Cycling4Diversity Set For May 22-25

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Presenting the British Columbia proclamation deeming May 20th-May 26th as " Cycling4Diversity Week" in BC are (Left to Right) Abbotsford MLA Mike de Jong, Ken Herar, Sarina Di Martino Derksen, Rick Lucy and Sukhi Dhami. The diversity initiative will be taking place from May 22nd-May 25th from Mission to Victoria.

By Ken Herar

Last week, the Cycling4Diversity team received a proclamation from the Province of British Columbia naming May 20th-26th as “Cycling4Diversity Week” in our province from Abbotsford MLA Mike de Jong. With the ride being under a month away the team also released its logo, which was designed by Dwayne De Souza owner of  Kapesh Media and Executive Coordinator for C4D Sarina Di Martino Derksen. The team then presented the Health Minister with a t-shirt containing the new logo.

The 2nd annual ride from Mission to Victoria is shaping up to be twice as big as last years and the support has been tremendous. The journey will begin at Griner Park in Mission where the team will spend a few moments replanting the Ginko Biloba tree that was vandalized last August. After that the team will travel some 200km visiting 9 communities and making over 34 stops over 4-days speaking to students, the general public and organizations about ways we can celebrate diversity and make our communities more inclusive.

Cycling4Diversity initiative began last year to celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity which falls on May 21st each year. This year the team is doing it differently and will begin its ride the day after the United Nations Day and celebrate it in conjunction with  “Cycling4Diversity Week”. The one question I am asked often is what is Cycling4Diversity? I am thrilled that people take the time to ask. Cycling4Diversity is a program I developed last year where a team of diversity cyclist and other members travel to various communities and share in the spirit of diversity, listen to concerns and discuss some of the challenges we still face. As someone who focuses on these topics, I hear it all. I feel its my responsibility to be part of a larger discussion on how we can actually celebrate diversity and end some of the isolation and divisions that have been steadily increasing. Our team is honoured to carry this message and each community has warmly welcomed us with excitement in showing their own commitment in spreading this important message.

Last year, the United Nations launched and encouraged one million people around the globe to do one activity to support diversity and inclusion on May 21st. Our one activity is the Cycling4Diversity initiative which our team represents on this trip.

Executive Coordinator, Sarina Di Martino Derksen said: “Diversity is ever shifting and changing, therefore, our approach regarding the topic and matters at hand must reflect such a change as well. We live in an incredibly diverse country and are very blessed because of it. Let us not take those living around us for granted or tolerate discrimination that we might witness first hand. It is our responsibility and duty in life to stand up against injustices we see take place against others. I urge and challenge everyone to reach out to someone in their workplace, school or neighbourhood that might be of a different race or culture and start talking to them. We cannot begin to celebrate diversity until we actually begin talking with one another. Without active dialogue, there cannot be any celebrations.”

We are currently adding additional male and female core cyclist to our team to travel the entire distance to Victoria, feel free to contact us at [email protected]

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

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