The 11th annual New Zealand Diversity Forum, organised by the Human Rights Commission, will be held at AUT’s Auckland campus on 9 September 2015. The theme for the 2015 forum is 'Empathy in the face of Diversity'.
The forum is a platform which brings together individuals and organisations to share ideas and good practice on cultural diversity and positive race relations.
Originally created in 2004 following a community response to the desecration of two Jewish Cemeteries, the Diversity Forum is organised and facilitated by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission with a focus on practical action.
Usually held towards the end of August or beginning of September, the forum takes place in a different city each year, having been in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton.
The keynote speaker at this year’s forum is Dr Gill Hicks, a double amputee as a result of the London bombings in July 2005. In 2007 Gill founded the not for profit organisation M.A.D. for Peace, a platform that connects people globally and encourages us to think of 'peace' as a verb, something that we have an individual responsibility to do every day. In parallel, her work confronting violent extremism through counter narrative and communication is at the forefront of current international thinking.
Associate Professor Gail Pacheco (Co-Director of the New Zealand Work Research Institute, AUT) and Professor Edwina Pio, also from AUT, will respectively present the findings from their research on the effect discrimination has on physical and mental health and religion in the workplace.
Other speakers include, but are not limited to: Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy and Police Commissioner Mike Bush. Forum participants will be welcomed by AUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Rob Allen.
Unique insight and perspectives are also shared by a wide range of organisations, each offering their own particular forums on important topics including but not limited to refugee issue, cultural and workplace diversity, religion, language, and human rights. Keynote speakers round off the event, sharing new research and interesting experiences.
A cooperative enterprise, the Diversity Forum is a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of the different needs, issues and interests of what is the varied and diverse society which make up today’s Aotearoa New Zealand.