New funding supports anti-racism networks throughout B.C.

Fourteen organizations throughout the province are each receiving at least $10,000 and up to $50,000 to support the work they do to help stamp out racism in B.C.

The organizations, representing 24 communities, participate in B.C.’s Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program and can use the funding for activities that connect community networks in their common goal of eradicating racism and discrimination. This includes local outreach, educational events, workshops and community engagements addressing racism.

The Ministry Responsible for Multiculturalism announced the names of the organizations sharing the $240,000 fund following B.C.’s Multiculturalism Week, Nov. 15-21, 2015.

The OARH program helps communities address racism and create a long-term plan to eradicate violence, discrimination and hate in their communities. A key principle of this program is that all activities need to be developed using a collaborative community-based process.

The result is that many communities combine efforts at a regional level to get the most out of their funding.

For example, the Comox Valley Community Justice Centre network, spanning Comox, Campbell River, Lower Sunshine Coast, Nanaimo and Port Alberni, has been awarded $50,000 to provide training programs and workshops to communities and support regional anti-racism film festivals. It will also mentor emerging new OARH groups in its own region as well as Port Hardy and Ucluelet.

By funding these partnerships, along with supporting community engagement and multiculturalism, government helps strengthen communities and celebrates the diversity that sets B.C. apart.

The most ethnically diverse province in Canada, British Columbia’s Multiculturalism Act was created in 1993 to recognize the diversity of British Columbians; encourage respect for our multicultural heritage; promote racial harmony; and foster a society without barriers to inclusion.

“Cultural diversity is vital to a strong and vibrant social and economic future for B.C., and acts of racism threaten that future. Organizations like these funding recipients know the most effective ways to combat racism in their communities and I thank them for bringing the message of inclusivity to life throughout B.C.,” said Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism.

Island Communities benefitting from funding this year include: Comox Valley, Campbell River, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Duncan.