A new anti-racism information campaign is shining a light on racism, while encouraging British Columbians to examine their own personal biases and take a stand against discrimination.
“We know that talking about racism is uncomfortable and often requires difficult self-reflection and an open mind,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. “This campaign is just the beginning as the Province embarks on various initiatives to combat racism, such as the introduction of an anti-racism act and race-based data collection to modernize various sectors, such as policing, health care and education.”
The campaign, which features nine illustrations by IBPOC (Indigenous, Black and people of colour) artists based in British Columbia, will support the Province’s long-term commitment to tackling racism by encouraging more open discussion about discrimination. This series of anti-racism reminders also aim to inspire people to reflect on racism that happens in everyday situations and speak out if they see discrimination.
British Columbians will see the ads across digital and print media. Schools, libraries and members of the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network will also receive posters to further encourage discussion and learning.
“Launching in advance of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, this campaign is intended to spark discussion about hatred and to encourage people to learn what it means to be anti-racist,” Singh said. “It is a key part of our broader work to make B.C. a more welcoming, just and inclusive province for everyone.”
The Province consulted with key community stakeholders, including the provincial Multicultural Advisory Council (MAC), the Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women, the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network and the Premier’s Chinese Canadian Community Advisory Council.
“The MAC is pleased to see this anti-racism campaign come alive,” said Melanie Matining and Tracy Wideman, co-chairs of the MAC. “The campaign has the potential to transform how we relate to one another and nurture respect and inclusion in our day to day actions and our broader culture. The messaging invites us to reflect on the realities of racism – both the hidden and overt ways that it shows up in our communities, workplaces and institutions.”
The campaign is one of four anti-racism initiatives announced as part of a $1.9-million investment through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan.
Other steps the Province has taken to tackle racism include:
* reinstating the B.C. Human Rights Commission to promote and protect human rights for all British Columbians
* launching an investigation into allegations of discrimination in B.C.’s health-care system
* developing a comprehensive, multi-year anti-racism action plan for B.C.’s K-12 education system that includes:
– community roundtables on anti-racism in education
– youth engagement and development of resources for teachers
– new resources and training for staff and students through the ERASE (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) strategy
* committing to introduce a new anti-racism act and legislation on race-based data collection
To learn more about the campaign, visit: https://antiracist.gov.bc.ca/