More people across British Columbia will receive free training on how to help defuse racist incidents through a new Anti-Racism Community Delegate (ARC) pilot program.
Applications are being accepted for the “train the trainer” program, which will educate people passionate about anti-racism work in no less than 15 small communities. Successful candidates will acquire the skills to deliver training on how bystanders can deal with racist incidents and facilitate community dialogues about racism and discrimination in their communities.
“Over the past few years, we have seen an alarming increase in racist incidents in communities large and small across our province. We cannot sit idly by and allow this kind of hatred to proliferate. We all have a role to play in addressing racism in our families and communities,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. “This training will give people the skills and confidence they need to carry out anti-racism work and train others in their communities as we strive to dismantle the systemic barriers that hold Indigenous people back, black people and people of color for generations.”
The pilot project is the first anti-racism training of its kind. It is developed and offered by the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Center Society (VIRCS), a non-profit organization that assists people new to Canada and advances anti-racism initiatives through Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network.
Resilience BC is a network of over 34 organizations that connects local leaders to the information, support and training they need to respond to and prevent incidents of racism and hate in their communities.
“We are all responsible for creating safety in our communities,” said Siobhan Brown, Resilience BC member in the qathet region. “Racism and discrimination are injustices that we have the power to fight. This training will strengthen our ability to do just that by combining basic lessons with the unique needs of each rural community, so that we can create a tailored response. »
People from the following communities are encouraged to apply:
- Dawson’s Creek
- Fort St. Jean
- Powell/qathet river
- Prince Rupert
“You can’t ignore racism and expect it to go away. This program will give people the tools they need to train community members on how to deal with racist incidents and make positive changes in their communities,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MPP for Vernon-Monashee. “By providing more people with the skills and knowledge to dismantle systemic racism in their communities, we can build a better anti-racism BC for all.”
Online applications will be accepted until August 11, 2022. Twenty places are available in the program. Successful candidates will begin their training in October 2022. Participants will receive a stipend and travel expenses will be covered.
“Traditional diversity and inclusion trainings have failed to create the lasting change needed to address systemic inequalities,” said Karen Hira, Executive Director of VIRCS. “Investing in meaningful and sustained exploration of systemic racism and its impact on our daily lives will help us build more resilient, compassionate and equitable communities.”
VIRCS receives financial support for the ARC Stewards program and other anti-racism training initiatives through the Sector Labor Market Partnerships program, part of the Canada-BC Agreement. on labor market development.
The program is an important part of the province’s commitment to dismantling systemic racism and building a better and more inclusive province for all.
For more information about the program and to apply, visit: https://www.vircs.bc.ca/lcrcprogram
For more information on Resilience BC, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/anti-racism/resiliencebc
For more information on provincial anti-racism initiatives, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/antiracism
For more information on the Labor Market Sector Partnerships program, visit: https://www.workbc.ca/labour-market-industry/sector-labour-market-partnerships-program.aspx