At E-Raced, our purpose is to educate, bring awareness and embrace the fact that Australia is a diverse and multicultural country. We do not have a political agenda; however, it is quite evident that majority of schools in Queensland do not have programs such as ours. We focus on issues of refugees and migrants leaving in Australia and bring change in the school system across Australia. We not only share stories and experiences but also share our cultures, music, games, dance, fashion, and ambitions with our fellow young Australians.
We believe that better understanding is good for anyone and everyone, and the best way to achieve it is through the sharing of stories. That’s why our motto is ‘Erasing racism, one story at a time’.
In 2013, E-Raced founder Prudence Melom, a young refugee won the annual ABC Heywire competition. Prudence travelled from her home in Toowoomba to Canberra where she met winners from other regions across Australia. During a forum at parliament house Prudence was given the opportunity to discuss issues effecting young Australians in her community. Together with two other Heywire participants, Prudence came up with a project called E-Raced. E-Raced aims to eliminate racism through story telling. E-Raced not only gives young people the opportunity to have their voice heard and their stories shared, but in doing so will educate others.
E-RACED aims is to erase racism one story at a time.
E-raced harnesses the power of narrative to inform and engage by using a team of story tellers who share their personal experiences as refugees or migrants with students at schools across the Darling Downs.
The program enables students to meet people from other cultures and countries and hear their stories about coming to Australia as a refugee or immigrant. Story tellers share their experiences and provide a face for events which students may have only previously seen on television. A direct retelling of stories enables greater comprehension of another’s experiences and encourages the development of empathy. Positive direct contact and descriptions of personal experiences challenge preconceptions. Conversations enable the identification of similarities as well as differences. Questions provide opportunities for connection and engagement. Students are able to review their own attitudes and expectations in the light of newfound experiences and knowledge.
The social impact of the program is that, by hearing about the stories of a person who has entered Australia as an immigrant or refugee, participants develop a better understanding and appreciation of the experiences of people from other cultures and countries. This increased comprehension and empathy means that racist attitudes and viewpoints are able to be challenged and changed. Racism is erased one story at a time.