BURNABY – New Democrat MLAs Katrina Chen, Raj Chouhan, Anne Kang and Janet Routledge say multiculturalism grant funding will help local organizations fight systemic racism throughout Burnaby. This year, priority was given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism.
“Everyone has the right to be safe, respected, and welcomed in Burnaby and across B.C.,” said Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed. “Recent events have reminded us that that is not always the case. Our government is committed to tackling racism and hate, and multiculturalism projects like these are one way we can make our community stronger and more resilient.”
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. The MLAs said that through these projects, people across B.C. will soon have improved access to tools and resources to help them learn about the diversity of cultures that make up their communities.
Projects in Burnaby receiving a grant include:
- Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC– $5,000 – Centering Indigenous Presence Through Settler Reflexivity – This project will develop self-directed activities and programs to be shared with other organizations throughout B.C.
- Barangay Project Society– $5,000 – “Each One, Teach One” Dance Workshops – A free three-week dance program connecting youth with each other’s culture, with an emphasis on BIPOC and LGBTQ2+ youth and open to all.
- Burnaby Family Life– $5,000 – Understanding and Dismantling the Impact of Racism on Newcomers in Burnaby – A research project to gain a better understanding of inequities, obstacles and exclusions that racialized newcomers face in Burnaby, and to recommend ways in which these systemic barriers can be dismantled.
- Dixon Transition Society– $5,000 – Cultural Safety Training – Providing Indigenous-led training to staff to ensure the organization’s programs are culturally safe and inclusive to Indigenous women and children fleeing violence.
- Culture Chats BC Association– $3,500 – Creating and Sharing Multicultural Children’s Stories – The project will support local community writers to create children’s stories and digitize them using podcasts, illustrations, and animations.
- Korean Evergreen Seniors Society of Canada– $5,000 – Expression of Asian Youth Ethnic Folk Culture – To promote understanding and empower Asian youth to express their culture through music and creating videos of traditional fairytales.
- Saints Cyril and Methodius Bulgarian Heritage Language School and Folklore Society– $5,000 – Treasures from Our Elders – Workshops to facilitate interactions between students, parents and First Nations Elders to promote shared understanding and increased multicultural awareness.
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 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.
Raj Chouhan, MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds
“These projects will help to empower people in our community, particularly youth, to build cross-cultural understanding and trust, and to speak out and challenge racism and discrimination when they see or experience it.
Anne Kang, MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake
“There is no place for hate or discrimination in B.C. I’m proud of the people and organizations in our community who work every day to stand against racism, and these grants will help them to continue and expand their excellent work.”
Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North
“Everyone has a role to play in tackling racism and making Burnaby a safe and welcoming place. With this support for multiculturalism projects, more people will have the knowledge and resources they need to be a force for good in their community.”
For a full list of grant recipients: 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: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/anti-racism/resiliencebc