MAPLE RIDGE- Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare and Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith say 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.
“The rise we have seen in Anti-Asian hate since the beginning of the pandemic is unacceptable, and we know that racism is not isolated to this community,” said D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission. “This funding for the Inclusion of Diversity Campaign will help bring greater understanding to people about just how important inclusion is within our communities. When we champion and honour diversity, we are at our best.”
“Leaders within marginalized communities already do amazing work to combat racism through education, supports, and programs,” said Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. “Our government knows that when multicultural grant funds go directly into the hands of community organizers, especially for something as important as anti-racism initiatives, it produces the most genuine and effective results.”
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’s D’Eith and Beare 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 Maple Ridge, Mission, and Pitt Meadows receiving a grant include:
- The Family Education and Support Centre – $10, 000- This funding, with a focus on combatting Anti-Asian hate, will contribute to the Inclusion of Diversity Campaign, aiming to increase awareness of the benefits of diversity in our communities. An understanding of inclusion and playing an active role in it should be a way of life for all Katzie, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents.
- The Fraser Valley Indigenous Society – $5,000 – The funding is to support National Indigenous Peoples Day, an annual event. The event enhances the understanding and participation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through interaction and sharing of the rich diversity of First Nation, Metis, and Inuit cultures.
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
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