We had the privilege of talking to some of the brightest, most articulate, and driven young minds we've ever had the pleasure of having in our studio today: The Black Lives Matter Solidarity Group Aotearoa.
They are the group responsible for organising the Black Lives Matter march that went down in Aotea square last Monday, and their message is clear, the system MUST change.
We were joined in the studio by Shalane Williams, Mazbou Q, Mez Swami, Mahlete Tekeste (aka Lulu), Elyssia Ra'nee Wilson-Heti, and Shelley Te Haara (who filmed on behalf of the group).
We discussed everything from how the BLM movement applies to Aotearoa, the changes that need to happen, the oppressive systems that are in place, and ultimately what we can all do to be better and do better in our fight against injustice.
We as a station have unfortunately sometimes shied away from such confronting conversations, letting our fear of the response dictate the content that we cover. But we have a responsibilty as an iwi founded station, particularly one that leverages off of African American music and culture, to represent our people the right way and let their voices be heard.
We can no longer stay silent on the matter and it is our duty to as one of the only mainstream Māori and Pasifika radio stations to stand up and speak for those that don't have a voice or a platform to do so. Aotearoa, hold us accountable.
If you would like to further explore what was discussed in this interview, our guests were kind enough to share some very helpful resources, as well as organisations that you can subscribe and contribute to if you wish:
- Write to local MPs about the militarisation of police in NZ: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad: https://www.meandwhitesupremacybook.com/
- Rachel Cargle: https://www.rachelcargle.com/
- Sonya Renee Taylor: https://www.sonyareneetaylor.com/
- Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
As a station we would like to thank the Black Lives Matter Solidarity Group Aotearoa for their patience with us as we navigate these uncomfortable conversations, and thank them for opening up their minds and hearts to educate us on how we can make a difference.