Most health students and staff don’t like racism of any kind, but perceive it as being particularly unacceptable when it occurs in education or in health care, where it targets both the young and the sick – our most vulnerable citizens in what should be a safe environment.1
Many health workers also say that they don’t know what to say or do when they witness racism and have reported that they would like to respond more effectively to it. Some report that they do not feel confident about speaking out and that they are frightened about a backlash, especially if the racism comes from a person senior to them. Others say they don’t want to make a ‘scene’, especially as people who say racist things are often ‘punchy ‘ and argumentative. Others say that they know they should have said something at the time and feel guilty about not doing so. 1
The STAR Project is a dignified way of Standing Together Against Racism. The STAR Project is realistic - wearing a badge will not solve all the problems with racism in health care. Racism goes much deeper than those everyday, cruel comments and acts that patients might experience. However, the more people who wear a STAR the less comfortable it will be for racism.
Be one of the 100 000 people in health care who STAR by June 2013!
1. Grant M, Felton-Busch C, Elston J, Saunders V, Crossland L, Solomon S, Payne C.
Bulletproofing Indigenous Health Students and Staff Against Racism. Proceedings
of the Australian Rural Health Alliance Conference. Keynote Address. Cairns. 2009.