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Racial inequities examined in Vernon

Indigenous, black and people of colour urged to take part in creating anti-racism legislation for B.C.
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Claire Amisco arrived in Vernon from the Philippines in 2022, one of many people coming to the area through the Rural Northern Immigration Pilot program. (Submitted photo)

Vernonites have the chance to help B.C. develop anti-racism legislation.

While we all deserve to live in a province where we have equal opportunities to thrive, many systems and structures society is built on do not address the unique needs of Indigenous, black, and other people of colour.

The province of British Columbia is asking the public for their help in developing anti-racism legislation that will hold the provincial government accountable for addressing systemic racism within its programs and services and provide supports to those who have been negatively impacted.

To actively engage in this crucial endeavor, Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Services Society (VDICSS) will be hosting two community engagement sessions. These sessions aim to identify barriers and inequalities experienced by Indigenous, black and other people of colour in the community and to foster discussions on the most effective strategies for the government to address these challenges.

“Racial inequities in our society have been left unaddressed for too long,” said Amelia Sirianni, executive director at VDICSS. “These engagement sessions will provide us with an opportunity to identify and address the inequities and move us closer toward corrective action.”

Indigenous, black, and other people of colour are invited to share their thoughts on how government can better address systemic racism and help shape new anti-racism legislation. Sessions will focus on how the B.C. government can better support the people who are impacted, what areas should be prioritized, what kind of programs the government should support to prevent further community harm and much more. Refreshments will be available, and a $50 honorarium will be provided for participation. To ensure anonymity, no pre-registration is required.

Sessions will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, at 12 p.m. and at 4:30 p.m. at the Okanagan Regional Library.

VDICSS is one of 68 organizations that received grants to help shape anti-racism legislation.

For more information, contact Amy Timleck at amy.timleck@vdicss.org.

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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