Racism in Norwegian education : exploring understanding and experiences of Africans and African Norwegians
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Following the painful murder of George Floyd in the united states by a police officer in 2020 summer due to racism, there has been increasing concerns about the need to address racism and discrimination issues that racial minorities go through in our societies. Stories about racism is not limited to United States but also in Europe. In Norway, whether immigrants experience racism or not, continues to be a mixed discussion. Some researchers think immigrants in Norway often encounter inclusive, multicultural, and democratic experiences. Opposing views have also arrived at nuanced findings on existence of racism and discrimination in several spheres of Norwegian community. This study freshens the conversation on racism in Norway and the focus is to contribute to understanding of racial discrimination experiences of Africans and African Norwegians in education. Drawing on a qualitative study and a human right framework, the International Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination), this paper has dived into experiences of 18 participants (students, teachers, and administrators) from Somalia, Ghana, Kenya, and Ethiopia at some selected universities in Norway about their understanding and experiences of racial discrimination at school. The study finds that Africans and African Norwegians experience indirect racial discrimination in education, including stereotypes. However, an insignificant number of the participants also expressed views on no racism and a high sense of belonging at school. Ways to combat racism experiences have also been captured from the stories of participants. Generally, both individual and institutional responses to surviving and combatting racism were considered. On the individual level, reliance on professional identity, confrontation, speak out and distancing were some of the individual weapons or personal resources Africans and African Norwegians use to navigate racism experiences. On an institutional level, participants encourage Norwegian schools and the society to intensify awareness creation on racism, strengthen human right education for tolerance, building a shared immigrant network, and learning and living through diversity were some of the vital tools to address racism in education.