Safeguarding Our Communities, Upholding Our Shared Values: A community forum on immigration and racial discrimination

ON Wednesday, February 22, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will be hosting a community forum in partnership with organizations committed to the elimination of racial discrimination in British Columbia, featuring a keynote address by Artur Wilczynski, Ambassador of Canada to Norway. The event will take place at UBC Robson Square (800 Robson Street, Vancouver) starting at 1:30 p.m.

The forum stands against the recent incidents of racial discrimination towards newcomers and the alarming trend of racially-charged sentiments in the media, and exposes their impact on newcomers, immigrants and long-time

Prior to Ambassador Wilczynski’s keynote, a panel of experts will participate in an informed conversation about racial discrimination in our communities, their historic impact, how local communities might foster healing from racism. A second panel will look at the value of immigrants to the province and personal stories of immigrant journeys and contributions.

The Indo-Canadian VOICE is also sponsoring the event.
The panel of experts include:

  • Dr. Gurdeep Parhar, Executive Associate Dean, Clinical Partnerships and Professionalism, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • Chief Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada Ambassador
  • Dr. Robert Krell, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia and Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre Founding President and Outreach Speaker
  • Yuen Pau Woo, Senator, B.C.
  • Christine Brodie, Education Consultant
  • Judith Bosire, Consultant, MNP
  • Sarah Al-Qaysi, Program Assistant, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
  • Travis Chen, President, Yigeda

For speaker profiles, please visit:

This event contributes to the City of Vancouver’s pledge of 101 Days of Action Against Discrimination, and B.C.’s aspiration to be an inclusive environment for all cultures that celebrates their diversity and refuses to tolerate racism and hatred.

To sustain the work from the forum, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will be launching a series of community roundtables across Metro Vancouver. These facilitated conversations will create a platform for community members to share and reflect on their thoughts on diversity and inclusion while engaging them in thought-provoking discussions regarding cultural integration in our community – to build safe, strong and enlightened neighborhoods. Each session will have a capacity of 20 to 50 participants to be held at one of S.U.C.C.E.S.S.’s local offices or another accessible community location. 

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will also create a one-of-a-kind documentary video, featuring interviews with well-known and respected immigrants and community leaders, about the value of newcomers and the contributions of immigrants to Canada. The documentary will be distributed through multiple channels including a special screening video launch, online and social media channels, and grassroots outreach through high schools and universities.


Grace Wong, Chair, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., said: “Immigrants to Canada have a long standing history of achievement in and contribution to all walks of anadian society. As we stand together to build Canada’s future, we remain guided by our shared values of multiculturalism, equality and openness.”

Artur Wilczynski said: “I am honoured to participate in the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Community Forum on February 22. It is important for Canadians to speak out against various forms of discrimination and xenophobia.  As an immigrant to this country and the son of Holocaust survivors I have been privileged to serve my country as an Ambassador and senior official. It is why I feel it is my obligation to work towards a more inclusive and respectful Canada. The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Community Forum provides a venue for all of us to pursue that goal together.”

Chief Robert Joseph said: “Our relationships transcend borders, boundaries, backgrounds and cultures, and we must take the time to reflect on what kind of society we want to build for ourselves and for our children. I encourage you to reach out and listen whole-heartedly to your neighbours and peers. Embrace their unique strengths and diverse perspectives, and understand the interconnectedness that exists among us. As we move toward a more inclusive and diverse society we will elevate the well-being of all people in Canada.”

Quennie Choo, CEO, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., said: “With a deep passion and long history for immigrant services, we take pride to speak about the necessary changes required to make our community, our province and our country a better place to live.”

For more information about the forum, please visit . The event info is also available in English, French, Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Farsi, Korean, Punjabi, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

Established in 1973, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is one of the biggest social service agencies in British Columbia. It is a charitable organization providing services in settlement, language training, employment, family and youth counseling, business and economic development, seniors care, housing and community development. For more details, please visit: