DELTA – New Democrat MLA Ravi Kahlon says new provincial anti-racism funding for non-profit Deltassist will improve Delta’s ability to address and respond to racism.
Deltassist is one of 34 organizations to receive $7,500 in anti-racism grant funding from Resilience BC, a new network established by the New Democrat government to address systemic and institutionalized racism across the province.
“After touring the province to lead conversations about racism in the summer of 2019, it was clear to me that we need to support grassroots organizations that are working to address racism, which is exactly what this funding does,” said Kahlon. “This funding will strengthen communities and provide resources for communities to organize against racism.”
Deltassist will use the new funding to respond to incidences of racism and hate in the community. The funding will allow Deltassist to provide supports like counselling, victim’s services, and reconciliation programming to help people and communities respond to, and recover from, racism at the local level.
Kahlon’s work as Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism played a key role in the formation of the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network. Over the summer of 2019, Kahlon met with community leaders, anti-racism organizers, and young people across B.C. to discuss the way racism is experienced in different communities. Over 360 people attended community meetings about racism, which were held in in Courtenay, Cranbrook, Duncan, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna (region), Osoyoos, Prince George, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Prince Rupert, and Victoria.
Kahlon says it was clear from his conversations that every community experiences racism differently, which highlighted the importance of establishing an anti-racism program that equips communities and local organizations with the unique resources they need to challenge racism in its different forms.
In November of 2019, the New Democrat government launched Resilience BC, a province-wide, anti-racism network, in direct response to feedback received during the community meetings led by Kahlon.
The program will receive $540,000 annually, which will be distributed to communities and organizations across BC to support work to address racism.
Resilience BC funding to community organizations will be another step taken by the New Democrat government to address racism in British Columbia. Other initiatives include the re-instatement of the BC Human Rights Commission, the review of the Police Act, and working with partners to explore gathering race-based data in BC.
For more information on Resilience BC, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/anti-racism/resiliencebc