PEOPLE and communities throughout B.C. will have increased capacity to address racism and discrimination, and build intercultural trust and understanding as more than 190 new projects have received support through the BC Multiculturalism Grants program.
“Racism is pervasive and it reaches into every corner of our province. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation worse,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. “That’s why these grants prioritize projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism. These grants will not only help organizations across the province to address systemic racism, but also provide learning opportunities to foster better understanding and encourage intercultural conversation in B.C. communities.”
Funding for the Multiculturalism Grants Program was increased fourfold to more than $1.2 million in 2020-21 to deliver more anti-racism initiatives. Priority for these recent grants was given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism.
Funding is provided to a range of community-based organizations for projects that build intercultural interaction, trust and understanding, or challenge racism, hate and systemic barriers. Some of the 192 projects receiving a grant include:
* Change Maker Education Society (Prince Rupert): to bring together members of the community to honour traditional Indigenous Ts’msyen teachings, promote mutual łoomsk respect and gain a deeper understanding of each other.
* The Inclusion Project Society (Victoria): to build the capacity of non-profits and charities within B.C. to improve the levels of racial equity, diversity and inclusion engagement and progress within organizations.
* Historic Joy Kogawa House Society (Vancouver): to provide workshops offering safe space for LGBTQI+ Asians to work through feelings of insecurity and uncertainty arising from pandemic-related racism.
For the full list of grant recipients, visit:
The Vancouver Foundation has also received a one-time grant of $200,000 to support IBPOC-led (Indigenous, Black and people of colour) organizations advancing racial justice and equity throughout B.C.
“This funding will help support IBPOC-led non-profits in their efforts to advance racial equity and justice in their communities,” said Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits. “This has been a challenging time and the non-profit sector has been working tirelessly over the last year to meet the increased demand for programs and services.”
* For 2020-21, the Province provided a $944,000 one-time boost to the grant funding as part of investments in anti-racism initiatives through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan.
* Other projects receiving funding as part of StrongerBC include:
– a one-time expansion and enhancement of the Resilience BC anti-racism network;
– an anti-racism public education campaign; and
– a new institutional change program to address systemic discrimination within the public service.
* The Province has taken additional steps to tackle racism, including:
– committing to introduce a new anti-racism act and legislation on race-based data collection;
– reinstating the B.C. Human Rights Commission to promote and protect human rights for all British Columbians; and
– launching an investigation into allegations of discrimination in B.C.’s health-care system.