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Social Justice Week (SJW) 2022 will take place from Sunday 4th September – Saturday 10th September. This year Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has produced resources on “Whakakāhoretia te kaikiri. Kotahi anō tātou I roto i te Karaiti” (Say no to racism. We are one in Christ).
Aotearoa New Zealand has a long history of racism that continues to be prevalent throughout our communities. Evidence from education, healthcare and justice sectors show substantial disparities in outcomes for Māori and Pacific New Zealanders. The disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Māori and Pacific populations has built momentum around a reconsideration of racial issues in this country and an increasing awareness of Te Tiriti o Waitangi rights.
The Church has publicly denounced racism. We now need to consider what contribution we can make to promoting justice and building peace as one human family in Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s timely that we reflect on this before Te Wiki o te Reo (Māori Language Week), when we recognise and uphold the place of te Reo Māori as the first language of this land. Caritas invites everyone to use this week as the beginning of their individual and collective journeys towards addressing racism in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Social Justice Week in Parishes
This year, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has provided parishes with resources for the week. The parish resources for Social Justice Week 2022 include a resource guide, a liturgy booklet, and the poster, featured on right.
The aim of these resources is to encourage reflection and discussion around how we see racism in the world, in our communities, and in ourselves. The liturgy booklet contains suggestions for songs, prayers, readings and reflections for Social Justice Week 2022. The resource guide outlines the theme, with case studies on racism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and small group discussion guides. Throughout the resource guide there is also a discussion on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, including events leading to and following the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and what we can do to see Te Tiriti o Waitangi upheld in our communities today.
Whakakāhoretia te kaikiri. Kotahi anō tātou i roto i te Karaiti. Say no to racism. We are one in Christ
Social Justice Week in Schools
The hope is that students will be challenged and inspired through Social Justice Week each year. The resources this year have been designed to highlight the negative impacts of racial discrimination, but also to remind students of our call to be like Jesus and show love, respect and understanding in all our relationships.
Racism in Aotearoa New Zealand is something that should be reflected on and challenged at all age levels. One unique component to this year’s resources is the new Caritas board game called Push & Pull. The game is easy to set up and can be played at three levels. It is a quick game, taking approximately 10–15 minutes, and is a great tool for students to learn and reflect upon daily actions and how we can either push others away (discrimination) or pull people closer (love and acceptance).
Another great way for students to respond to Social Justice Week 2022 is by using the SEE – JUDGE – ACT process found on the Action Cards. After answering key focus questions, students are challenged to set one related goal for their own lives. If we were all to make one goal towards positive change in our lives, then together we could make this world a
Other resources produced for schools this year include daily prayers for the week, notes for teachers, activities for the week which cater to three different levels of comprehension, liturgy suggestions, and the poster.
The development of the resources was based around the SEE – JUDGE – ACT method, developed by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn in the 1920s. This framework is grounded in Catholic social teaching (CST) – it is a way of looking at a situation, analysing it, and taking appropriate action through the CST principles. The nine CST principles can guide us on how to be one in Christ.