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Anchoring our identity

 
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"Diversity enriches our understanding of our identity by exposing us to a multitude of perspectives and experiences", said Pancha Narayanan who presented Multicultural NZ Award for Diversity to Caleb Jenkins, a Year 12 from Auckland’s Selwyn College for fostering empathy and understanding of the cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of Aotearoa at the recently concluded Race Unity Speech Awards 2024. 

The national finals of Race Unity Speech Awards were held on Sunday, 5 May 2024 around the theme ‘The Rope of Unity – Te Taura Tangata’ at Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae at the Manukau Institute of Technology, Tāmaki-makau-rau (Auckland). 

Mr Narayanan added that each speaker brought not just their insights, but their ancestors to the marae, creating a tapestry of histories that deepened our collective identity and connection.

On the day, seven secondary students from around the motu issued different challenges on how Aotearoa can move towards being a racist-free country, at the Race Unity Speech Awards national finals in Auckland on the weekend.

The Year 11 to 13 students delivered touching personal stories and bold solutions around the theme ‘The Rope of Unity – Te Taura Tangata’ at Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae at the Manukau Institute of Technology.

Jessica Tupa’i, Year 12 from Wellington’s St Mary’s College, was named the Race Unity Speech Awards National Champion for 2024 and received the Tohu Raukura ā-Motu – New Zealand Police National Champion’s Award.

Jessica Tupa’i also received the Tohu Auahatanga - Speech NZ Award for Delivery: whose creative and engaging delivery captured the audience’s attention. 

Additionally, Tupa’i also received the Tohu Māramatanga - Bahá’í Community Award for Insight - providing deep insights into how we can bring about the oneness of humanity in Aotearoa.

Leo Mwape, Year 13 from Palmerston North Boys’ High School, received the Tohu Eke Panuku - Human Rights Commission Award for Impact - providing an effective practical suggestion for ending racism and improving race relations in Aotearoa.

Tanyn Wood, Year 12 from Cambridge’s St Peter’s School, received the Tohu Aumangea - Hedi Moani Memorial Award for Advocacy - demonstrating how to stand up for our rights and the rights of others.

Caleb Jenkins, Year 12 from Auckland’s Selwyn College, received the Tohu Ahurea Rau – Multicultural NZ Award for Diversity - fostering empathy and understanding of the cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of Aotearoa.

Tanya Moeono, Year 13 from Dunedin’s Otago Girls’ High School received the Tohu Whetumatarau - Ministry for Ethnic Communities Award for Vision - helping to envision Aotearoa’s future as a multicultural society founded on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Ansh Dhot, Year 13 from Tauranga Girls’ College received the Tohu Manaakitanga - Manukau Institute of Technology Award for Manaakitanga - demonstrating manaakitanga through ngākau (compassion) and aroha (empathy) in overcoming prejudice and building bonds of kotahitanga (unity).

Rewi Te Kani-Nankivell Jr., Year 11 from Te Tai Rāwhiti’s Campion College, received the Tohu Manukura i te Reo - Māori Language Commission Award for te Reo Māori - using te reo Māori eloquently and effectively in their speech.

The Race Unity Speech Awards are organised by the New Zealand Bahá’í Community and were established after the tragic death of race relations advocate and Bahá’í Faith member Hedi Moani.

Anchoring our identity

 
 
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