arama Rata and Professor Francis Collins say that racism is a social structure that underpins forms of interpersonal …

Researchers at the University of Waikato are leading a project that will investigate racial oppression across society. Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki, Dr Arama Rata and Professor Francis Collins say that racism is a social structure that underpins forms of interpersonal and institutional discrimination, which has detrimental effects on 21st Century Aotearoa New Zealand.

The project, Working to End Racial Oppression (WERO), has received an MBIE Endeavour Fund grant of $10m over five years and involves a multi-institute team of 21 researchers from New Zealand and Canada.

WERO is an interdisciplinary, community-informed and international research programme combining three interlinked research aims. The research goals are to examine the individualised, community and societal costs or impacts of racism, to understand how inequities are created and perpetuated in social and institutional systems, and to identify responses that government, institutions and communities can use to challenge racism.

“Racism is evident in the inequitable outcomes across almost every indicator of wellbeing, including those within health, education, housing, employment and justice. While racism is systemic and structural, racism is also socially constructed and maintained and can therefore be dismantled. The links between racism and inequities are visible or hidden. When demands for attention are made, we must respond appropriately if we want to contribute to an inclusive and thriving society,” the team said.

The research team add that the project will examine systems through which racism is reproduced by analysing:

The Crown institutions that regulate, train and employ health professionals and their impact on consumers

The settler colonial racialisation of differentially positioned communities of colour, including tangata whenua, tangata Moana, and migrants of colour

The maintenance of settler colonial narratives through national commemorations

The role of privileged populations in excluding racialised communities

The significance of employment and housing systems in maintaining inequalities

The role of technologies (e.g. social media) in exacerbating inequalities.

Outcomes of the project will include responses to racism such as the development and dissemination of

toolkits to audit and address institutional racism, protocols to promote inclusive online communication,

strategies for building relationships between racialised communities and guidelines for the ethical

remembering of New Zealand history.

The programme assembles knowledge experts in Māori studies, immigration, economics,

data science, human geography, Pacific studies, justice, sociology and psychology, and will amplify innovation by bringing these knowledge systems into dialogue, towards the transformational long-term agenda of ending racial oppression in Aotearoa.

The team involved in Working to End Racial Oppression (WERO), includes:

Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki, University of Waikato

Dr Arama Rata, University of Waikato

Professor Francis Collins, University of Waikato

Dr Omoniyi Alimi, University of Waikato

Associate Professor Polly Atatoa Carr, University of Waikato

Jacinta Forde, University of Waikato

Dr Justin Phillips, University of Waikato

Associate Professor Tom Roa, University of Waikato

Dr Maree Roche, University of Waikato

Dr Ottilie Stolte, University of Waikato

Assistant Professor Jeffrey Ansloos, University of Toronto

Dr Donna Cormack, University of Auckland

Dr Michelle Johnson-Jennings, University of Saskatchewan

Dr Sandy Lee, University of Auckland

Dr Dave Maré, Motu: Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

Dr Karlo Mila, Mana Moana

Bilal Nasier, University of Auckland

Tina Ngata, Consultant

Dr Damian Scarf, University of Otago

Associate Professor Rachel Simon-Kumar, University of Auckland

Anne Waapu, Ngāti Kahungunu

Project Advisors are:

Dr Tawhanga Nopera, University of Waikato

Associate Professor Alice Te Punga Somerville, University of Waikato

Professor Tracey McIntosh, University of Auckland

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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