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Hope group gets $7,500 in funding for action against racism and hate

Hope Inclusion Project identified as a community ‘spoke’ for province-wide Resilience BC network
The Hope Inclusion Project held a successful Multicultural Day at the Legion on Canada Day 2017. The group has now received $7,500 from the provincial Resilience BC network. (Greg Laychack/Black Press)

The Hope Inclusion Project has received $7,500 in provincial funding to lead action against racism in the community.

Active in Hope for 10 years, the Hope Inclusion Project is one of 13 organizations who are together receiving $105,000 from the province to become local providers of action on the provincewide anti-racism network Resilience BC. The network, a redesign of the province’s Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program, is set up as a ‘hub and spoke’ model.

The ‘hub’, which works with connecting communities with information as well as training and resources, is the Victoria Immigrant and Refuge Centre Society. The ‘spokes’ are community organizations like the Hope Inclusion Project.

“These community organizations will lead action at a local and regional level to respond to and prevent racist and hate activity,” Minister responsible for multiculturalism Anne Kang stated in a news release about the funding.

The Hope Inclusion Project organizes an annual multiculturalism fair on July 1. The group is also behind several public anti-racism art projects including murals outside the Two Rivers Education Centre and on Wallace near 3 Avenue. The group is also prepared to assist in the case of a racism or hate event for example a protest or an attack said Peter Bailey, who sits on the group’s committee. So far they have not had to respond to something like this. The group is also looking at developing a curriculum for elementary school-aged students in the coming year, on the topic of racism.

Of the $450,000 in provincial funding that goes to Resilience BC each year, $300,000 is allocated to the community ‘spokes’ the news release stated.

Resilience BC has also recently launched an online portal for people who either experience or witness a racist incident. On the website are resources about how rights and responsilities and how to report a hate crime, among the most underreported offences the site reads.

In May, the Vancouver Police reported what they call a ‘staggering’ rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. The 87 hate-associated files ranged from racial slurs to vandalism to assault. And B.C. residents were most likely to feel that hate-motivated crimes had risen since the pandemic began, according to Statistics Canada survey data.

Bailey said the Hope Inclusion Project recently responded to a symbol that was painted on the wall of the Hope post office in July. The grafitti, which resembled a target, is a white supremacist symbol Bailey explained. The group liaised with the RCMP, who Bailey said did a community-wide investigation to see if further racist grafitti existed.

“They found no other racist grafitti in the community,” he said.

Read more: B.C. residents most likely to feel hate crimes have gone up amid pandemic: StatsCan

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