The Atlanta shootings occurred on March 16, mere days prior to the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) on March 21.
The majority of the victims in the shootings were Asian women and several Asian Canadian organizations and individuals have subsequently expressed their condemnation of the violence and concerns about anti-Asian acts.
The fatal shootings have emphasized the urgency of taking action to address racial issues.
Spice Radio's Hands Against Racism campaign also presented awards to Kamika Williams and Tammy Hu for their efforts in addressing anti-Black and anti-Asian racism this past year.
Leading up to and on IDERD, the B.C. government held an awards ceremony, to spotlight those who have been doing exceptional work to address discrimination in the province; launched an anti-racism campaign; and provided PSAs in various languages to provide information about reporting hate crimes.
On IDERD, B.C. held a virtual ceremony for the 2021 B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards to honour the outstanding efforts of British Columbians to address discrimination and encourage diversity.
“Now more than ever, we must shine a light on racism and address the uncomfortable truth that it exists in B.C.,” B.C. parliamentary secretary of anti-racism initiatives Rachna Singh stated in a news release. “It is only by working together that we can make a lasting change so our future generations are free of hatred and discrimination.”
Five recipients received awards in three categories.
Burnaby’s Mengdie Wang was named the winner of the Emerging Leader Award for a youth or young adult (15 to 30 years old) for building intercultural trust, tackling racism or reducing barriers for marginalized communities.
As the recipient of the Emerging Leader Award receives a $5,000 grant to be donated to an organization of their choice, Wang chose the Chinese Taoism Kuan-Kung Association in Canada.
Vancouver’s Stephanie Allen and Kamloops’ International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 933 won Breaking Barriers Awards, for building intercultural trust and understanding, or reducing racism and hate between communities.
Burnaby’s Harman Singh Pandher and Victoria’s Klasom Satlt'xw Losah (Rose Henry) received Intercultural Trust Awards, for tackling systemic or institutional racism and reducing barriers for marginalized communities.
The awards can be viewed in the video below.
On March 19, B.C. launched an anti-racism information campaign to encourage British Columbians to consider their own biases and prejudices—which isn’t always simple or easy to do—and to stand up against discrimination.
The campaign features nine illustrations by B.C. artists who are Indigenous, Black, and people of colour to encourage dialogue about everyday racism.
"We know that talking about racism is uncomfortable and often requires difficult self-reflection and an open mind," Singh said. "This campaign is just the beginning as the province embarks on various initiatives to combat racism, such as the introduction of an anti-racism act and race-based data collection to modernize various sectors, such as policing, health care and education."
More information about the campaign is available at the campaign website.
Reporting hate crimes
During the pandemic, the B.C. government released videos in various languages to inform people about the importance of reporting hate crimes, which tend to be underreported.
Videos are available in the following languages:
- Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese)
The videos are available at the B.C. government YouTube channel.
For more information about how to report a hate crime or hate incident, if you are a victim or a witness; how to make a complaint about the police; how to make a human rights complaint; and more, visit the Resilience B.C. website.