Two local organizations and a third group that serves Kamloops are on the receiving end of provincial funding aimed at combatting racism.
The Kamloops Art Gallery and the Kamloops-Cariboo Regional Immigrants Society are among the 192 recipients of funding from the provincial government’s Multiculturalism Grants Program.
The art gallery is receiving $5,000 for its learning and unlearning cultural practices project, which will bring together at the gallery neighbouring arts organizations to offer programs and an exhibition of art work from the Secwépemc Museum collection that reflects on language and cultural practices, to strengthen understanding.
The immigrants society will use its $5,000 to produce a lived-experience portfolio of testimonials from BIPOC (black, Indigenous, people of colour) youth who are experiencing racism and discrimination to inform and motivate school district administrators and staff in making changes to school materials, curriculum and the learning environment.
Meanwhile, the North Okanagan Social Planning Society, which serves Kamloops and other communities around the Thompson, Shuswap and Okanagan areas, is receiving $35,000.
That money will be used to establish regional response protocols to racism, empower community partners and build capacity to support their local antiracism network/protocol and/or host their own Respect Lives Here events.
The funds are part of a $372,500 funding injection the province has granted to organizations of the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network.
Thirty-six organizations are receiving the funding to support local anti-racism initiatives in 57 B.C. communities.
The funds are meant to address a recent increase in racism, especially anti-Asian and anti-Indigenous hate activity, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a government press released stated.
The Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network delivers co-ordinated services by connecting communities with the information, supports and training to respond to and prevent future incidents of racism and hate.