The Religious Diversity Centre, together with the Auckland Interfaith Council, will host this year the 8th annual Leadership Diversity Day. And as in 2019 two Days will be held, one in South Auckland as well as one in the central part of the city.
The Days are planned for Year 12 students preparing for their last year as senior students in their school. The secondary schools across Auckland are invited to send a group of Year 12 students with a teacher. For many students this is their first experience of meeting and talking with students from other schools. For many it is their first experience of talking about religion and religions.
The venue for each day is the wharenui of the Marae at Unitec University of Technology and at the Manukau Institute of Technology. The day begins with a powhiri and an introduction to the wharenui and Maori spirituality, thus setting the standard and the spirit of the Day.
The heart of the programme is provided by young people who give presentations on two topical issues – such as ‘building community’ and ‘facing the threat of climate change’ – from the perspective of the different world religions to which they belong. Discussion in small mixed groups follows each set of presentations. Without fail the students are fully engaged and discussion is lively. The other part of the day gives the students the opportunity to consider leadership in a diverse environment.
This year the Auckland Days will be held on Wednesday 19 May in central Auckland and Thursday 27 May in South Auckland.
From students: “Hearing other students talk about their own religions was really helpful. It helped to break the stereotypes!”
“You got to open your mind to a variety of viewpoints and opinions on the questions that I would never have even thought about!”
“It is important for a leader to realise that people have different views and ideas.”
From teachers: “Whole cohorts should be discussing this very issue.”
“This hands on experience broadens the students’ views… “
“The student interactions were great to see.”
The RDC is able to assist any group in other places who wish to organise the Leadership Diversity Day for Year 12 students from the secondary schools in their area.