The BC provincial government has launched a new program in an effort to combat racism and create safer communities.
The BC Anti-Racism Network aims to offer a “multi-faceted, province-wide approach that will provide greater focus and leadership in identifying and challenging racism,” said the province in a release.
The program will aim to connect communities with information, support, and training in order to respond to and prevent incidents of hate, discrimination, and racism. It will receive $540,000 in annual funding.
The program was spearheaded by a series of community engagements led by former parliamentary secretary for sport and multiculturalism Ravi Kahlon in July and August.
We often take pride in our diversity – but as people of colour, it is not unusual for us to experience discrimination based on the colour of our skin.
— Katrina Chen (@KatrinaCBurnaby) November 20, 2019
The meetings involved in-depth discussions about racism and hate. Kahlon also asked community leaders about ways to build a safer and more inclusive province.
The recommendations helped redesign the current Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program to help communities respond to racism and hate.
The Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network will replace the OARH program.
“Every person deserves to live free from discrimination, but too many people in BC continue to face barriers, violence, and prejudice simply because of who they are,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement.
“Our government is stepping up to launch a network of supports that are proactive, innovative, and co-ordinated across the province. We’re working to build a better province where people are free to be who they are and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
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