Yesterday at school we celebrated Harmony Day with a visit from a wonderful group of people from the Torres Straits. Harmony Day is celebrated around Australia on 21 March each year. It's a day where all Australians celebrate our cultural diversity. The day is also the United Nation's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The message for Harmony Day in 2011 is that Everyone Belongs, which means all Australians are a welcome part of our country, regardless of their background. Our school has extended this message to become Harmony Week. This is extremely fitting given that the school community is quite homogenous and needs to be made more aware of cultural diversity.
Today is American author Karen Lynn Williams' birthday. She is the perfect author for this week as she has lived and worked in developing countries and worked tirelessly with refugees in her own country. She has written widely based on her experience and her books certainly help in the quest to eliminate racial discrimination. We have three of her books (pictured) in our library perfect for discussion on a variety of topics from racism, sexism, inclusion to family similarities if it is with very young children. You can read blurbs, reviews and teaching suggestions for the books on her website.