SURREY – New Democrat MLAs say that more people will have better access to the tools and resources needed to address racism and build inclusivity in Surrey, thanks to funding to local organizations through the BC Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism grant program.
“Muslim British Columbians are such an important part of our community and province,” says Bruce Ralston, MLA for Surrey-Whalley. “That is why our government is providing $5000 to the Muslim Food Bank and Community Services Society to help them in their important work of supporting the community through increasing education and raising awareness.”
In Surrey, four community organizations received $20,000 for the following projects:
- BC Wildlife Federation received $5,000 for their “Wetland Conservation Illustration Project”
- DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society received $5,000 for their “Together Now Program”
- Muslim Food Bank and Community Services Society received $5,000 for their “Combating Islamophobia and Racism through Education and Awareness Initiative”
- Diwali Celebration Society received $5,000 for their “Diwalifest Exhibition”
“The South Asian Community in British Columbia has contributed so much to this province and out government joins, Sikhs, Hindus and Jains across this province in celebrating this auspicious occasion,” says Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers. “Our government is providing funds to Diwali Celebration Society for their annual Diwalifest, where many different types of performances and workshops are organized to spotlight South Asian communities in Surrey.”
Almost $300,000 will be given to sixty community-based organizations for projects to dismantle systemic racism, address hate incidents, and support racialized communities across B.C. Funding preference is given to applications submitted by racialized and otherwise marginalized groups.
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, developing a comprehensive, multi-year anti-racism action plan for B.C.’s K-12 education system and implementing the Anti-Racism Data Act. Later this year, government will release research priorities under the Anti-Racism Data Act. Developed in partnership with Indigenous governing entities and the Anti-Racism Data Committee, these priorities will ensure that data collection is focused on the areas that matter most to those impacted by systemic racism.