Diversity Is Important And We All Need To Do Our Part To Ensure Its Existence In Our Society


By Ken Herar

Through the years as a columnist I have probably have heard almost very possible discussion on the topic of cultural diversity. In many of these conversations leadership is often the key factor that is overlooked to bring real change that people are craving. Whether you are for or against cultural diversity there is always room to be part of something inspiring and positive whether it be in your: schools, neighborhoods or workplace.

For example, Sarina Di Martino Derksen and I in 2011 decided to form a initiative called Cycling4Diversity that travels throughout lower mainland cities each year in May speaking on topics of: cultural diversity, inclusion and racism. One of the main purposes for creating C4D was to address issues of “cultural divide” that unfortunately is becoming something very noticeable. Through our teams leadership members haven taken the time during the past three years to bring attention to this concern, but also provide educational value on how students and organizations can become leaders in the field of cultural diversity. What I have witnessed is that audiences are extremely keen on what we have to say and the message we leave behind for them to think about. Cultural diversity is more than just a weekend multi-cultural celebration. Its an interactive lifestyle that engages people beyond their differences.

Project Interfaith is developed by the Diversity Education and Resource Staff at Abbotsford Community Services, and funded by the InSpirit Foundation. It was created as a venue for young adults from diverse religious, spiritual, and secular backgrounds to learn from one another and create interfaith harmony in Abbotsford.

Over the last year, a committee of 7 young adults from diverse faith groups planned events including, worship tours at a local Sikh temple, the Islamic Centre, and have supported various projects, including a dialogue session at the Reach Gallery Museum Persian film screening Nowruz Celebration.

In the next few months, Project Interfaith participants, will be attending a service at the Abbotsford Vineyard Church , a bible study with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (September), and recently had a worship tour at the Sikh Temple. For young adults looking to get more involved in Project Interfaith, contact Kam Aujla at 604-859-7681,ext. 270.

“ Project Interfaith is a way to connect with young adults from different faith traditions and share our different faiths and traditions. It’s a way to broaden each other’s perceptions, bridge cultural misunderstandings, and promote diversity in our community” said Jessica Warkentain.

“It is a great celebration of all faiths. There is tons of education and a great way to connect with other youth” said Gugan Sidhu.

“I love being a part of Project Interfaith because it provides me with the opportunity to work with some pretty special people, and learn about the different religions and faith groups in Abbotsford. Diversity is important to me because I feel that it is important to acknowledge that we are not all the same, yet similar in different ways” said Pearl Penner.

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 kenhera[email protected] or view his blog at http://www.kenherar.blogspot.com