COURTENAY – Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says multiculturalism grant funding will help local organizations fight systemic racism throughout the Comox Valley. This year, priority was given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism.
“People in the Comox Valley know that it’s not enough to not be racist, and that we all need to do our part to actively help stop racism,” said MLA Leonard. “That takes courage and hard work. I would like to thank the Comox Valley Child Development Association and Sid Williams Theatre Society for tackling this head on and making our community a more inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.”
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 Leonard 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.
Recipients in Courtenay-Comox of this round of grants are the Comox Valley Child Development Association ($5,000), the Sid Williams Theatre Society ($5,000) and North Island College ($10,000).
For 2020/21, the program received a one-time boost to funding as part of a $944,000 investment in 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.
Attached: Photo of Sid Williams Theatre Society (SWTS) representatives being announced the grant
Clockwise from top left: Brian Mather – SWTS, Leanne Rathje – Constituency Assistant, Ronna-Rae Leonard – MLA, Deb Sidgm – SWTS
For more information about the BC Multiculturalism Grants program, visit:
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