More supports for B.C.’s northern region to combat racism
The Province is strengthening anti-hate and anti-racism supports for communities with nine new organizations offering Resilience BC services in B.C.’s northern 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 fight against racism in B.C. is urgent. We all have to make sure that no one has to endure racism or discrimination where they live,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “Together we must uphold the diversity and multiculturalism that makes our communities richer, healthier and better connected. Resilience BC supports groups operating within their own communities and areas of expertise, supported by the expertise of other organizations. This will empower B.C. communities to fight racism in ways that are most effective for them.”
In B.C.’s northern region, nine organizations are receiving a total of $75,000 as community and regional service providers for Resilience BC:
- Dawson Creek Literacy Society (Dawson Creek and Fort St. John)
- Houston Link to Learning Society (Houston)
- Immigrant Multicultural Services Society of Prince George (Prince George)
- Nechako Healthy Community Alliance (Vanderhoof)
- North Coast Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society (Prince Rupert)
- Saulteau First Nation (Chetwynd)
- Skeena Diversity Society (Terrace)
- Smithers Social Planning Society (Smithers)
- The Tamitik Status of Women Association (Kitimat)
“We are pleased to have been appointed as a community spoke for B.C.’s northern region,” said Estelle Lavis, director of operations for Saulteau First Nations at Moberly Lake near Chetwynd. “We believe that reducing racism and increasing understanding will create new opportunities for social and economic development across British Columbia. We need to work together at all levels of government, and at the ground level with industry partners and community champions. We are looking forward to expanding networks between people of goodwill, and increasing resources and training to help everyone become free from the kinds of discrimination and intimidation that cause lasting harm to people and rural communities.”
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.
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 on Resilience BC, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/anti-racism/resiliencebc
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