PRINCE RUPERT – New Democrat MLA Jennifer Rice says more people in the North Coast will develop the skills to address racism and defuse racist incidents as they complete free training offered through a new Anti-Racism Community (ARC) Stewards pilot program.
“In the last few years we’ve seen an increase in racist incidents in both large and small communities in our province,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “Any incident like this is unacceptable, and we all have a role to play in confronting racism here on the North Coast. This new training will give more people the opportunity to gain the skills they need to de-escalate racist incidents and to start community discussions to eliminate racism and discrimination.”
Applications are being accepted until August 11 for this ‘train the trainer’ program which will provide training to people with a passion for leading anti-racism work in their community. Successful applicants will learn the skills needed to offer anti-racism bystander training and facilitate community dialogues on racism and discrimination in their communities. Twenty participants from eighteen small communities across the province will begin their training in October 2022. Participants will receive an honorarium and have their travel expenses covered.
This pilot project was developed by the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society, a non-profit organization that assists people new to Canada and advances anti-racism initiatives as part of the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network. Resilience BC is a network of over 34 organizations that connects local leaders with the information, support and training they need to respond to, and prevent future incidents of racism and hate in their communities.
This program is an important part of the BC New Democrat government’s commitment to dismantle systemic racism and build a better, more inclusive province for everyone. The province has taken further action to tackle racism including: reinstating the B.C. Human Rights Commission after it was dismantled by the former BC Liberal government, investigating allegations of racism in B.C.’s health-care system, and developing a comprehensive, multi-year anti-racism action plan for B.C.’s K-12 education system. This spring, a special committee of the legislature released recommendations to reform and modernize the 45-year-old Police Act, with a specific focus on addressing systemic racism. In June, the BC New Democrat government also enshrined the historic Anti-Racism Data Act into law and is now working in partnership with Indigenous and Black people and people of colour to develop ways to collect voluntary data safely.
For more information about the program and to apply, visit: https://www.vircs.bc.ca/lcrcprogram