Education about the history of colonialism and slavery
Education is the key to societal cohesion. The constellation of Dutch society has been irrevocably altered by the history of Dutch slavery and colonialism. The fact that Dutch slavery and colonial power have never been discussed in depth, if at all, in primary and secondary education leads to a lack of knowledge and empathy in society. This is why one of the goals of Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter is to make a more comprehensive education about the history of colonialism and slavery a standard part of the curriculum in Dutch schools.
An inclusive Sinterklaas celebration without a racist stereotype
We believe it’s time to say goodbye to the racist stereotyping that is known as Zwarte Piet. It’s time for the Sinterklaas celebration to become a happy celebration for everyone. We are determined to turn ‘Zwarte Piet’ into plain old ‘Piet’, a character without any racist elements. In doing this, we will pass on a tradition to our children that not only stand the test of time, but prove inclusive and celebratory for Dutch people of all backgrounds. Up until the 19th century, Sinterklaas was celebrated without Zwarte Piet, so we know that change is possible.
By creating awareness about the Zwarte Piet character and his role in the Sinterklaas celebration, for example through the campaign Zwarte Piet is Racisme (‘Black Pete is Racism’), we want to turn the Sinterklaas celebration back into an inclusive celebration for everyone. Our ultimate goal is to abolish Zwarte Piet.
A National Commemoration of the History of Colonialism and Slavery
Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter is committed to organising an annual commemoration and celebration of the history of slavery in a respectful and fitting manner, with respect for the descendants. Togetherness and unity are central here. The starting point is to create a clear division between the commemoration of the history of slavery on the one hand, and the celebration of the abolition of slavery on the other. The foundation aims to realise a national commemoration day in the near future, together with committed organisations and the Dutch government. The foundation does not view itself as a future organiser, but as a catalyst, and will argue for an independent committee to take care of the yearly organisation once the national commemoration is implemented.