In 2017, Kape Communications Pty Ltd and Walker International Communications Group will work with all our colleagues and peers in New York and Australia to strengthen the cultural, faith and gender diversity in our two nations’ vibrant arts ecologies. We believe that USA and Australia as modern immigration nations must be aggressive in modeling how dialogue and the arts can create respect and dignity for diverse communities.
The law in both our democratic and pluralist societies protects people of all faiths and backgrounds. Our two nations’ acceptance of diversity in faith, culture and language, is an acceptance that have made us unique in the world, regardless of certain dark periods in our history of suspicion and fear.
We interned Japanese, Italian and German citizens at times of global war in the past, and over a hundred years ago we enacted restrictive immigration regimes based on obscene and wrong notions of race.
Jews, Greeks, Italians, Chinese, South Asians, Africans and others were restricted from entering our nations, because they were not seen as ‘white’ or because their religions were seen as ‘alien’. These terrible discriminatory policies, the value placed on people as cheap labor, resulted in the social, cultural and economic detriment of our nations.
However it is these ethnicities, especially Africans in the US, who were brought to the USA and taken around the world as chattel in the slave trade, which fuelled our dynamic creative and culturally diverse democracies.
We accept the need for well-managed policies of refugee intake and immigration, but policies that discriminates entry to people on grounds of citizenship, cultural, faith or linguistic difference are wrong and harm our future cultural and economic growth.
The effect of a discriminatory immigration policy will create fear and uncertainty and ultimately diminish our collective humanism.
Kape Communications Pty Ltd and Walker International Communications Group are committed to fighting and transforming discriminatory thinking.
We know that the overwhelming number of our Australian and American citizens and our elected representatives, both conservative and liberal, regardless of their faith, gender, culture and language, believe that diversity is the engine of creative, intellectual, social and economic progress.
We believe that now, more than ever, is the time for us to expand our thinking our efforts and our engagement. We cannot waste time. We need to unite as cultural workers from Australia and New York City, to reaffirm our commitment to diversity, the arts and cultural development of all our citizens and communities.
Walker International Communications Group
• Donna Walker-Kuhne on Urban Roundtable; www.youtube.com
Kape Communications Pty Ltd
Photo (top): One World Trade Center, NYC, DK2016.