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

The school is very proud of these students (pictured, left to right): Halim Demir (holding Grace Valdez’ gold certificate); Lauren McIlwain, Shayleen Mack, Jaymen Schieck, Kyle Doiron, and Finn Carlson (photo submitted)
SAMS students excel in international competition

The SAMS team swept their category this year; all six participants received awards

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The avalanche came down on the highway sometime Sunday evening (Feb. 21) (Dawson photo)
Road to Bella Coola wharf reopens after large avalanche

The road was closed after a large avalanche covered a significant portion of the highway

Jenni Mueller lives near the wharf on the other side of the avalanche. She took this photo and thinks the avalanche happened around 8 p.m. last night (February 21). (Jenni Mueller photo)
Avalanche closes road to wharf at Bella Coola

A day and night of heavy rain resulted in avalanches across the region

Fisheries and Oceans Canada released it's 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19. (File photo)
Northern herring opportunities kept to a minimum

2021 management plan caps Prince Rupert fishery at 5 per cent

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: B.C. teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Most Read