Province honours outstanding contributions that combat racism

FORTY-FIVE individuals and organizations were recognized for their excellence in fostering inclusiveness and anti-racism efforts as this year’s nominees of the B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe and at home in B.C.,” said Premier John Horgan. “The recent rise in racist attacks and anti-Asian sentiment is disturbing and unacceptable. British Columbians must stand united against racism as we work together to right the wrongs of our past and build a better, more inclusive future. The exceptional citizens being recognized today are role models for us all. Let us be inspired by their actions by condemning racism when we witness it and building inclusive communities where everyone can feel safe. B.C. is stronger and more resilient when we come together and treat each other with respect.”

This year’s B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards were presented through a livestream event on the B.C. government’s Facebook page. Premier Horgan and Anne Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services and responsible for Multiculturalism, presented the awards that were co-hosted by Melanie Matining and Ismaël Traoré of the B.C. Multicultural Advisory Council.

“It is a great pleasure to honour British Columbians who are champions in promoting multiculturalism and fighting racism in their communities,” Kang said. “Each of the nominees are incredible role models and I commend them for their valuable contributions toward building a kind, welcoming and inclusive province.”

Established in 2008, The Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards are hosted annually by the provincial government, with advice and support from the B.C. Multicultural Advisory Council. Nominations are submitted by the public through an open call process. An independent judging panel with expertise in multiculturalism and anti-racism chose the award recipients under the guidance of the B.C. Multicultural Advisory Council.

Under the following three award categories, this year’s recipients include:

Breaking Barriers Award recipients

* Kalwinder Dosanjh (Surrey)

* Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (Vancouver)

Intercultural Trust Award recipients

* Deblekha Guin (Galiano Island)

* Naji Yazdi (Victoria)

Emerging Leader Award recipient (Youth Award)

* Boma Brown (Victoria)

The following organizations and individuals received honourable mentions:

Breaking Barriers Award finalists

* Sher Vancouver LGBTQ Friends Society (Vancouver)

* HUA Foundation (Vancouver)

* Indian Summer Arts Society (Vancouver)

Intercultural Trust Award finalists

* Steven Lorenzo Baileys (Victoria)

* Vancouver Holocaust Education (Vancouver)

Emerging Leader Award finalists

* Dylan Cohen (Vancouver)

* Tamo Campos (Vancouver)

“Every nominee is a winner, because everyone’s contributions are vital in our fight against racism and hate,” said Matining, co-chair of the BC Multicultural Advisory Council. “Our collective efforts to uphold and defend inclusion and cultural diversity will lead to creating a better province for us and future generations.”