07 Aug Spotlight | New Zealand Human Rights Commission | Voices of Racism
Brands and organizations all over the world are finding unique, creative and innovative ways to participate and mobilize the public in the fight to end systemic racism. Whether that’s Fortnite’s We the People virtual event or Netflix’s inclusion of a dedicated Black Lives Matter content category, strategies to educate and drive conversation are varied and widespread. Most recently, New Zealand Human Rights Commission collaborated with esteemed actor and director Taika Waititi (known best for Jojo Rabbit) to create an immersive online experience titled Voices of Racism. On this interactive website, visitors can live out the microaggressions people of colour experience on a daily basis, real experiences that people from New Zealand have anonymously shared to inform the initiative.
This creative and emotionally evoking strategy achieved two important goals. First, it allowed white people to become aware of the different reality people of color experience day by day. By making this display an immersive experience, it puts website visitors in the vulnerable positions they may never have experienced before. Secondly, as a result of the first, it illustrates what white privilege is.
The interactive experience is easy to access, easy to understand and includes a sensitivity and age-related disclaimer to ensure listeners are prepared to hear the racists comments that, for the length of their participation, are directed at them. The New Zealand Human Rights Commission demonstrated not only a deep understanding of the layered nature of systemic racism, but a will to educate a wide audience – pushing forward the conversation on discrimination and shared lived experiences to ignite the flame in visitor’s minds and continue the fight towards racial and social justice.