Following the terrible attacks on the Christchurch mosques on 15 March, Durham Street Methodists, Community & Public Health, and Social Equity & Well-being Network (SEWN) called a lunchtime meeting, Being Unbreakable, to debrief, regroup and share ideas to consider how the sense of love and connectedness in our city could be supported to continue and strengthen.
One of the initiatives to come from this is that ActionStation is bringing to Christchurch its Tauiwi Tautoko training programme for volunteers to learn the skills to have online conversations that challenge Islamophobia and racism toward Māori and people from refugee backgrounds with evidence-based listening and messaging techniques. Every day the volunteers work together in the comments sections to inject aroha and compassion, and to model a better way of interacting with one another in the digital age.
The time requirement for participating in the training programme is significant. It requires between 2.5 and 3 hours a week for the ten weeks (webinar, learning resources and online convos combined). It also starts with a hui on Saturday 10 August (9:00am-4:30pm), at which attendance is required, and continues with weekly webinar, reading and practicing on-line. The training finishes with a half day hui on Saturday 19 October (10:00am-2:30pm).
The whole initiative is research-driven and is based on not just having smart responses to shut people down, but trains and supports volunteers to listen, engage and discuss to find common ground with the goal of educating, supporting and encouraging people to develop more caring, thoughtful and informed responses to people who are different.
You can apply here to be a part of this programme. Volunteers are being selected now for the August-October training, so if you are interested and able to make the commitment, apply now. Training is free (thanks to a local donor), but places are limited. More info is available at as.org.nz/tauiwi. If you have any questions you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training up an Army of People who can Inject Love and Light into On-line Spaces: Hear folk from ActionStation interviewed about Tauiwi Tautoko on TV One “Breakfast”.