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Posted: December 3, 2015

Anti-racism programs get boost from government

The East Kootenay Organization for Human Dignity and Equality (EKOHDE) has received $20,000 from the B.C. government to help eliminate racism in Cranbrook and Fernie.

EKOHDE is a member of the East Kootenay Humanity Network, which promotes unity in diversity in the East Kootenay and raises awareness of issues facing people of all backgrounds.

“Almost 30% of British Columbians emigrated from another country, making us the most ethnically diverse province in Canada,” Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett said. “We want to ensure that newcomers feel a sense of belonging and acceptance in our province.”

“The purpose of the network is to address racism and hate, the twin causes of social degradation and unrest that continue to threaten communities everywhere, including those in our region,” said EKOHDE chairwoman Debbie McPhee.

The East Kootenay Humanity Network uses the United Nations’ International Days as a vehicle to educate people in the region.

On Oct. 16 the network marked the UN’s World Food Day and collected more than 5,700 items for food banks in Cranbrook and Fernie.

The network is also using the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Nov. 25) and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (Aug. 9, 2016) to raise awareness and to educate people in the East Kootenay.

The East Kootenay Organization for Human Dignity and Equality is one of 14 organizations throughout British Columbia participating in B.C.’s Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program.

These 14 organizations are sharing $240,000 in funding from the provincial government toward activities in 24 communities that connect area networks in their common goal of wiping out racism. This includes local outreach, educational events, workshops and community engagements.

The OARH program helps communities address racism and create a long-term plan to eradicate violence, discrimination and hate in their communities.

To learn more about the Organizing Against Racism and Hate program, go to: embracebc.ca/embracebc/funding/organizing/index.page

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