Race Relations Day


Every year the 21st of March is observed around the globe as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The date recalls the tragic loss of life at Sharpeville in South Africa in 1960, and is dedicated by the United Nations to the achievement of the goals of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. New Zealand signed the convention on 25 October 1966 and ratified it on 22 November 1972.

Community groups, councils, schools, workplaces, marae and places of worship are encouraged to celebrate the value of cultural diversity and the need to support harmonious race relations. Wellington City Libraries is celebrating in many different ways, and we’d love for you to join us!

What’s happening at our libraries to mark this day?

  • Mervyn Kemp Library (in Tawa) has — in partnership with school children from St Francis de Xavier and the Human Rights Commission — collected family stories describing whakapapa and settlement in Aotearoa. These stories will be collected into a book which will be part of our lending collection.
  • Newtown library has a special multilingual storytime today at 10.30 followed by a shared morning tea (bring a plate!)
  • Johnsonville library has activities planned with class visits. Make sure also to check out their special bilingual picture book displays! (Miramar Library will also be having special bilingual picture book displays.)
  • Come along to Karori library after school today from 3.30-4.30 forĀ  a special treat with Chinese music, belly dancing and kapa haka!
  • And last but certainly not least – we will be having a Russian Morning Tea at Cummings Park Library (in Ngaio), at 11am on Thursday 22 March. We’ll be drinking Russian tea made in a samovar and exploring the fantastic collection of translated Russian material available at Wellington City Libraries!

Everyone is welcome to these free events. Come along – we’d love to see you there!

If you want to contribute by sharing your family story, please have a look at our Community Stories page. We look forward to hearing from you!