Deltassist Family and Community Services is set to receive $7,500 in grant funding to address racism is the community.
The Delta-based non-profit is one of 13 organizations in the Lower Mainland — 34 province-wide — receiving grant funding from Resilience BC, an anti-racism network established by the provincial government to address systemic and institutionalized racism.
The funding will allow Deltassist to respond to incidences of racism and hate in the community by providing supports like counselling, victim’s services and reconciliation programming to help people and communities respond to — and recover from — racism at the local level, according to a press release.
Resilience BC was launched in November 2019 in direct response to feedback received during community meetings led by Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon that summer.
Kahlon, in his former role as parliamentary secretary for sport and multiculturalism, met with community leaders, anti-racism organizers and young people across B.C. to discuss the way racism is experienced in different communities. Over 360 people attended community meetings in Courtenay, Cranbrook, Duncan, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Osoyoos, Prince George, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Prince Rupert, and Victoria.
In a press release announcing the funding granted to Deltassist, Kahlon said it was clear from his conversations last summer that every community experiences racism differently, which highlighted the importance of establishing an anti-racism program that equips communities and local organizations with the unique resources they need to challenge racism in its different forms.
“After touring the province to lead conversations about racism in the summer of 2019, it was clear to me that we need to support grassroots organizations that are working to address racism, which is exactly what this funding does,” Kahlon said in a press release. “This funding will strengthen communities and provide resources for communities to organize against racism.”
Resilience BC operates through a hub-and-spokes model, with Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society serving as provincial hub to connect communities with information, training and resources. The spokes are community-based organizations such as Deltassist that identify local priorities and move projects forward to address systemic and institutionalized racism at a local level.
The program receives $540,000 annually, which is distributed to communities and organizations across B.C. A total of $300,000 from Resilience BC’s annual budget is allocated to funding community spoke services, with organizations receiving $7,500 per geographic community they serve.
Other Lower Mainland community and regional service providers receiving funding through Resilience BC include:
• Archway Community Services (Abbotsford and Mission)
• Burnaby Family Life (Burnaby)
• Collingwood Neighbourhood House (Vancouver)
• The Family Education and Support Centre (Ridge Meadows)
• Free Rein Associates Training Ltd. (Hope)
• Langley Community Services Society (Langley)
• The Lower Mainland Purpose Society for Youth and Families (New Westminster)
• North Shore Multicultural Society (North Shore region)
• Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities (MOSAIC) (Surrey/White Rock)
• Richmond Multicultural Community Services (Richmond)
• S.U.C.C.E.S.S. (United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society) (Tri-Cities)
• WitWorks Ltd. (Sechelt/Gibsons)
Recently, the province launched an online portal through Resilience BC, o support people who experience or witness a racist incident. The website, hatecrimesinbc.resiliencebcnetwork.ca, offers information in 12 languages, and multilingual videos will be added soon.