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Richmond non-profit assists immigrants facing barriers, fosters equitable opportunities

Richmond Multicultural Community Services advocates anti-racism, inclusion, and provides settlement services

There are significant challenges facing migrants today: language, racism, health care, employment, and safe affordable housing, among many others. 

To provide immigrant and refugee communities assistance to reduce these types of barriers, Richmond Multicultural Community Services (RMCS) addresses these issues head-on, and contributes to the creation of a more equitable and harmonious society where everyone feels valued and respected.

To support newcomers and refugees assimilate into their adopted Richmond communities, they offer a suite of programs and services, including English language training, employment support, housing assistance, health-care guidance, and cultural integration.

"We've been serving newcomers and doing anti-racism work in the community for 38 years," says Parm Grewal, executive director, RMCS.

"We help and support our clients to solve their challenges of adapting to a new country and building a solid foundation for their future."

Advocates for anti-racism, inclusion

RMCS is dedicated to promoting inclusion and combating racism, a core component of their mission. 

"In our anti-racism programming, we have a community collaboration table where over 40 businesses and organizations sit," says Grewal. "We're quite proud of our relationships within the community and also with our service to our clients."

"As a result of our inclusion and Inclusive Communities Program, we have a protocol for responding to incidents of racism and hate that we're asking businesses and community organizations to adopt," Grewal explains.

"It's a quick way for someone that's observing an incidence of racism and hate to support people that are victims of the incident. And also, a way for us to liaise with the RCMP and other resources for the victims."

Acts of discrimination and racism have become more overt in recent years and RMCS is committed to ensuring their program development is effective.

"We've developed a steering committee of victims of racism and hate that are involved in our decision making in our programming, and what we're doing going forward," says Grewal. 

Community involvement, collaboration

"We currently serve about 5,500 clients annually and are involved in over 25 active partnerships within the community," says Grewal.

"We have a new partnership with the City of Richmond, City Centre Community Centre, and the Minoru Senior Centre for an art project called, Aspire | Build | Celebrate, which aims to bring together diverse groups of seniors and youth to discuss issues of racism and diversity in the community, to be played out in theatre."

Additionally, RMCS organizes educational workshops and events to provide opportunities for their clients to connect with others from different cultural backgrounds, fostering cross-cultural understanding and building bridges of friendship and support. These efforts help to establish social connections, expand their networks, and overcome isolation. 

Furthermore, their workshops, awareness campaigns and advocacy initiatives help foster a safe and welcoming environment that celebrates diversity and challenges systemic barriers. 

More than 100 RMCS volunteers have fun while making a difference giving back—such as manning the reception or providing staff support at events and community tables, for example.

"We also serve over 1,100 clients in our low-income tax clinic, which is driven completely by volunteers," says Grewal.

"We encourage people to be part of the change and get involved with us—whether that's as clients, like-minded organizations and interested businesses, or as volunteers. We welcome everyone."

For more information, or to register for programs and upcoming events, visit