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Race lines and spaces of political action among migrant youth
journal contributionposted on 2015-04-21, 00:00 authored by M Mikola, Fethi MansouriFethi Mansouri
Recently proposed Anti-Racism Strategy established within a framework of the Australian Government's multicultural policy, People of Australia, identifies ‘youth engagement’ as one of the key areas that needs to be promoted and supported. Young people have been invited to join youth councils and youth forums and work with national, state and local policy-makers. Some have taken up this challenge and became public faces and active members of anti-racism campaigns. Others, however, either remained silent about the discrimination they face, or organised their own grassroots youth-based and youth-led initiatives. This paper discusses individual and collective responses to racism among young people in Australia, focusing on Melbourne, and examines possibilities in which racism, as a common experience among migrant youth, can be utilised to form alternative spaces for political action, challenging not only interpersonal, but also systemic forms of racism. By drawing attention towards institutional and systemic forms of racism, and the historical perpetuation of racist practices, these youth initiatives rely on legal measures, and argue that racism should be discussed in the context of the broader Australian society, not only in relation to minority groups.