This week the Columbans in Ireland launched the 2021 schools media competition. This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Create A World Without Racism’. The competition is open to students aged 14-18 years old.
The objective is to encourage students to use their media skills to look at an issue which is relevant to society today and resonates with Catholic Social Teaching.
The competition is open to writing and image entries until 20 February 2021 and winners will be announced on 15 March 2021.
In June this year, after the death of George Floyd in the United States, Pope Francis said, “we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”
Young people in Ireland and Britain have been out on the streets calling for an end of racism. This is a chance to engage with an issue that addresses equality, justice, inclusion and also draws on faith and personal experience.
A core aspect of Columban mission is crossing boundaries of language, race, culture and religion.
In Ireland, the Columbans support the Migrants Rights Centre of Ireland and the Columban Centre, both of which outreach to migrants and campaign to end racism.
In Britain, Columban Justice and Peace Education Worker, James Trewby, runs training for teachers and workshops with young people challenging myths and preconceptions related to refugees and asylum seekers.
In the US, Columbans on mission at the US/Mexico border support migrants from Latin America who have faced racist attacks and killings in the vicinity of a wall built to keep them out.
In Brazil, Columban Fr Colin McLean co-founded the organisation, ‘Cena Um’ to counter racist attitudes towards Afro-Brazilian youth. Using drama, dance and circus arts it raises social awareness and links slavery to today’s racial discrimination.
This is the fourth media competition for students run by the Columbans in Ireland and Britain.
Past themes looked at Migrants, Climate Change and ‘Tackling our throwaway culture’.
For more information about the Columban schools media competition see: www.columbancompetition.com