The Province is strengthening anti-hate and anti-racism supports for communities with seven new organizations offering Resilience BC services in B.C.’s Vancouver Island and Coast region.
“There is no place for racism and hate in British Columbia. To fight racism and hate crimes, we must work together in a co-ordinated way in communities in every corner of the province,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services and responsible for Multiculturalism. “These community organizations will lead action at a local and regional level to respond to and prevent racist and hate activity.”
Under the Resilience BC program, 34 organizations were selected to provide services in 40 communities throughout the province following a competitive procurement process. The organizations chosen demonstrated a strong understanding of racism and hate issues and have a defined course of action at a local or regional level driven by community partnerships.
“The work of the Cowichan Intercultural Society and others are integral to addressing racism and shaping the kind of inclusive and resilient communities we want on the islands,” said Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley. “These hard-working groups have done extraordinary work to celebrate and support diversity in the region, and I am delighted they will be receiving funding to continue current and future programs.”
In the Vancouver Island and coast region, seven organizations are receiving a total of $52,500:
- Community Justice Centre for the Comox Valley Society (Comox Valley)
- Cowichan Intercultural Society (Cowichan Valley Regional District)
- Inter-Cultural Association (Victoria)
- Lift Community Services of qathet (Powell River)
- Literacy Alberni Society (Port Alberni)
- Liminal Spaces Consulting (Nanaimo and Ladysmith)
- The Multicultural and Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island (Campbell River)
“We are grateful to receive this funding through the Resilience BC program,” said Lynn Weaver, executive director, Cowichan Intercultural Society. “This funding will help amplify grassroots actions in our community, ultimately contributing to the Province’s actions to end racial injustice throughout B.C.”
Resilience BC, launched in November 2019, is a provincewide anti-racism network delivered through a hub-and-spokes model. In May 2020, the Province selected the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society to serve as a provincial hub to connect communities with information, training and resources throughout the province. The spokes are community-based branches that identify local priorities and move projects forward to address systemic and institutionalized racism at a local level.
“People in B.C. deserve to feel safe and supported in the communities they call home,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “We’re taking action to address these issues by empowering local organizations to stop racism and hate in its tracks.”
Most recently through Resilience BC, the Province launched an online portal to support people who experience or witness a racist incident. The website offers information in 12 languages. Multilingual videos will soon be added to the site: https://hatecrimesinbc.resiliencebcnetwork.ca/
Resilience BC is one of a number of measures the B.C. government is taking as part of its commitment to stand up for diversity, end racism and all forms of discrimination, and support multiculturalism in British Columbia.
- Establishing Resilience BC was an outcome of a series of community consultations on racism led by Ravi Kahlon, former parliamentary secretary for sport and multiculturalism, in 2019.
- A total of $300,000 from the Resilience BC annual budget has been allocated to fund the community spoke services. There are two funding models:
- individual community spokes: annual funding of up to $7,500 per geographic community; and
- regional spokes: annual funding for two or more of neighbouring communities that pool funding (e.g., up to $15,000 for partnerships involving two communities, etc.).
- The total investment in Resilience BC is $540,000 annually.
For more information about Resilience BC, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/anti-racism/resiliencebc