The B.C. government has funded 18 Victoria organizations to help them deliver programs that promote multiculturalism, support racialized communities and challenge racism.
Most of the grants range from about $5,000 to $10,000 and support programs that aim to overcome racism by bringing people together.
Many of them deal with helping Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities who’ve been displaced from their cultural heritage and hope to reconnect them with those practices and elements. Some of the agencies will put the funding toward BIPOC communities facing issues such as intergenerational trauma and homelessness.
Several programs look to bolster cultural expression through the arts, such as: highlighting Afro-Caribbean music, running Indigenous hand drum workshops and creating accessible performance arts programs where youth can express themselves without judgement.
A common theme among many of the programs is creating spaces for racialized people to come together and talk about their life experiences.
One program will turn those lived experiences into educational videos that will strive to show audiences what it’s like for those who face racism and marginalization. Another gives BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ youth spaces to share their stories of discrimination and talk about paths forward. These experience-sharing programs will also try to develop tools and ideas on how to address racism.
B.C.’s parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives said racism is pervasive throughout the province and the pandemic has only made the situation worse.
“That’s why these grants prioritize projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism,” said Rachna Singh. “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.”
To find the complete list of funded Victoria organizations and read more about the programs, go to https://bit.ly/3skRyMR.
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