International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

“No one was born hating anyone because of the color of their skin, their background, or their religion.”

– Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

To celebrate March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the City of Erlangen is arranging an event called International Weeks Against Racism (Internationale Wochen gegen Rassismus) from March 11-26, 2023. With worrisome incidents of racism and discrimination on the rise across the country, the event is an opportunity to learn more about the current climate and prevent such disturbing actions from taking place.

The FIS is working with the City of Erlangen and we will also be commemorating these weeks. A program of events is being developed and more information will be communicated over the coming weeks. For now, I would like to highlight one event that will take place on 23 March. This is a Human Library. A Human Library is to build a positive framework for conversations and for people to share insights and experiences. If you are interested in being part of the Human Library please do not hesitate to contact me. All positive initiatives start with dialogue and we always welcome dialogue at the FIS. If you are interested in being part of the Human Library please contact .

As an international school rooted in values, at the FIS we are striving to do more than develop an inclusive and culturally responsive community reflecting the diversity in our schools and our Germany community. We are also committed to improving our cultural sensitivity and responsiveness of our school and ensuring that culturally diverse people are well-represented and supported at all levels across German international schools.

We aspire to help students and colleagues across all racial and ethnic groups to deeply understand the realities of minority interactions with law-enforcement and judicial systems locally and elsewhere. We also encourage our members to form interracial coalitions that peacefully oppose racism and pursue racial equity for marginalized individuals. We strongly believe that we are responsible for standing up to and speaking out against racism and injustice.

Many of you may have read Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an antiracist. Here Kendi challenges us to think and points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. He has recently published a new book with Nic Stone, How to be an (young) antiracist? empowers teen readers to help create a more just society. This book explores how young adults will have a map to carve their own path. Kendi and Stone have revised this work to provide anecdotes and data that speaks directly to the experiences and concerns of younger readers, encouraging them to think critically and build a more equitable world in doing so. Copies of which will soon be available in our libraries.

However, we do not want this to be an “event” or mere tokenism. Our curriculum continually explores aspects of identity and this can be complex, multi-facets and fluid in an international school. The FIS is also exploring becoming part of Schule mit Courage – Schule ohne Rassismus. This is not just a program that challenges racism, it is a lot more. It offers students and educators the opportunity to actively help shape the climate at their school. And they do so by consciously opposing any form of discrimination, bullying and violence. But first things first, and I hope you will join us in commemorating the weeks against racism at the FIS.

Liam Browne
Head of School

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