A pair of Prince George organizations are receiving a combined $10,000 to fund projects that tackle racism.
These are two out of 190 new projects across the province now receiving support through the BC Multiculturalism Grant program to address racism and discrimination.
Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society of Prince George (IMSS) is receiving $5,000 in funding for its ‘Open mic for all: bringing together harmony and understanding in the community.’
The project aims to provide a voice to diverse groups from BIPOC, LGBT2SQ+ youth, seniors to bond cross-cultural understanding and to network building in the community.
Prince George Regional Art Gallery Association (PGRAGA) is also receiving $5,000 for its ‘Learning from Sharing: Perspectives through Storytelling’ project.
This project seeks to amplify and expand Indigenous voices and perspectives in relation to themes emerging through exhibitions. Through storytelling, the project also aims to gain valuable perspectives on current pressing themes.
"Racism is pervasive and it reaches into every corner of our province. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation worse," said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives in a news release.
"That's why these grants prioritize projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism. These grants will not only help organizations across the province to address systemic racism, but also provide learning opportunities to foster better understanding and encourage intercultural conversation in B.C. communities."
Funding for the Multiculturalism Grants Program was increased fourfold to more than $1.2 million in 2020-21 to deliver more anti-racism initiatives.
The province says priority was given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism.
Funding is provided to a range of community-based organizations for projects that build intercultural interaction, trust and understanding, or challenge racism, hate and systemic barriers.
"This funding will help support IBPOC-led non-profits in their efforts to advance racial equity and justice in their communities," adds Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits.
"This has been a challenging time and the non-profit sector has been working tirelessly over the last year to meet the increased demand for programs and services."