Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo

Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

The B.C. government is reinforcing the importance of several anti-racism initiatives, as a part of efforts to combat racism and support racialized communities.

Their statements coincide with Black Shirt Day, and the birth date of Martin Luther King Jr.

Black Shirt Day was created to show solidarity with Black and racialized communities in B.C. in their ongoing struggle for equity, equality and justice.

A recently-proposed anti-racism awareness campaign, the government explained, is part of a $1.9 million investment to make B.C. safer and more inclusive. Part of the funding will support initiatives addressing racism. This was previously outlined in the Parlimentary Secretary’s mandate letter in November, 2020.

It serves as the first anti-racism act in B.C. history.

Previously in December, a petition from Anti-Racism Coalition Vancouver called on B.C. Minister of Education, Jennifer Whiteside, to designate Jan. 15 as Black Shirt Day. Over 10,000 have since signed it.

READ MORE: Petition calling for official anti-racism Black Shirt Day gaining traction in B.C.

“On this day, we remember how he (Martin Luther King Jr.) inspired millions of people to join together in the push to end racism, and how far we still have to go to create a world where everyone is treated equally, regardless of race or the colour of their skin,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, and Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education, in a joint statement on Jan. 15.

Although education in B.C. teaches about Black history, including the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the underground railroad, the government stated there is more work to be done, “to ensure an anti-racism lens is core in B.C.’s curriculum.”

As a result, the government will be examining resources for students and teachers, supporting community projects that address racism, and introducing B.C.’s first anti-racism and disaggregated, race-based data collection.

However, Singh and Whiteside said this alone is not enough.

“We need everyone in B.C. to stand together in this fight and to show that discrimination in any form will not be tolerated.”

They applauded the Black Shirt Day initiative.

“We believe B.C. should be a province that works for everybody. It is only by working together, we can make this dream a reality.”

Editors note: A previous version of this story stated the announcement of B.C.’s first anti-racism act took place today, Jan. 15, 2020. This is not the case. The set of anti-racism initiatives were announced in November, 2020, in the Parliamentary Secretary’s mandate letter.

READ MORE: Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC governmentracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering of the new Nanaimo Correctional Centre. (IBI Group Architects image)
Designs come in for Nanaimo’s new jail

City’s design advisory panel supports height variance at Nanaimo Correctional Centre

The City of Nanaimo is administering a petition-against process to determine if property owners in the downtown core are in favour of establishing a business improvement area. (City of Nanaimo image)
Nanaimo’s downtown property owners to decide if they want new BIA

City council votes to administer petition-against process for business improvement association

Police in Nanaimo hope the public can help locate a guitar and travel bag stolen from a vehicle in a downtown hotel parking lot. (Photo submitted)
Gibson guitar, Louis Vuitton bag stolen from vehicle in Nanaimo

Items taken from car in Coast Bastion Hotel parking lot last week

Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)
Routley selected chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA acknowledges there will be a lot of material to process

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Nanaimo sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Whispers Adult Superstore overnight Feb. 21

The area on Cordova Bay Road where ancestral human remains were discovered Feb. 22. (Submitted photo)
Human remains discovery a reminder of B.C. Indigenous culture dug up and displaced

‘These are the people who inspired and birthed the generations that we now have here’

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Most Read