Social Planning Council receives $31,000

North Okanagan group gets cash to challenge racism and celebrate diversity

A total of 33 community groups throughout British Columbia

Social Planning Council for the North Okanagan will receive $31,000 in funding to help challenge racism and celebrate diversity.

This organization is among 33 community groups throughout British Columbia working to address racism through the B.C. Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program.

The communities of Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm and Vernon are combining their individual grants of approximately $6,000 each and distributing them to Vernon to be used for a program that benefits all five cities.

“It is never acceptable to make others feel unwelcomed or ashamed of their race, culture or heritage,” said Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster.

“I’m so pleased that this program stationed in Vernon will be in operation for all of the communities located in the Okanagan region.”

In total, government is contributing more than $217,000 to organizations like Social Planning Council for the North Okanagan that have especially strong connections to their communities.

Funding recipients have the power to engage and unite British Columbians under one common goal: to address racism in B.C. communities, one unique project at a time. Communities can use their funding for outreach, educational opportunities, workshops and anti-racism community events.

This year, the OARH network will also 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.

“British Columbia has always welcomed people from all over the world and encouraged them to be proud of their heritage and culture,” said Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo.

“Any time this welcoming spirit is challenged by attitudes of racism, these important community groups are there to help support our community and prevent attitudes like this from spreading.”

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.