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Ben Simmons grew up as an African-American Australian in Melbourne.
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Citizenship

Ben Simmons, Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie and More Unite Against Racism in Australia


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Indigenous Australians and people of colour in Australia face heightened inequality across life expectancy, health, poverty, schooling and incarceration. Global Citizen campaigns on the United Nations' Global Goals, which call on nations to unite against discrimination, racism and bigotry while establishing peace and equitable institutions. Join the movement and take action on this issue and more here.

The recent murder of George Floyd, a black man who died after being pinned down by a Minneapolis police officer, became a catalyst for the global uprising in support against anti-Black violence and reignited a dialogue on how racism permeates every facet of Australian society. 

In an attempt to keep the racism conversion at the forefront of Australian discourse, the DoMore Project was established. 

Launched by Philadelphia 76ers' All-Star guard Ben Simmons and supported by a range of Australian celebrities — including Margot Robbie, Hugh Jackman and Duckie Thot — the DoMore Project encourages Australians to learn, reflect and act against racism. 

The DoMore website, launched last week, calls for Australians to educate themselves on the history and culture of Indigenous Australians and the migrant communities that make up modern Australia — the most ethnically diverse country in the world.

The website links to a range of educational resources from the Refugee Council of Australia and the National Justice Project.

Also highlighted is the Raise the Age petition, which demands federal, state and territory governments abolish laws that currently allow children as young as 10 to be arrested, charged and sent to prison. The current laws disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders youth.

Simmons, who grew up as an African-American Australian in Melbourne, said racism presents differently in Australia compared to the US.

"I'd say casual racism is the biggest difference with America and Australia," he said. "The racism in America, it's either super racist, or it's not. But back home, there's a lot of people that joke around and think it's funny to make fun of people's ethnicity or make themselves feel like they're better than that person."

Simmons added: "Seeing the incident with Floyd and so many other people, it's not fair. I believe in equality. Hopefully, we can do that for the kids back home in Australia. At the end of the day, what everybody's asking for is equality."

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To launch the project, a two-minute video was posted to Simmon's YouTube channel. 

During the video, Melbourne DJ and designer Soju Gang said "discrimination, neglect and violence have been normalised in our communities." Global Citizen Festival Ambassador Hugh Jackman added that the recent deaths of Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and more mean “there is a tipping point right now in Australia and around the world.”

Actress Margot Robbie urged all Australians to educate themselves and take meaningful action every day. 

"There is so much we can do, because it's not enough to be not racist, we must be anti-racist. And that's not a label, that's a mindset that we have to put into practice every day," she said. "Every day is an opportunity to do more. Every day is an opportunity to hold yourself accountable."

You can watch the full video here.