Seniors and youth will engage in arts-focused multicultural projects to combat racism, using a federal grant of $92,000.
Racism has always been around, said Parm Grewal, executive director of Richmond Multicultural Community Services, which will run the programs. But, she added, there has been a recent rise in “direct and overt” forms of racism.
She said this is partly because society is connecting less as neighbours as people live in condos and don’t getting to know new immigrants as they move to Canada, resulting in less understanding.
“We’re no longer building those connections,” Grewal told the Richmond News, recalling how people used to connect at kids events, on the street or in the garden.
Richmond MPs Parm Bains and Wilson Miao came to Richmond City Hall on Thursday to announce the grant.
Other community partners in the project are Richmond’s City Centre Community Association and the Minoru Seniors Society.
The arts-focused project is called Aspire | Build | Celebrate (ABC) and aims to bring together diverse groups of youth and seniors to talk about multiculturalism, diversity and racism.
Participants will collaborate with a team of artists on a legacy art project, to be unveiled in 2023.
The groups will start meeting in October, Grewal said, to work with the artists. There will also be some theatre projects.
The $92,000 grant came from the Department of Canadian Heritage Community Support, Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Initiatives (CSMARI) program. The City of Richmond applied for the grant.
Richmond Multicultural Community Services was founded in 1985 to lend support to newcomers settling in Richmond.