Cycling4Diversity Initiative Hands Out Prize And Gets Set For Next May’s Trek

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Cycling4Diversity trailblazer Ken Herar with Amber Zurowski (left) winner of bike raffle, and Diane Delves, CEO and president of Quantum Properties, representing partners of Quantum Properties Brooklyn, who donated $500 to the cause.

By Ken Herar

There has been a new development regarding the bike raffle that was drawn two weeks ago. Winner Amber Zurowski, of Abbotsford was thrilled to win the Cycling4Diversity bike which I had the pleasure of riding to Victoria. A few days after notifying Zurowski, she expressed to me that no one in her family rides a bike and would like to give the bike back to the Cycling4Diversity team for next May’s trek. She called Sarina Derksen, who was announced last week by the team to be the Executive Coordinator of the Cycling4Diversity ride in 2012.

For a reduced price, Derksen recommended to me that we purchase Devinci Oslo Hybrid bike from Zurowski for next year’s ride and the years to follow. Derksen said: “This is a great opportunity to continue where we left off from last year. We appreciate Zurowski’s offer and are honored that she would reach out and support our initiative. As the message of diversity is spreading throughout our communities, the response has been encouraging, therefore, we expect an even greater turnout for next year’s ride, said Derksen.” The Cycling4Diversity team is thankful for the contribution made by Diane Delves of Quantum Properties, which made this all possible.

As I continue to express, the best way to overcome “intercultural barriers” is by encouraging people to become active in their communities. Programs are a wonderful way of initiating discussions. Instead of placing blame, we all need to do better and include people from different cultures into our lives. The success of diversity depends on our willingness to accept that there may be some differences, but work together to build a common future.

The Go-Ahead Power Project is an example of how we can develop relationships with new immigrant youth from ages 11-17. The program is funded by Coast Capital Savings and in partnership with Abbotsford Community Services. The program’s goals are to provide a sense of belonging and involvement in bridging cultural gaps. Illana Boychuk said: “The project was also to implement change in their own lives by community involvement, opportunities and resources. Some of the programs were: Food Bank, environmental contributions and sharing stories with seniors”, said Boychuk.

Another great local program that is building on international friendships is between the African nation of Namibia and the City of Abbotsford. Since 2007, the Abbotsford Police Department has been involved in a police exchange program with the Windhoek City Police to assist them with their development as a new city police department.  Windhoek, which is the capital city of Namibia, had decided to establish the country’s first city police department beginning in 2006.  Abbotsford Deputy Police Chief, Rick Lucy said: “There have been five exchanges focusing on a variety of areas. This sixth exchange, happening this week, will see three officers from their records section coming here to explore our records management system (PRIME), crime analysis, CompStat, and crime mapping.”

There’s a lot of positive activities that are occurring in our communities and I encourage people to get involved.

Ken “Kulwinder” Herar is a Mission-based writer and a winner of the champions of diversity award for his columns in the LINK newspaper and other Fraser Valley newspapers. Herar can be reached at [email protected] or view his blog at http://www.kenherar.blogspot.com