Langley MLAs Andrew Mercier and Megan Dykeman. (Black Press Media files)

Langley MLAs announce multiculturalism grants intended to help fight racism

Priority was given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism

Langley MLA Andrew Mercier and Langley-East MLA Megan Dykeman say multiculturalism grant funding will help local organizations fight systemic racism throughout the community.

The province is providing a $944,000 one-time boost to the grant funding as part of anti-racism initiatives through Stronger BC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan.

​“People from marginalized communities being able to share their stories is a valuable tool in the fight against racism,” said Mercier. “Providing funding to organizations that facilitate, and amplify Indigenous and Black voices helps bring us together, and build cross-cultural understanding.”

“We know how important it is for our society to be inclusive and to support initiatives that help people overcome barriers to full participation in all that our country has to offer,” said Dykeman.

“That’s why our government is boosting programs like the ESSCA-BC Educational Project, to help remove obstacles and make the transition smoother for new immigrants to our province.”

Multiculturalism grant funding is provided to non-profit and charitable organizations for projects that build intercultural interaction, trust and understanding, or challenge racism, hate and systemic barriers.

MLAs said that through these projects, people across B.C. will soon have improved access to tools and resources to help them learn about the diverse culture they live.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver announces $150,000 in cultural grants

Projects in the Langley area receiving a grant include:

Africa-Canada Education Foundation – $10,000

The African-Canadian Heritage Project is a multi-layered youth led undertaking dedicated to reviving, celebrating and honouring Africa-Canadian and global African history and historical figures through films, dialogue, culture, and education.

African Stages Association of BC – $5,000

The TOHIO Vlog project will use video blogs to bring African Folk stories to virtual audiences.

Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association of British Columbia – $5,000

Since moving to Canada decades ago, members of ESSCA-BC continue to face challenges accessing services mostly due to language barriers.

Unlike other immigrants, some of its members came from conditions where they were forced to either interrupt their studies or even abandon their formal education. The ESSCA-BC Educational Project will help them overcome these challenges.

Langley Community Services Society – $4,994

The Changing Communities and Connections project generates new pathways of communication between individuals otherwise marginalized by cultural barriers and community partners with influence and connection, who together might help shape new initiatives for equality and inclusion.

Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society – $5,000

The F.A.I.R project will focus on educating students, teachers, and about Indigenous culture which will decrease the level of Anti-Indigenous racism in schools and the broader community.

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