More people will have better access to the tools and resources needed to address racism and build more inclusive communities, as 60 organizations receive support through the B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Grants program.
“Discrimination and racism are real, and too many people in this province continue to be victimized by hate,” said Niki Sharma, Attorney General. “I’m encouraged and inspired to see so many organizations standing up and speaking out against racism and making B.C. a more welcoming place.”
Almost $300,000 will be given to 60 community-based organizations for projects to dismantle systemic racism, address hate incidents and support racialized communities throughout B.C.
The Historic Joy Kogawa House Society in Vancouver received funding to host safe and supportive bi-weekly writing circles for writers who identify as queer and Asian to develop written work for publication.
“On top of the trauma of dealing with the pandemic, Asians have had to deal with feeling physically and emotionally unsafe in their social environments. For 2SLGBTQ+ Asians, who are already doubly marginalized as outsiders in straight and 2SLGBTQ+ communities, the layers of trauma are multiple,” said Ann-Marie Metten, executive director, Historic Joy Kogawa House Society. “Writers who only met in a safe online space during the pandemic will now be meeting in person to write together and develop new creative work. We are excited to see what results.”
Nechako Healthy Community Alliance Society in Vanderhoof received funding to create videos, podcasts and written pieces about life as a racialized person in northern B.C. and to demonstrate ways to get involved in fighting racism in the community.
“The ‘sleepy middle’ in our community—that is, people who are indifferent and complacent in anti-racism and anti-hate conversations and actions—have a lot of potential to support anti-racism and anti-hate education, and make real, lasting change,” said Sylvia Byron, Nechako Healthy Community Alliance Society. “Our hope is to inspire people to move from the silent, inactive, passive sleepy middle toward a more active, engaged community that will step up to support anti-hate and anti-racism education, and will step in to prevent racism and hate where they can.”
Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, said: “Indigenous, Black and people of colour continue to experience discrimination in every part of society, and because of this, they are often being left behind. These grants are one important way we are supporting grassroots organizations to address systemic racism in the ways they think will work best for their communities, so we can build a more inclusive province for everyone.”
Funding preference is given to applications submitted by racialized and otherwise marginalized groups. Projects must have started by March 1, 2023, and must end by March 31, 2024.
Other government actions that are making B.C. a safer and more inclusive place for everyone, include:
- providing funding to support several anti-racism initiatives, such as the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network and the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards;
- reinstating the B.C. Human Rights Commission;
- implementing the K-12 Anti-Racism Action Plan to equip students, teachers and parents with resources to identify and respond to racism and discrimination;
- implementing the Anti-Racism Data Act to help government identify inequities in programs and services, and pave the way to a more equitable province; and
- working to introduce new, broader anti-racism legislation in 2024.
This year, government will release research priorities under the Anti-Racism Data Act. Developed in partnership with Indigenous governing entities and the Anti-Racism Data Committee, these priorities will ensure that data collection is focused on the areas that matter most to those affected by systemic racism.
For a full list of BC Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Grant recipients, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_Multiculturalism_Grants_2023.pdf
Learn about the Anti-Racism Data Act: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/antiracism
Learn about the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network: https://www.resiliencebc.ca