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BC Selects Group To Lead Anti-Racism Program As Racist Incidents Against Asians On The Rise

VICTORIA – BC is providing more support for communities following a rise in racist incidents targeting Asian people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is very concerning that we are seeing an increase in racially motivated attacks toward people of Asian heritage since the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services and responsible for Multiculturalism. “These incidents are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We are acting now to address racism at the community level and ensure all British Columbians are free from discrimination and intimidation.”

Following a competitive bidding process, the Province has selected the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) to serve as a provincial hub to help communities address hate activity and take on systemic and institutionalized racism throughout the province.

The provincial government launched Resilience BC, a multi-faceted, provincewide approach in challenging racism at a local level in November 2019.

“VIRCS is very proud to lead the important work being done in B.C. communities to stop the spread of racism and end the recent spikes in hate crimes,” said David Lau, executive director, VIRCS. “We look forward to collaborating with community leaders across the province to create innovative local resources to advance multiculturalism, support reconciliation with Indigenous communities and fight prejudice to provide a fully inclusive province for all British Columbians.”

Resilience BC will connect communities with a network of information, supports and training to help them respond to incidents of racism and hate. The program is one of many actions the B.C. government is taking as part of its commitment to stand up for diversity, end racism and all forms of discrimination, and support multiculturalism in British Columbia.

The Province has begun a competitive bidding process to establish community-based Resilience BC spokes to work with the provincial hub to address racism and hate at local and regional levels. Community organizations interested in leading anti-racism and anti-hate efforts in their communities are encouraged to submit proposals by May 19, 2020.

Quick Facts:

* The development of Resilience BC was informed by input gathered during a community consultation led by Ravi Kahlon, former parliamentary secretary for sport and multiculturalism, in 2019.

* VIRCS is a non-profit organization founded in November 1989 by three former refugees and is regarded as a leader in anti-racism work in Greater Victoria.

* As the appointed hub service provider for Resilience BC, VIRCS has been awarded $240,000 for activities in the fiscal year 2020-21.

* The total investment in Resilience BC is $540,000 annually. This funding is being provided through the ministry’s existing budget.

 

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