City of Richmond and Richmond Multicultural Community Services collaborate on anti-racism project

08 September 2022

The City of Richmond and Richmond Multicultural Community Services (RMCS) are working together to encourage diversity and promote multiculturalism through an anti-racism arts project to launch this fall.

The project is funded by a $92,000 grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage Community Support, Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Initiatives (CSMARI) program.

Known as the Aspire | Build | Celebrate (ABC) project, it will bring together diverse groups of youth and seniors in Richmond to engage in discussions on multiculturalism, diversity and racism. Participants will then collaborate with an artist team on a legacy project that reflects and promotes intercultural understanding and expression of multiple facets of Richmond’s diversity. The project will be unveiled in 2023.

“Racism and other discriminatory behaviours have no place in the City of Richmond and we continue to find ways to promote diversity and inclusion,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “This unique approach and partnership with RMCS will encourage multigenerational residents to share their cultures, traditions and unique perspectives to support action against racism, promote learning and build a stronger community.”

The CSMARI program supports the mandate of the Department of Canadian Heritage to build on Canada's strength as a diverse and inclusive society and support communities in confronting racism and discrimination, promoting intercultural and interfaith understanding and fostering equitable opportunities to participate fully in Canadian society.

“The City of Richmond’s anti-racism project provides essential opportunities to build an understanding of Richmond’s diverse communities, reduce barriers to participation in community life, and increase capacity to address racism and discrimination,” said Wilson Miao, Member of Parliament – Richmond Centre. “Our government is committed to investing in initiatives that bring together diverse and multi-generational community members to engage in dialogue on issues of multiculturalism, diversity, racism and intersectionality.”

For RMCS, this partnership project is yet another opportunity to welcome newcomers, support their transition to life in the city, and encourage harmony in diversity.

“Art is a unique way to build bridges, increase understanding of others, and facilitate community connections,” said Parm Grewal, Executive Director of RMCS. “This project in collaboration with the City of Richmond will continue to foster intercultural harmony and express the strength of the diversity in our community.”

Other community partners include Richmond’s City Centre Community Association and the Minoru Seniors Society.

This unique project will further support actions in the City’s 2019–2029 Cultural Harmony Plan relating to the development and implementation of programs and services that facilitate intercultural exchange and understanding between Richmond’s diverse communities. The plan, the first of its kind in Canada, encourages partnerships with local agencies and senior levels of government to develop and implement programs that foster cultural harmony.