Young Mercy Links Celebrate Mercy Day through connecting and deconstructing
On Sunday September 26, Young Mercy Links South Australia and Victoria joint in a virtual training session with Erfan Daliri, a social change consultant and CEO of Kind Enterprise. The Diversity Engagement programme is designed for those who wish to connect and communicate more genuinely and effectively with newly arrived migrant, refugee and asylum seeker communities. Both YML groups have a keen interest in justice issues surrounding these marginalised groups and spend much of their volunteering time advocating and providing practical support for local asylum seeker and refugee communities.
Two of our members speak of their involvement in the training:
‘Today a group of us participated in an anti-racism workshop hosted by Erfan Daliri that covered the historical conceptions of race, and how this has developed into systemic racism. Learning this history was really important to providing a fundamental understanding of how race is a social construct, yet has established deep roots within our society that still exists and impacts us today. Erfan provided guidance to identifying our own unconscious bias and expanded our emotional literacy for conversations on racism that helped us to deconstruct these biases. I particularly enjoyed learning how the coding of language through subtexts, euphemisms, and dog-whistling not only in media but in everyday conversation allows for racism to perpetrate. It was an incredibly insightful session that left us feeling empowered and ready to learn more. After the workshop we had a lovely small Mercy Day celebration to bring a nice end to the day.’
Isabel Clements (YML VIC)
‘Conversations about race can bring up the whole range of emotions – from anxiety, to anger, to empathy and self-consciousness – both for people who face racism and for those who are privileged due to their ethnicity. This was the starting point of a diversity engagement workshop that members of Young Mercy Links Victoria and South Australia were grateful to participate in together, run by educator Erfan Daliri on Sunday. In the workshop, we unpacked concepts and language surrounding race and discrimination, the history of racism, and unconscious biases that we might hold. Erfan’s workshop equipped us with tips and insights for having truthful conversations and built on our confidence to go forward as individuals and a group as part of the movement towards racial unity. Following the workshop, members of YML stayed together and had the chance to get to know the amazing members in each other’s cities (as well as members in our own city!). We were especially encouraged by the hope-giving actions that each group had been doing within the limitations of their situations and had a chance to reflect on our common root of Mercy as well. We send a special thank you to Gaby and Angela for organizing the workshop too!
Ada Snell (YML SA)
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