NDP MLAs Andrew Mercier and Megan Dykeman say multiculturalism grants will help fight racism in Langley

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LANGLEY- Langley MLA Andrew Mercier and Langley-East MLA Megan Dykeman say multiculturalism grant funding will help local organizations fight systemic racism throughout the Langley  area. This year, priority was given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism.

​ “People from marginalized communities being able to share their stories is a valuable tool in the fight against racism,” said Mercier, MLA for Langley. “Providing funding to organizations that facilitate and amplify Indigenous and Black voices helps bring us together and build cross-cultural understanding.”

“We know how important it is for our society to be inclusive and to support initiatives that help people overcome barriers to full participation in all that our country has to offer,” said Dykeman, MLA for Langley-East. “That’s why our government is boosting programs like the ESSCA-BC Educational Project, to help remove obstacles and make the transition smoother for new immigrants to our province.”

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. MLAs Mercier and Dykeman 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

Projects in the Langley area receiving a grant include:

  •  Africa-Canada Education Foundation – $10,000 – The African-Canadian Heritage Project is a multi-layered youth led undertaking dedicated to reviving, celebrating and honouring Africa-Canadian and global African history and historical figures through films, dialogue, culture, and education.
  • African Stages Association of BC – $5,000 – The TOHIO Vlog project will use video blogs to bring African Folk stories to virtual audiences.
  • Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association of British Columbia – $5,000 – Since moving to Canada decades ago, members of ESSCA-BC continue to face challenges accessing services mostly due to language barriers. Unlike other immigrants, some of our members came from conditions where they were forced to either interrupt their studies or even abandon their formal education. The ESSCA-BC Educational Project will help them overcome these challenges.
  • Langley Community Services Society – $4,994 – The Changing Communities and Connections project generates new pathways of communication between individuals otherwise marginalized by cultural barriers and community partners with influence and connection, who together might help shape new initiatives for equality and inclusion.
  • Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society – $5,000 – The F.A.I.R project will focus on educating students, teachers, and about Indigenous culture which will decrease the level of Anti-Indigenous racism in schools and the broader 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.

Learn More:

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