Hello again! Your Ethnic Affairs Officers here! The Autonomous Collective Against Racism (ACAR) had a fantastic turnout this OWeek and we were very pleased to work closely with the newly formed Muslim Wom*ns Collective at our stall. We gave out over 150 gift bags with pamphlets and other information about fighting racism on campus, online resources and our inaugural zine with contributions from students of colour. We hope these materials will continue to inform students about our collective and our aims in providing a racist-free and safe university space.
During OWeek we hosted our first two events of the year. The first was a Safe Spaces panel where our speakers, Riki Scanlan, Subeta Vimalarajah and ourselves, Eden and Lamisse discussed what is necessary to create safe spaces so no Person of Colour, wom*n, queer or disabled individual feels threatened, silenced or attacked. We also talked about how safe spaces could be fostered and how all people can contribute to making marginalized people feel welcome in social spaces.
Our second event was an autonomous mixer where new and old members of ACAR could meet and come together as a collective. It was great to see the intersectionality in this years collective, with queer and wom*n of colour becoming more involved with ACAR. This social event is one of many we hope to hold to allow students of colour to mix together and move away from a political sphere of discussion.
ACAR also applauds the many queer and wom*n of colour who were involved with International Women’s Day and celebrated the successful (and rain-free) Mardi Gras. These two events are important because they remind us about the successes of both queer and wom*n of colour as well as highlight the continued struggle they both face in society.
If you missed us at OWeek, never fear! It’s easy to join us during the year. We’re in the midst of choosing a collective meeting time, but until then, we have a fantastic Facebook group where we discuss and organise. Likewise if you want to keep up with our events and campaigns, but maybe don’t identify as a Person of Colour, chuck us a ‘like’ on our ACAR Facebook page: www.facebook.com/usydacar
Have a great week!
Ethnic Affairs Officers