Supporting more inclusive school communities

June 24, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Educators, community and religious leaders and both sides of politics came together to support the development of more culturally inclusive schools at Together For Humanity’s fundraiser at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Rabbi Zalman Kastel, John Richardson, David Gonski and Diane Harapin

Danny Abdallah, Co-founder of i4give Week delivered the keynote following a private viewing of the 2022 Archibald Prize. Danny and wife Leila’s heartbreaking story of losing three children and a niece to a drunk and drugged driver, and their decision to forgive the driver, brought many to tears and inspired all who were in attendance.

Together For Humanity’s Chief Executive Officer, Diane Harapin, said funds raised would enable the organisation to significantly further its mission of tackling prejudice and fostering understanding and respect between people from different backgrounds.

“We are expanding the organisation to reach even more students including those in regional and remote Australia, ensuring more children feel like they belong,” said Mrs. Harapin.

A recent study shows that one in three Australian teens report experiencing discrimination.

Since 2002, the charity has worked with schools and their communities to combat prejudice and drive social cohesion.

Founder and National Director, Rabbi Zalman Kastel said “living together and appreciating our multicultural differences are the bedrock of our Australian society. The work we do with school communities is critical in breaking down cultural and religious barriers and increasing social harmony,” he said.

Rabbi Kastel added that funds raised on the night come at a crucial time as communities continue to grapple with the impacts of the pandemic.

“COVID has weakened the glue that holds us together. Going forward, we need to strengthen the fabric of our society and rebuild trust and connection. Where better to start than in our schools with our future generations?” he said.

The event was a great success in terms of fundraising and awareness, with over 300 people in attendance to support Together For Humanity’s cause.

Independent evaluation by Western Sydney University confirmed that Together For Humanity is successfully assisting students to: (1) challenge stereotypes, (2) deal with prejudice and discrimination, (3) reduce their fears about cultural difference, (4) develop empathy and mutual acceptance and (5) develop a sense of belonging and connection across cultural and faith divides.

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