ABBOTSFORD- Abbotsford-Mission MLA Pam Alexis says multiculturalism grant funding will help local organizations fight systemic racism throughout the area. This year, priority was given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism.
“A part of combatting racism in our society is making sure that we are consciously supporting initiatives that uplift Indigenous, Black, and communities of colour,” said Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission. “Funding organizations like the Reach, partnering with Abbotsford’s Black creative community, goes beyond just condemning racism, and actively creates opportunities for people to thrive.”
Multiculturalism grant funding is provided to non-profit and charitable organizations for projects that build intercultural interaction, trust and understanding, or challenge racism, hate and systemic barriers. MLA Alexis said that through these projects, people across B.C. will soon have improved access to tools and resources to help them learn about the diverse culture they live in.
Projects in the Abbotsford and Mission area receiving a grant include:
- Archway Community Services Society- $5,000- To support Archway’s Wellness While Black program, providing an opportunity for the Black Connections community group to gather Black youth and young adults in a virtual mental health and wellness therapeutic group to help heal from Black pain from individual and systemic anti-Black racism
- The Reach Gallery Museum- $5,000- Supporting a three-pronged initiative to create meaningful, paid, cultural opportunities for BIPOC Youth with a particular focus on the Black community in Abbotsford. The project is conceived of and delivered by emerging cultural leaders and supports members of Abbotsford’s Black creative community.
- Kara-Kata Afro-Beath Society of Canada- $5,000- Supporting ‘Felebrate 2021,’ an afternoon and evening of intercultural performances on Sat., Oct. 23, part of international network of celebrations honouring Nigerian rights activist and Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti. The event will be held virtually and for a small audience at a farm in Mission, BC.
- District of Mission Arts Council- $5,000- In support of “Visually Speaking,” a virtual gallery exhibition representing the artists of the LGBTQ2S community.
For 2020/21, the Province is providing a $944,000 one-time boost to the grant funding as part of anti-racism initiatives through Stronger BC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan.
This grant program is just one way the BC New Democrat government province is working to subvert systemic racism and protect human rights. 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, launching an investigation into 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. A special committee of the legislature is currently undertaking a review of the 45-year-old Police Act to modernize it, with a specific focus on addressing systemic racism. The BC New Democrat government is also committed to introducing a new anti-racism act and legislation on race-based data collection.
Link to Provincial release: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021AG0044-000651
List of grant recipients:https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/multiculturalism-grants/2020-21_bc_multiculturalism_grant_recipients.pdf
For more information about the BC Multiculturalism Grants program, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=05BC37ECB1AC4C87AF86BC303937F6EF
For more information about Resilience BC, B.C.’s Anti-Racism network visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/anti-racism/resiliencebc