Category Archives: racism

Pioneer of interracial marriage dies

 Mildred Loving, a pioneer in the history of interracial marriage, died at her home in Virginia on May 2nd, aged 68. She made history with the aptly named supreme court case Loving v Virginia, in which she and her white husband, Richard, challenged Virginia’s law banning interracial marriage. Their 1967 victory struck down laws banning such unions in the 16 states in which such bans remained. The ruling was unanimous, with the presiding judge, Chief Justice Earl Warren, stating that such laws violated the constitution. 

The Lovings’ court case inspired the formation of a group in America dedicated to supporting interracial relationships and families through diverse means, including holding an annual “Loving Day” on June 12th.

Loving Day’s mission is to fight prejudice through education and to build a sense of community among people who engage in meaningful interracial and intercultural relationships. Goals are:

  • Create a common connection between multicultural communities, groups and individuals
  • Build multicultural awareness, understanding, acceptance, and identity
  • Educate the public about the history of interracial relationships in order to fight prejudice
  • Establish a tradition of Loving Day celebrations as a means to achieve these goals 

In memory of Mildred Loving, and in support of Loving Day, AAN will hold our next picnic in late June – date to be advised, or sign up for email updates. 

AAN calls for political leadership against racism

Today representatives of AAN presented the Say No to Racial Politics petition to Mr Rick Brown, Senior Advisor to Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews. Jill Sergeant (AAN Treasurer) and Nicole Cunningham, (ordinary committee member), delivered a strong call for leadership by the minister and from all politicians in opposing racism.

View the photos of the petition presentation on our Moblog.

There was some discussion of the impact of racism on our communities and Mr Brown put forward the Coalition’s view on the refugee intake policy. Read the Minister’s Statement on the Refugee and Humanitarian Intake 2007 – 2008.

Our delegation offered to act as a resource for the coalition on an ongoing basis, in respect to cross-cultural issues. Jill stated that as members of mixed families we are “at the cutting edge” in building cross-cultural relationships and have considerable expertise to offer.

Mr Brown agreed to present the petition and supporting documentation to the Minister, and to utilise AAN as a resource in future consultations.

We are very happy with the outcome because it was a great opportunity to start dialogue with the Coalition about issues that deeply affect and distress our communities.

The petition gathered 1,773 signatures from all around Australia and overseas, and many signatories added comments. These comments, as we pointed out to Mr Brown, are a valuable resource as they reflect a range of opinions and experiences from the Australian public.

Thanks once again to all who supported the petition! We are very pleased and honoured to have been able to present to the Ministry your strong pro-African statement against racism and stigmatisation.

We plan to provide more detail about the meeting shortly.

We will now start negotiating for a meeting to discuss these issues with the relevant Labor MP.

Great news on the petition!

We have obtained a meeting with a senior advisor to Minister Kevin Andrews first thing Wednesday 14th November! We’ll post a report on the meeting here later this week.

After speaking with the Minister’s staff we will seek a similar meeting with the Shadow Minster and are also considering a follow up at State level.

Thanks for your support!

Petition Update

Thanks to all who have supported our petition. We now have over 1700 signatures.

AAN is currently negotiating to present the petition to Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews by early November. We will also present it to Shadow Minister Tony Burke.

View our Letter to Mr Andrews and supporting documentation.
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If you haven’t yet done so, please sign the petition now. Let’s push that number up past 2,000! Tell your friends.

View the AAN Media Release which was circulated on October 10 (PDF, small file).

For more info and statements on this issue, see AAN condemns Andrews’ statements on African migration

AAN condemns Andrews’ comments on African migration

The Australian African Network Inc. was appalled by the comments of Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews regarding the settlement of African migrants in Australia. Please sign our online petition.

We want to rally support from all Australians to challenge the racist attacks the Minister is making against Sudanese refugees. The government is playing racial politics as a desperate election stunt, but the ramifications of government-endorsed racism on individuals’ lives and communities will impact on the whole society for a long time to come.

Andrews ignores the valuable contributions Africans have already made to Australian society, such as their work in nursing services, aged care, the meat industry, and the music industry.

If the government has concerns about any migrant community’s integration into Australian society, the appropriate course of action should be consultation with that community and the provision of appropriate funding, resources and support, not racist vilification of that community during the politically sensitive pre-election period.

To AAN this is a clear example of racism being used to divide the country. We need all Australians to say NO to racial politics.

We want the government to back down from using racism as an election stunt.

For more info and comment see also:
Refugee Council Media Release.
http://www.africanoz.com.au/
Slamming the door on Africa – comment by Dr Andre Renzaho
Statement on decision to suspend African Refugee intake By the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW, Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AM
REFUGEES:
Back to the future
Comment from Australian Policy online