Dawson Creek gets anti-racism funding: “We do have to do some work in this area”

By on November 24, 2015
Photo: MetroCreativeConnection.com

Photo: MetroCreativeConnection.com

DAWSON CREEK – As part of its Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) funding, the Provincial government has awarded $10,000 to the Dawson Creek Literacy Society to help eliminate racism.

“Unfortunately, racism still happens,”  said Mike Bernier, Peace River South MLA. “With ongoing dialogue and continued work, we can further address issues and empower change.”

The Dawson Creek Literacy Society has been in operation since 1991, and offers language and settlement support, among other services, to immigrants to the area.

“The Dawson Creek Literacy Society is pleased to be the recipient of the Organizing Against Racism and Hate funding provided by the Province,” said Society settlement services coordinator Katie Stevenson.

“These funds will be used to continue our work in making our community more welcoming and inclusive for all. We look forward to working with our dedicated community partners in this important project for another term.”

Stevenson told Northeast News that the funding, which the Society has received for four years, will be used to work with community partners in training and capacity building, with the aim of helping others to identify and prevent racism and hate.

“I think that there’s a bigger need for it than people either realize or care to admit,” Stevenson said. “I do think that in order to make the community safe for everybody, we do have to do some work in this area.”

The Society will be inviting B.C. Human Rights [Clinic] to Dawson Creek to do a workshop with local employers, and an anti-racism choral performance with local school groups will be organized for early next year.

“It’s not just the immigrant community that has these experiences, there are lots of people from different backgrounds and orientations that have self-identified and then reported incidences,” said Stevenson. “Sometimes people who are victims of racism or hate don’t feel safe enough to talk about it, to come forward with it.”

B.C. is the most ethically diverse province in Canada, with almost 30-per-cent of its residents having emigrated from another country.

Fourteen organizations in 24 communities throughout B.C. are sharing a $240,000  Provincial payout toward the program.

Local outreach, workshops, community engagement and educational initiatives will be funded by these dollars, according to a B.C. press release.

For more information about the Organizing Against Racism and Hate program, go to: embracebc.ca/embracebc/funding/organizing/index.page.

Stacy Thomas


One Comment

  1. Megan

    August 14, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    That is great to hear that people are looking forward. I hope that some of the effort is focused on asking people of colour what they want and need to feel included. Some of the biggest damage has always been done by people who mean well, but think they know best for others. It can be humbling to realize that listening (which is free) and then acting in collaboration, not from top down, is often most effective.

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