Mable Elmore (left) and Niki Sharma (right) present Aria Law (middle) with her B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism award.
Photo via flickr.com
Province celebrated B.C.’s diversity champions
Published 10:51 PDT, Wed March 22, 2023
More than 100 people and organizations were nominated for the 2023 B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards for efforts to address racism and build a more equitable B.C. for everyone.
“Indigenous, Black and people of colour in B.C. and Canada continue to be harmed every day by discrimination and hate,” said Niki Sharma, Attorney General. “I’m so proud to recognize the award winners and nominees who are working to dismantle systemic racism and make our communities more fair, just and equitable for everyone.”
The B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards were held on March 21, 2023, in Vancouver to honour the people and organizations that are addressing racism and promoting inclusivity in their communities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2023 ceremony was the first in-person event since 2019.
Aria Law is a 15-year-old student from Burnaby who won the Emerging Leader Award for her work to address hate targeted at racialized seniors in her neighbourhood. By selling bao buns with anti-racism messages through social media, she was able to help local seniors and young people find a common ground. As part of her award, Law will receive a $5,000 grant for the charity of her choice, the Canada Caring Community Alliance, which is a non-profit organization that works with racialized seniors in Burnaby.
“I am so grateful and humbled to be part of the awards ceremony and among other leaders in the anti-racism space. Racism hurts and we can call it out together,” said Law. “I hope that my experience encourages more youth to show kindness, patience and love to Asian seniors who have been harmed.”
Indigenous Women Outdoors is a non-profit society based in Metro Vancouver that was recognized with the Breaking Barriers award for their work to decolonize the outdoors industry and encourage more Indigenous women to become leaders in outdoor recreation.
In total, five award recipients were honoured across three categories and six people were recognized with honourable mentions.
“I am so inspired by these community leaders who are using outside-the-box approaches to address racism in their communities. Whether through food or an appreciation for the great outdoors, this year’s recipients are finding unique ways to create systemic change by challenging the status quo,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. “I am grateful to all of the nominees for their efforts this year, and all of the organizations, individuals and volunteers throughout B.C. who are strengthening our communities with their voices, passion and advocacy.”
Since launching in 2008, the B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards have recognized more than 50 individuals and organizations.
Other government actions that are making B.C. a safer and more inclusive place for everyone include:
- providing funding to support several anti-racism initiatives, such as the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network, and Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Grants Program;
- re-establishing the B.C. Human Rights Commission;
- implementing the K-12 Anti-Racism Action Plan to equip students, teachers and parents with the resources to identify and respond to racism and discrimination;
- implementing the Anti-Racism Data Act to help government identify inequities in programs and services, and pave the way to a more equitable province; and
- working to introduce a new, broader anti-racism act in 2024.
This year, government will release research priorities under the Anti-Racism Data Act. Developed in partnership with Indigenous governing entities and the Anti-Racism Data Committee, these priorities will ensure that data collection is focused on the areas that matter most to those affected by systemic racism.
To watch the awards event online, visit: youtube.com/watch?v=CK-B40UgPD0