Revamped multicultural grant program on International Human Rights Day

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Ravi Kahlon

Victoria: Applications are now being accepted for B.C.’s Multiculturalism Grants Program, which has been updated to help organizations working to improve cultural interactions, reduce barriers and remove discrimination to create a more inclusive province.

“On the 70th anniversary of Human Rights Day, it’s important to work together to build trust and understanding so that all British Columbians are able to fully participate in all this province has to offer,” said Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism. “These grants will help build and strengthen communities. This work is critical to reducing discriminatory treatment and enhancing the participation of under-represented, racialized groups in our province.”

2018 is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a landmark document that affirms and protects the rights of all people to live in freedom, equality and dignity.

International Human Rights Day also marks the conclusion of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The Province joined the United Nations’ campaign to help advance gender equity, make life better and make communities safer for women, girls and transgender people in B.C. and around the world.

“Ending gender-based violence requires us to challenge racism and all forms of oppression that perpetuate violence,” said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “These grants provide support for the important work of confronting prejudice and strengthening relationships, and will create opportunities to build a safer and more equitable province for everyone.”

The multiculturalism grants will be available for two types of community projects:

  • Intercultural interaction: Projects that build cross-cultural and intercultural interaction, trust and understanding between people of different ethno-cultural, racial, religious and other backgrounds through a range of activities, programs, events and approaches.
  • Anti-racism and systems change: Projects that challenge racism, hate and/or reduce systemic or institutional barriers for under-represented, racialized and/or other minority groups, especially those that use a collaborative community approach.

Applications are being accepted until Jan. 10, 2019. Registered non-profit and charitable organizations are invited to apply for up to $5,000 in funding for activities, programs and events throughout B.C. communities.

Quick Facts:

  • The Government of British Columbia proclaimed Nov. 18 to 24, 2018, as Multiculturalism Week in B.C., to celebrate the diversity of cultures in the province.
  • On Nov. 1, 2018, the Province introduced legislative amendments to the Human Rights Code that will re-establish a human rights commission for B.C. to promote and protect human rights for all British Columbians.
  • 2017 saw a sharp increase in hate crimes reported nationally – up 47% to 2,073 reported incidents.
  • Women of colour, immigrant women and women with disabilities suffer disproportionately from gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination.
  • Cross-government work is being done to address gender-based violence in B.C., including:
    • Allocating $734 million in funding to build 1,500 new transition homes for women and children fleeing violence.
  • Investing $26 million in affordable, quality, legal services and expanding legal aid, including Indigenous and family law services.
  • Standing with community groups and frontline workers by providing $1.7 million in community grants to address violence against women, including domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.