The provincial government has given small grants to community organizations for anti-racism projects, and will be announcing new legislation in spring 2022. (Unsplash)

The provincial government has given small grants to community organizations for anti-racism projects, and will be announcing new legislation in spring 2022. (Unsplash)

Abbotsford and Mission organizations get $5,000 grants for anti-racism projects

Kara-Kara Afrobeat and the Reach Gallery both have plans for community engagement

Two organizations in the eastern Fraser Valley have been given $5,000 grants to help tackle discrimination and racism.

The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford and the Kara-Kata Afrobeat Society of Canada in Mission were among the 60 groups awarded B.C. Multiculturalism Grants, announced by the province April 8.

The Reach’s grant is for a project called Anti-Black racism, Mental Health and the Fraser Valley, which comprises “three events supporting the mental health of the growing Black community in Abbotsford and across the Fraser Valley.”

Kara-Kara is conducting an African-Canadian Community Needs Assessment. They will be “gathering African community members from around the Lower Mainland (in person) and around Canada (virtually) to assess the top needs and desires of the community to create economic opportunity, empowerment and camaraderie.”

“Over the past two years, we’ve seen a staggering increase in racism and hate incidents in B.C.,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. “These grants are one of many steps in our fight against racism, helping organizations on the ground address systemic racism. This is important work, and I am grateful to everyone stepping up to build anti-racist workplaces and communities.”

The grants were given to community-based organizations for “projects that build intercultural interaction, trust and understanding, or challenge racism, hate and systemic barriers.”

“People of African ancestry are typically categorized as one group and treated as a monolith, obscuring the vast diversity in their histories, identities, journeys and experiences,” said Silvia Mangue Alene, president, BC Black History Awareness Society.

She said the funding builds on ‘Worlds Within: Diverse Histories, Identities, and Experiences of Black People of African Ancestry in British Columbia,’ a report of the African Ancestry Project released in March 2022, “to add a youth-focused component about the rich heritage and diverse cultural identities of Black people in B.C. Connecting with young people is key to building self-esteem and challenging the stereotypes that promote anti-Black racism.”

The province says anti-racism data legislation is being announced this spring.

READ MORE: B.C. government looking to create anti-racism training for high-level officials


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