The Province is proclaiming May 23-29, 2021, as Anti-Racism Awareness Week – a chance for British Columbians to celebrate and learn about B.C.’s diverse culture, reflect on biases and stand together against racism.
“We stand alongside every person who has faced, or continues to face, racism in our province,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “This week is a chance for all British Columbians to think about how we can be anti-racist, challenge our own biases and build a stronger province on a foundation of diversity and mutual respect.”
The dates were chosen because the anniversaries of the Komagata Maru, the murder of George Floyd and Asian Heritage Month are all this week.
During the week, the Province will work closely with community partners and Resilience BC, the provincial anti-racism network, to promote educational opportunities and highlight tools and resources that can be used by British Columbians in classrooms, workplaces and elsewhere. Opportunities include panel discussions, websites, books and documentaries to help people better understand racism, as well as how to respond to racist incidents and tackle discrimination in their communities.
On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, several community members will come together for a livestreamed panel discussion about Asian history and anti-Asian racism in B.C. as part of Asian Heritage Month. Further information on the panel discussion and other community events, as well as tools and resources, is available here: www.resiliencebc.ca
The week supports government’s commitment to combat discrimination and follows a recent anti-racism information campaign, which was part of a $2.9-million, one-time boost in anti-racism initiatives through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. This investment also tripled funding for Resilience BC and quadrupled funding for multicultural grants, which benefited more than 190 community organizations.
“We are working hard to build an anti-racist B.C., but the shocking increase in racist incidents across the province over the last year has shown there’s still so much more to do,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. “This week will help to spark much-needed conversations and bring people together at a time when so many are divided. Now more than ever, we must treat each other with dignity and respect, and unite to support everyone in B.C. facing racism.”
Other initiatives to combat racism include the Ministry of Education’s expansion to its Erase (expect respect and a safe education) website to provide information for K-12 students, educators, parents and families on how to identify racism. This includes links to book lists and resources for adults and children of all ages. Work is also underway to develop an anti-racism action plan, expected to be released later this year.
“Anyone who has endured the hatred of racist slurs knows that words carry meaning – they can injure and divide. That’s why education, awareness and an open dialogue about diversity and belonging is critically important so we can stand united against racism,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “I encourage all students, staff and families to visit the Erase racism website to better understand some of the less obvious ways racism impacts people, and to find concrete education resources so we can all be a part of the solution to end racism.”
For the Anti-racism Awareness Week proclamation, visit: https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/AntiRacismAwareWk2021
To learn more about the anti-racism information campaign, visit: https://antiracist.gov.bc.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 are the victim or witness of a hate crime, find information and support online: https://www.resiliencebc.ca/report-support/hate-crimes-in-bc/
For more information tools and resources on racism from the Ministry of Education’s Erase strategy, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/erase/racism
A backgrounder follows.