Awards honour British Columbians standing against hatred

March 22, 2022 at 9:35 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

More than 100 people and organizations have been nominated for this year’s B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards for their efforts to fight racism and strengthen diversity.

“Today’s awards honour anti-racism champions from around the province,” said Premier John Horgan. “Through their actions to break down systemic barriers and create more inclusive communities, we see what it means to build a stronger province for everyone. As community leaders, these recipients exemplify the best of British Columbia and I thank them for their outstanding work.”

The B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards are held annually to honour British Columbians for their leadership in promoting multiculturalism and addressing racism. The 2022 ceremony was held virtually.

“I want to acknowledge the hard work and unpaid labour Black, Indigenous and racialized British Columbians take on to fight for systemic change. Thank you for your courage, passion and persistence,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. “I am grateful to all of the nominees for their efforts this year, and all of the organizations, individuals and volunteers throughout B.C. who are strengthening our communities by challenging the status quo, supporting those who are victims of hate and fighting against white supremacy.”

The virtual awards ceremony was held on Monday, March 21, 2022, for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, where Singh recognized the contributions of five award recipients in three categories:

Breaking Barriers Awards, recognizing outstanding work in tackling systemic or institutional racism and reducing barriers for marginalized communities:

  • Aimee Chalifoux (Nanaimo)
  • Kamloops African Society (Kamloops)

Intercultural Trust Awards, recognizing outstanding work in building intercultural trust and understanding and/or reducing racism and hate between communities:

  • Imtiaz Popat (Vancouver)
  • Stand With Asians Coalition (Burnaby)

Emerging Leader Award, recognizing youth and young adults age 15-30 for outstanding work in building intercultural trust, tackling racism or reducing barriers for marginalized communities:

  • Dr. Rahel Zewude (Vancouver)

The Emerging Leader Award recipient also receives a $5,000 grant to be donated to an organization of their choice. This year, the grant will go to Black Physicians of British Columbia. 

“Time and again we see the power of people coming together to lift each other up and work for meaningful change,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “Too often this effort goes unnoticed. Today, we shine a light on their continued advocacy, inspirational leadership and support for marginalized communities as these organizations and individuals strive to create a more just and equitable province where each of us can achieve our full potential.”

Since launching in 2008, the B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards have recognized more than 40 individuals and organizations, including Boma Brown, founder of the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour, and Spice Radio for organizing the annual Raise Your Hands Against Racism campaign.

Quick Facts:

  • In spring 2022, the Province will introduce anti-racism data legislation. Informed by extensive community engagement, the legislation will help government identify inequities in programs and services, address barriers and pave the way to a more equitable province.
  • Other government actions that are making B.C. a safer and more inclusive place for everyone:
    • Providing funding to support several anti-racism initiatives, such as increased funding for the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network and more than 190 community organizations working to address racism and diversity throughout B.C., as well as a provincewide anti-racism awareness campaign;
    • Reinstating the B.C. Human Rights Commission;
    • Reviewing the Police Act, developing an anti-racism action plan for kindergarten to Grade 12 and tackling anti-Indigenous racism in health care;
    • Working to introduce a new anti-racism act; and
    • Developing a multilingual racist-incident hotline for British Columbians to report racist incidents and receive support and referrals.

Learn More:

To view the awards ceremony, visit: https://youtu.be/aPOr5fvt_CY

For more information about the awards including past recipients, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=CD6445B86E25429D9699E4E04E8D96F3

If you are the victim of a hate crime, find support at: https://hatecrimesinbc.resiliencebcnetwork.ca/

For more information about Resilience BC, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/anti-racism/resiliencebc

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