During Anti-Racism Awareness Week, the Province is announcing new community-driven projects to address issues of systemic racism.
In partnership with Resilience BC, the Province is providing grants to four community conveners. Community conveners are responsible for bringing community groups together to develop initiatives to tackle racism, hate and discrimination. The conveners will focus on issues related to anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism, as well as faith-based hate and discrimination.
“Our government is committed to tackling racism in all its forms, but we can’t do it alone,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. “These organizations are on the front lines of the fight against discrimination. By supporting the anti-racism efforts of these organizations that work within Indigenous and racialized communities, we’re better able to understand and address the key issues that communities face.”
The Province is providing $300,000 in grants as part of a one-time $2.9-million boost to support anti-racism initiatives through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The following community conveners have been selected:
African Art and Cultural Community Contributor Society (AACCCS)
The AACCCS is receiving $100,000 to lead projects to better gauge and understand the needs of Black and persons of African descent in British Columbia on issues relating to anti-Black racism. This includes a meaningful implementation of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent. The society's survey, Black in B.C. Needs Assessment Survey, is gathering information that speaks specifically to issues of community identity and anti-Black racism.
BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC)
The BCAAFC is receiving $100,000 and has partnered with the SafeSpace App program, which allows Indigenous people and others to report incidents of racism experienced within the health-care system in B.C. This type of reporting system is a critical part of receiving equitable and culturally safe health services.
The Hua Foundation is receiving $50,000 to strengthen the capacity among East Asian diasporic youth, in solidarity with other communities, to challenge, change and create systems for a more equitable and just future. Through this project, the foundation aims to understand the different ways that communities take action against racism in order to support and address it, and build long-term capacity for anti-racism work in Asian communities.
Islam Unravelled is receiving $50,000 to host programs and events across faith- and race-based silos, and address shared community concerns through projects such as connecting and mapping faith-based organizations, building inter-faith understanding and strengthening relationships between faith groups.
“This funding allows us to issue a survey that asks Black and persons of African descent about their perspectives on a range of issues such as health care, safety, access to justice and housing,” said Pulchérie Mboussi, founder and executive director, African Art and Cultural Community Contributor Society. “The survey will help us create a strategic plan that will be taken to the B.C. government to raise awareness about our communities, address discrimination and inform legislation. We encourage Black British Columbians to take some time to fill out the survey so that their perspectives are heard.”
In addition to the Community Convener grants, the government is investing $250,000 to develop a new institutional change program that addresses systemic racism and discrimination within the B.C. public service. Colab Advantage Inc. will provide insight into structural racism in public service policies and programs, through education and training sessions.
The Province has proclaimed May 23-29 Anti-Racism Awareness Week. This week is a chance for British Columbians to celebrate and learn about B.C.’s diverse culture, reflect on biases and stand together against racism.
- The Province has undertaken various initiatives to tackle racism, including:
- committing to introduce a new anti-racism act and legislation on race-based data collection, essential to modernizing sectors like policing, health care and education;
- committing to create a multilingual racist-incident hotline for British Columbians to report racist incidents and receive support;
- providing $2 million to support Japanese Canadian seniors as a first step to honour the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War;
- working in partnership with the Black community to recognize the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent;
- creating an anti-racism information campaign to shine a light on racism and encourage British Columbians to take a stand against discrimination; and
- conducting an independent review into allegations of racism in B.C.’s health-care system.
To learn more about the AACCCS and its survey, visit: https://www.issambacentre.ca/
To learn more about the BCAAFC and its project, visit: https://bcaafc.com/safespace-sharing/
To learn more about the Hua Foundation and its project, visit: https://huafoundation.org/portfolio/acc-2021/
To learn more about Islam Unravelled and its project, visit: https://islamunravelled.ca/
For more information about Resilience BC and to find support in your community, visit: https://www.resiliencebc.ca/find-your-community-network/
If you have experienced or witness a hate crime, find information and support online: https://www.resiliencebc.ca/report-support/hate-crimes-in-bc/