Premier John Horgan with Nada El Masry, who received the youth award, at the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards on Thursday, March 21. (Photo: Province of B.C.)

Two women recognized for multiculturalism, anti-racism work in Surrey

Awards ceremony held on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Two people are being recognized for their multiculturalism and anti-racism work in Surrey.

The 2019 British Columbia Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards is recognizing a Surrey woman for her work with a youth social justice leadership program, and a woman who is part of a team at Simon Fraser University that helps refugees in Surrey, according to a news release from the provincial government Thursday (March 21).

The awards, reads the release, are for “excellence in promoting multiculturalism and addressing racism.”

Annie Ohana, the founder of youth social justice leadership program, is one of the recipients of the 2019 British Columbia Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards.

Ohana received the award for “Individual over 30 years of age.” It was a two-way tie with Dalvir Nahal, of Penticton, for her work with Bollywood Bang, which is “dedicated to increasing awareness of Sikh culture and history by breaking down the cultural barriers in the Okanagan to fight racism.”

Ohana founded Mustang Justice of out L.A. Matheson Secondary nearly seven years ago. It focuses on support for cultural revitalization projects, interfaith dialogue and the protection of cultures facing oppression in their home countries.

READ ALSO: Surrey school’s Mustang Justice program wins $10,000-award, June 21, 2018

In 2018, the Mustang Justice program was named the winner of then-mayor Linda Hepner’s inaugural civic responsibility award.

Nada El Masry, of New Westminster, received the “Youth (aged 15 to 30 years) award).” She is the manager at RADIUS SFU and a team member for the Beyond Borders project, which is “focused on addressing themes of civic engagement, inclusion and systemic barriers to thriving livelihoods for refugees in Surrey.”

According to RADIUS SFU’s website, Beyond Borders is the central program of the Refugee Livelihood Lab.

“It provides a platform for the leadership of people who have lived experience as refugees and other players in the system including employers, settlement workers and managers, artists, funders and entrepreneurs to go beyond established approaches.”

The Youth award recipient, according to the release, received $5,000 that will be donated to the Refugee Livelihood Lab “to further its work in the Beyond Borders project.”

In total, five people, groups and businesses received awards, including Powell River Academy of Music for the non-profit organization and Spice Radio for the business category.

Each award recipient received a trophy presented by Premier John Horgan.

Horgan said diverse and inclusive communitues “are strong communities.”

“Congratulations to these remarkable individuals and organizations, who are working to end racism and discrimination, and make sure every person feels welcome to participate in B.C.’s economy, culture and society. Their actions are helping build a Better B.C. for us all.”

The awards ceremony took place on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and featured performances in recognition of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and Holi and Hola Mohalla, the Hindu and Sikh celebrations of spring.

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Politicians and award recipients at the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards on Thursday, March 21. (Photo: Province of B.C.)

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