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Anti-Racism Awareness Introduction & Proclamations

How did we get here and why is it important for Port Alberni?

Anti-Racism Awareness Week is an initiative of Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network, of which Literacy Alberni is a Spoke Member for the ACRD, Parksville, and Qualicum. The Resilience BC Network works with the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism branch of the provincial government, as well as the office of the Human Rights Commissioner, the Honorable Kasari Govender, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, Rachna Singh. The Resilience BC Network requested that the provincial government proclaim the week of May 23 to 29, 2021 “Anti-Racism Awareness Week.”

Literacy Alberni became involved in human rights and racial justice work in April 2020, through the Pandemic Postcard Project, from which evolved the Global Acceptance Project (GAP), where we hoped to create a forum for youth to express their messages containing their ideals of equity and a world where hatred of other humans has stopped. Our grant application for funding for GAP led us into the work with the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network.

All of this was happening concurrent to the COVID 19 pandemic and the rise in anti-Asian racism. By the end of May 2020, the protests sparked by George Floyd’s murder and the demand for action against systemic racism reached international proportions. These events and the cumulative nature of racial injustices perpetrated worldwide over centuries, inform our ongoing work to dismantle systemic racism and the white supremacy culture in which it is rooted.

At present, Literacy Alberni is convening a group of individuals from various community organizations to develop a Community Response Protocol to Racism and Hate. As well, a website portal for reporting incidents of race and hate-based discrimination has been launched at https://reportalberni.ca.

The reports from this site will enable the community to better provide support services to those traumatized by discrimination and inform our community response over time. The ongoing anti-racism and anti-hate efforts include education for the community about how racists structures affect all human beings, and the processes of reconciliation and decolonization.

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