More supports to combat racism in B.C.’s Interior

July 28, 2020 at 4:13 pm  BC, News, Politics

The Province is strengthening anti-hate and anti-racism supports for communities with five new organizations offering Resilience BC services in B.C.’s Interior.

“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.

“No community is immune to racism, and we know that racism in B.C. can’t be addressed effectively with a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Michelle Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “Everyone in B.C. should feel safe, comfortable and accepted where they live. That’s why our government is supporting organizations doing community-based work and developing local solutions to combat racism and discrimination in communities all around the province.”

In B.C.’s Interior, five organizations are receiving a total of $67,500 as community and regional service providers for Resilience BC:

  • Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre Society (100 Mile House)
  • Okanagan College (Revelstoke)
  • Cranbrook & District Restorative Justice Society (Cranbrook and East Kootenay)
  • Nelson and District Arts Council (Nelson and district)
  • North Okanagan Social Planning Society (Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton/South Okanagan, Salmon Arm/Shuswap and Kamloops)

“We recognize that as a rural arts organization in a predominantly Caucasian region, it is our responsibility to not only provide safer spaces and opportunities for Black-, Indigenous- and People of Colour-led programming, but also to work toward deeper organizational change,” said Sydney Black, executive director, Nelson and District Arts Council. “We understand that anti-racism work is constantly adapting and growing and part of a lifelong process. We are grateful to the government for this support through the Resilience BC program to make our communities more inclusive.”

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.

Quick Facts:

  • 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.

Learn More:                                                                                                                                       

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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