Community organizations working to address racism through the B.C. Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program will share over $217,000 in provincial funding aimed at supporting their efforts to challenge racism and celebrate diversity. Funds will be directly distributed to 33 organizations located in communities throughout British Columbia.

OARH anti-racism activities are developed using a collaborative, community-based focus. Communities can use their funding for outreach, educational opportunities, workshops and anti-racism events. OARH funds are also used to connect community anti-racism networks at the local level to broaden their reach.

OARH funding will support a wide variety of community anti-racism projects including:

  • A black and white photo exhibition hosted by the College of New Caledonia featuring community members in traditional dress to emphasize the cultural diversity of Fort St. James.
  • A Cowichan Intercultural Society-led program that trains youth ambassadors to provide anti-racism lessons for Cowichan Valley elementary school students with a focus on welcoming Syrian refugees.
  • Monthly film nights, weekly multicultural cooking sessions and a community dialogue and storytelling event facilitated by the Skeena Diversity Society to support the settlement of new immigrants and refugees in the Terrace area.

This year, the OARH network will expand to include anti-racism networks in four additional B.C. communities: Richmond, Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey. This move will allow OARH to focus its anti-racism lens on both rural and urban communities.

The most ethnically diverse province in Canada, B.C. welcomes nearly 40,000 new immigrants every year. British Columbia’s Multiculturalism Act was created in 1993 to recognize the diversity of British Columbians; encourage respect for our multicultural heritage; promote racial harmony; and foster a society without barriers to inclusion.