connect, grow & thrive.

#Blacklivesmatter in Lucerne

Last Saturday we had a discussion group at the LiLi Centre to share our feelings/frustrations with regards to the topic of #blacklivesmatter and look at the best ways to move forward.

Present were several Americans but also people from other countries as well as Swiss. It was frank and open discussion about racism where grief was given space and ideas were shared on how we can grow as people and make a difference in society.

The main point is that this affects all of us, and that Switzerland is also home to racism. It might be as diffuse as micro-racism, a tone of voice or body language that tells someone from elsewhere that they are not welcome or trusted; or full on aggression either through bullying, making fun of or being aggressive towards them. Obviously the main difference between the United Sates of America and here is that, thankfully, police brutality is not something that is prevalent in Switzerland.

In order to move forward and let go of fears and prejudices it is important to become educated to what it means to be a person of different colour or ethnic background. By educating ourselves we are then able to educate those around us and this will have a ripple effect as they go on to educate those around them.

No one is born a racist, people become racist through their surroundings and upbringing as well as the messages that society pushes their way. Education is the way to better understand these issues, put the fear aside and learn to love one another again.

There are plenty of book lists out there for people to look at and choose from but this one is very comprehensive from the Goodreads website.

NPR also offers a great list of books, podcasts and films to watch.

Linkedin also offers a great free course on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.

Furthermore the LiLi Centre will continue to tackle this issue by offering discussion groups for youths aged 11 to 17 and having further discussion groups for adults, where we will discuss the books, films or podcasts we have listened to on the topic of racism. If you are interested in being added to the list of participants. Email us at info@lilicentre.ch

Finally here is a really good speech that explains a lot.

charlie.hartmann@livinginluzern.swiss

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.

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