Kasari Govender, British Columbia’s Human Rights Commissioner, will be hosting a town hall via Zoom for Interior residents and organizations on Thursday, June 11. (B.C. Human Rights Commission)

Kasari Govender, British Columbia’s Human Rights Commissioner, will be hosting a town hall via Zoom for Interior residents and organizations on Thursday, June 11. (B.C. Human Rights Commission)

B.C. human rights commissioner hosting town hall via Zoom for Interior residents, organizations

Kasari Govender said the priority is to hear about pressing human rights issues people are facing

B.C.’s human rights commissioner wants to hear from Interior residents and organizations about human rights issues impacting people’s lives.

Kasari Govender will be hosting an education and engagement town hall via Zoom on Thursday, June 11 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. with people and organizations from the Interior.

During the two-hour session, Govender hopes people will share insight on human rights issues impacting their lives and in turn she plans to share information about rights and responsibilities under B.C. law and human rights system.

The BC Office of the Human Rights Commissioner was newly re-established in September 2019 and Govender began working as the commissioner in September after being named in May 2019.

During the zoom session she will also share information about how people can seek support and justice when they feel they are being discriminated against.

Read more: Teach Black history to fight racism, starting in elementary school: B.C. students

It is an incredible opportunity, Govender said of her job.

Prior to being named commission she was the executive director of West Coast Leaf — a women’s legal organization. She worked there for 11 years.

Her office had scheduled to travel around the office for many months before the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold, with meetings in Kamloops and Kelowna cancelled at the last minute in mid-March.

“I had a planned a whole range of meetings and town hall sessions and meetings with First Nations,” Govender said. “It was really disappointing because we had a number of those in the works.”

So far five priorities have been identified since the new office was started in September.

One is addressing discrimination as prohibited by B.C.’s human rights code, most importantly employment, tenancy and providing services. The other four are strategic priorities focused on poverty as both a cause and effect of inequality, decolonization, rise of hate and white supremacy in the province and finally human rights for people who are detained in prisons or mental health institutions.

When asked about the anti-racism protests taking place in North America, Govender said it is a really important moment.

“I think there has been entrenched racism in both Canada and the U.S. right into the foundations of these countries. Change does happen through these ground swells of support of protests of people saying we will not stand for this kind of institutional racism anymore. Lives are at stake.”

She confirmed a large number or organizations have signed up to attend Thursday’s zoom session.

People wanting to attend the Interior zoom session can inquire by calling 250-216-4534.

Another zoom engagement session is planned for the northern region on June 25, 2020 as well as a number of online meetings with organizations throughout the province.

Read more: Williams Lake teens organize protest in support of Black Lives Matter



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

racism

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

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

The current state of the Royal Hotel. (Photo Contributed by Richard Leeks)
‘No one is willing to step up to take any responsibility’: Royal owners plow on with renovictions

Heat, kitchen appliances, doors, running water and WiFi have been allegedly removed

RDEK reminds public to register for their emergency notification system. File photo.
RDEK reminds residents to register for East Kootenay Evacuation Notification System

Provincial Alert system cannot be used for local emergencies

City of Fernie city hall. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
City of Fernie: New orders a challenge, but community is supportive

Mayor Qualizza said that the new public health orders were an opportunity to safeguard the winter season

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

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

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

2020
Urban wildlife Part VI: The East Kootenay birds of autumn

The work of local photographers printed in the pages of the East Kootenay Advertiser throughout 2020. Part VI.

Most Read