HarmonyWorks! Conference 2014 – Keep Calm & Make a Friend
OnePeople.sg’s annual flagship youth conference returned with a bang on 5th July 2014 at Nanyang Polytechnic! The Conference provided a platform for students to learn, reflect and exchange their views and opinions on racial harmony in Singapore with facilitators and community leaders. The theme aligns with the main thrust of the conference – to build trust, engender an interest in intercultural understanding, and forge close inter-ethnic friendships.
Over 700 students from over 40 schools were given the opportunity to build trust, engender an interest in intercultural understanding, and forge close inter-ethnic friendships.
A hot favorite of the conference this year was the forum theatre segment where youths were engaged to delve deeper into real-life issues such as stereotyping and racial tensions. The light-hearted approach kept all participants entertained and at the same time, posed thought-provoking questions for students to reflect.
“Racism is overrated because it all stems from fear.”
~ Kay Jay, Republic Polytechnic
The plenary speaker, Dr Gill Hicks, Founder of the London based non-profit organization M.A.D. for Peace shared her inspiring experience and journey with the participants. A survivor of the London bombings, Dr Gill has since dedicated her life to promoting peace and social cohesion. Her sharing about the brilliance of humanity coming together to the save the One Unknown regardless of her gender, race or religion was encouraging. Participants were also inspired by how she faces each day with strength and positivity.
Another highlight of the conference was the dialogue session with Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth; Dr Gill Hicks, founder of M.A.D for Peace and survivor of the 2005 London Bombings; Professor Tan Ngoh Tiong, Dean, School of Human Development and Social Services and Carina Lim, Member of Youths: Reloaded! The dialogue session allowed students to pose questions on several topics such as the relevance of racial harmony today and the attitude Singaporeans should adopt towards foreigners.
“Racism should not exist because despite our skin color, our blood is all red.”
~ Nabilah, Innova Junior College
“We should have an open mind and learn to accept other”
~ Nur Insyirah, Madrasah Alsagoff Al- Arabiah
“Everyone is equal. We need to understand each other”
~ Troy Lai, Assumption English School