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'Belonging and inclusion' community conversations kick off - Inclusive Aotearoa Collective

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Community conversations around the concepts of belonging and inclusion are taking place between 13 and 17 July in a road trip of events that will be heading through towns from Masterton to Te Kuiti.

A part of 64 events planned and facilitated by Inclusive Aotearoa Collective Tāhono as part of its 2020 project, these community conversations are being held to learn first-hand what belonging feels like, what hinders this, and what needs to change.

Inclusive Aotearoa Collective Tāhono was formed last year with the support of people across the country who are committed to building an inclusive society. This year, the focus is on connecting with a wide range of New Zealanders to hear their experiences on belonging and inclusion.

This will be used to develop a strategy, which will be implemented by forming ‘constellations’ - a network of people and organisations working together on a common goal.

"We have a vision for a country where everyone has a place to belong," says Anjum Rahman, Founder and Project Lead for Inclusive Aotearoa Collective Tāhono.

"The freedom to thrive, to be understood and appreciated for your individuality - and to be embraced as a valued member of New Zealand society. These are all things we want as individuals and communities. This initiative will focus on how we can support that.

"The project gives us a platform to talk to as many people as possible about their experiences and insights."Events will be held in Masterton, Eketahuna, Palmerston, Bulls, Whanganui, New Plymouth and Te Kuiti. The project is also running online surveys and three major Hui in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland.

"Discrimination and exclusion touch so many of us in different ways," says Rahman. "By holding conversations with those affected, we can develop a way forward based on their stories, their needs and their suggestions for change."

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