To be greeted by a friendly face is a welcome sight for refugees arriving in Canada to begin new lives with, hopefully, no racism or hate. (File photo)

Cowichan Intercultural Society receives funding to help combat hate and racism

Province looks to end racial injustice in B.C.

The Cowichan Intercultural Society is one of seven organizations on Vancouver Island and the coast region that are receiving a total of $52,500 from the province to help in the fight against hate and racism.

In efforts to strengthen anti-hate and anti-racism supports, the seven organizations will be offering Resilience BC services in their respective areas.

“There is no place for racism and hate in British Columbia,” said Anne Kang, minister of Citizens’ Services and responsible for Multiculturalism.

“To fight racism and hate crimes, we must work together in a co-ordinated way in communities in every corner of the province. These community organizations will lead action at a local and regional level to respond to and prevent racist and hate activity.”

Resilience BC, launched in November 2019, is a provincewide anti-racism network delivered through a hub-and-spokes model.

In May 2020, the province selected the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society to serve as a provincial hub to connect communities with information, training and resources throughout the province.

The spokes are community-based branches that identify local priorities and move projects forward to address systemic and institutionalized racism at a local level.

“We are grateful to receive this funding through the Resilience BC program,” said Lynn Weaver, executive director of the Cowichan Intercultural Society.

“This funding will help amplify grassroots actions in our community, ultimately contributing to the province’s actions to end racial injustice throughout B.C.”

Under the Resilience BC program, 34 organizations were selected to provide services in 40 communities throughout the province following a competitive procurement process.

The organizations chosen demonstrated a strong understanding of racism and hate issues and have a defined course of action at a local or regional level driven by community partnerships.

“The work of the Cowichan Intercultural Society and others are integral to addressing racism and shaping the kind of inclusive and resilient communities we want on the islands,” said Sonia Furstenau, MLA for the Cowichan Valley.

“These hard-working groups have done extraordinary work to celebrate and support diversity in the region, and I am delighted they will be receiving funding to continue current and future programs.”

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