Wednesday 12 June 2013

The Commission has launched a video clip for the song, ‘What you say matters’, performed by Indigenous hip-hop artist Brothablack and featuring students from James Meehan High School in Macquarie Fields, South West Sydney.

The ‘What you say matters’ clip was shot and launched at James Meehan High School, funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) under the National Anti-Racism Strategy and produced by the Commission in partnership with Brothablack, MediaRock, Zuni Pty Ltd and the School.

“This clip is part of an innovative anti-racism resource aimed at young people, which is associated with our racism It Stops With Me campaign,” said Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs. “It features the young people who designed and performed the scenarios depicted in the video clip in response to the issue of racism in the world around us and to Brothablack’s lyrics.”

Apart from the clip, the ‘What you say matters’ resource includes a series of downloadable fact sheets that address what racism is, why people are racist, who experiences racism, where it happens, why it’s a problem, what we can do and the laws that address it. There is also a ‘Behind the scenes’ page about making the video and the students involved.

National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, said the purpose of the entire ‘What you say matters’ resource was to educate young people about racism and to empower them to respond safely to racism when they experience or witness it.

“We hope that the ‘What you say matters’ clip and resource will be seen as a positive initiative aimed at preventing racism from happening in the first place and ensuring that, when it does, young people are better able to respond in a way that is safe for them and those around them,” Commissioner Mitchell said.

The design of the overall resource has been informed by social media research the Commission undertook in early 2013 for which over 2000 young people aged 13-17 were surveyed about their experiences with racism and what they wanted to know about it. It found that nearly 9 out of 10 young people we surveyed had experienced some kind of racism. Nearly half (43%) had experienced it at school and a third (33%) on the internet.

In part, Brothablack wrote the lyrics in response to these findings and workshopped the scenes in collaboration with the James Meehan High School students based on real life experiences and the issues that are important to them.

The ‘What you say matters’ resource is available online at: