Community organizations working to address racism through the B.C. Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program will share over $217,000 in provincial funding aimed at supporting their efforts to challenge racism and celebrate diversity. Funds will be directly distributed to 33 organizations located in communities throughout British Columbia.
OARH anti-racism activities are developed using a collaborative, community-based focus. Communities can use their funding for outreach, educational opportunities, workshops and anti-racism events. OARH funds are also used to connect community anti-racism networks at the local level to broaden their reach.
OARH funding will support a wide variety of community anti-racism projects including:
- A black and white photo exhibition hosted by the College of New Caledonia featuring community members in traditional dress to emphasize the cultural diversity of Fort St. James.
- A Cowichan Intercultural Society-led program that trains youth ambassadors to provide anti-racism lessons for Cowichan Valley elementary school students with a focus on welcoming Syrian refugees.
- Monthly film nights, weekly multicultural cooking sessions and a community dialogue and storytelling event facilitated by the Skeena Diversity Society to support the settlement of new immigrants and refugees in the Terrace area.
This year, the OARH network will expand to include anti-racism networks in four additional B.C. communities: Richmond, Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey. This move will allow OARH to focus its anti-racism lens on both rural and urban communities.
The most ethnically diverse province in Canada, B.C. welcomes nearly 40,000 new immigrants every year. 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.
Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism Teresa Wat —
“Provincial anti-racism funding is a cornerstone of government’s commitment to promoting and fostering diversity, inclusion and acceptance in B.C. communities. This funding allows anti-racism networks to not only focus on addressing racism and discrimination, but to also strengthen their communities and celebrate British Columbia’s rich cultural mosaic.”
Paul Lagacé, executive director, Kamloops Immigrant Services —
“OARH funding gives British Columbia communities the tools they need to challenge racism and discrimination. By working together, we can create positive change in every community in the province.”
- All funding proposals are evaluated based on established criteria by Ministry of Multiculturalism staff. Approved proposals passed evaluation criteria to a high standard.
- In 2016-17, the B.C. government will provide over $1.6 million in multiculturalism funding to engage cultural and community groups, fight racism, and promote multiculturalism.
- Canada was the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy.
- Nearly 30% of British Columbians are immigrants.
- In B.C., the third week of November is proclaimed Multiculturalism Week. This year it takes place Nov. 13-19, 2016.
- The 2016 British Columbia Multicultural Awards to honour B.C.’s multicultural champions will be held Nov. 18, 2016, in Vancouver.
For more information about OARH, visit: http://ow.ly/WyBh301JACZ
For more information about the British Columbia Multicultural Awards and eligibility requirements visit: http://ow.ly/Wp2Q301JAIt
A backgrounder follows.