Built on much-needed conversations and skills gained during the “Reckoning with Systematic Racism” global workshop, in the Fall of 2021, six Sites of Conscience in Africa designed video engagement projects that capture and share the narratives of indigenous, racial, and ethnic minorities in their communities. These projects were made possible through this year’s first round of community engagement grants – collectively titled, “Racism Past and Present Through a New Lens,” and supported by the Coalition.

The “Racism Past and Present Through a New Lens” community engagement grants tell the vital stories of the most vulnerable and underrepresented among us, many of whom are often excluded in mainstream media and official narratives. This lack of representation contributes to a lack of understanding that drives racism, xenophobia, and other forms of hatred and also prevents communities from uniting towards long-lasting peace.

The following six projects aim to serve as a vehicle for community-led social and cultural change, with each project raising awareness about local historic inequities that have led to contemporary systemic racism, and increasing understanding of where the false and dangerous narratives about racial and ethnic groups originated.

Raising Grandmothers Voices of Wisdom

This project aims to amplify the voices of Maasai grandmothers at Ol Maroroi Village at the foot of the Ngong Hills in Kajiado County to share much-needed values, life skills, and wisdom with the younger generation of Maasai girls. The project seeks to foster healthy intergenerational dialogues to solve societal issues.

The Untold Stories of Banyamulenge

In the Eastern Congo, violent racial divisions, genocidal and ethnic cleansing killings have been perpetrated against the Banyamulenge population for decades.

This short documentary film raises awareness of the injustices they are facing through captivating stories of victims and survivors of these crimes against humanity.

Cissie Gool House

In March 2017, a multi-ethnic group of homeless people occupied Woodstock Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Today, the site houses 900 people, although city officials have begun to use brutal force to evict those living there. This video shares the stories of three occupants to give their narratives visibility and advocate for affordable housing in the city

Countering Afro-Racial Tensions and Discrimination

The project addresses the intermittent racial tensions between the indigenous communities and the Afro-Asians in Mbale City, Uganda, with the view toward documenting and facilitating inter-racial dialogue, peacebuilding, and diversity management.

Stop Discriminating Against Me

This project sheds light on the discrimination against refugees and immigrants in Rwanda and Burundi through theatrical stories performed on stage. This project aims to foster a deeper understanding of the negative effects of discrimination against refugees and immigrants.

Young Ambassadors for the Deconstruction of Racism and Ethnocentrism

Ratoma, a subsection of Conakry, Guinea, is deeply affected by ethnocentrism. In an effort to rectify this, this project focus on educating youth to combat this threat to democracy and racism generally by becoming ambassadors of peace.