The East Kootenay Organization for Human Dignity and Equality (EKOHDE) has received $20,000 from the B.C. Government, with the intention of eliminating racism in Cranbrook and Fernie.
EKOHDE promotes diversity in the East Kootenay and is a member of the East Kootenay Humanity Network. The organization also raises awareness of issues facing people of all backgrounds.
“The purpose of the network is to address racism and hate, the twin causes of social degradation and unrest that continue to threaten communities everywhere, including those in our region,” said EKOHDE chairwoman Debbie McPhee in a press release. “British Columbia is the most diverse province within Canada, and the local government wants newcomers to feel welcomed and accepted to the province.
“Almost 30 per cent of British Columbians emigrated from another country, making us the most ethnically diverse province in Canada,” Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett said in a press release. “We want to ensure that newcomers feel a sense of belonging and acceptance in our province.”
The East Kootenay Humanity Network utilizes the United Nations’ International Days to help educate people in the region. On UN’s World Food Day, Oct. 16, the network collected over 5,700 items for the Cranbrook and Fernie Food Banks. The network is also using the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women (Nov. 25) and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (Aug. 9) to educate further and raise awareness in the East Kootenay region.
The East Kootenay Organization for Human Dignity and Equality is one of 14 organizations throughout British Columbia participating in B.C.’s Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program. The organizations are sharing $240,000 in funding from the provincial government.
The money goes towards activities in 24 communities with the common goal of eliminating racism.
The activities include local outreach programs, educational events, workshops and community engagement.