Insurer funds anti-racism program with pulled Collingwood sponsorship
12 July 2022 at 2:05 pm
The ‘Racism. It Stops with Me’ campaign has been reborn, in part thanks to footy’s racism scandal.
Insurance giant CGU has redirected half a million dollars in sponsorship of the Collingwood Football Club to a new anti-racism campaign.
The switch comes in the wake of a damning report, released in early 2021, that revealed the club was embroiled in a culture of systemic racism.
CGU Insurance announced in September 2021 that $1 million in sponsorship payments to Collingwood Football Club would instead be directed to programs that promoted racial harmony and equality.
The insurer earmarked $500,000 for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s national ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ campaign.
The other $500,000 was directed to Barrawarn, a program that aims to improve employment and education outcomes for First Nations people.
Barrawarn was created by AFL SportsReady in partnership with the Collingwood Football Club Foundation. Barrawarn is the Woi wurrung for magpie.
CGU’s funding for Barrawarn was intended to support a housing program, crisis hotline and youth development service.
The ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ campaign has been officially relaunched today, supported by CGU’s funding.
The new campaign — a modernisation of the original 2012 initiative — features ambassadors with lived and non-lived experiences with racism, including social commentator Tasneem Chopra OAM, sports commentator and human rights activist Craig Foster AM, Aboriginal model Keyarny Lamb and Melbourne United basketballer Jack White.
The ambassadors will feature in a series of advertisements speaking about their experiences with racism and inequality.
The campaign asks Australians who do not have lived experience of racism to reflect on the causes and impacts of the discrimination, and take steps to address it.
As well as encouraging action on an individual level, the new ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ campaign will include a tool that organisations can use to evaluate and improve their inclusion, diversity and anti-racism practices.
Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan said in a statement that the campaign responds to recent events and will address major challenges to realising racial equity in Australia.
“Racism continues to undermine justice and fairness in Australia. We see it in discrimination and power imbalances that create inequitable outcomes for First Nations and culturally diverse communities. We see it in continued antisemitism and Islamophobia, in the surge of anti-Asian hate during the pandemic, and in the rise of far-right extremism,” Tan said.
“The #BlackLivesMatter movement has demonstrated leadership from First Nations communities and others with lived experience of racism. Now is the time for all Australians to act in support.”
Tasneem Chopra OAM said she hoped the campaign would lead to greater understanding about racism and prompt people with privilege to “use their platforms responsibly to make society more inclusive and practice zero tolerance to racism”.
“The burden of dismantling racism should not lie with people who experience it, but with those who have the resources to educate and help prevent further harm,” Chopra said.
To view the campaign and its resources, visit the campaign website.