Safe Harbour and Community Partnership Network members got together March 21st to celebrate the Safe Harbour Champions of Diversity. The event coincided with and recognized the United Nations International Day to Eliminate Racial Discrimination. It was hosted by James Bay New Horizons and featured a presentation about the Safe Harbour program and highlighted the commitments of members to build inclusive communities.
The event was attended by more than 60 community members and organizations. Members of Safe Harbour were acknowledged as “champions of diversity,” including Saanich Police, Global Village Store, Black History Awareness Society, UVic Human Rights and Equity Office, and the James Bay New Horizons activity centre.
“March 21st is a day to inform Canadians about the nature of racism and its ugly presence in our society and to encourage everyone to do something to eradicate racism," said guest speaker Mavis DeGirolamo of the Black History Awareness Society. "Canada is a vast country of enormous diversity. We have, as a nation, taken great pride in the tapestry of cultures, languages and beliefs which have been woven together to make our home. March 21st is a day of reflection and action, a time to reflect upon the rights and responsibilities we enjoy as citizen, and a time to act, to continue to build upon what we have achieved and to further plan how to create greater inclusion and mutual respect.”
Safe Harbour: Respect for All is active in 33 communities throughout the province, and it continues to grow. Coordinated by the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA), a BC-wide association with 75 member agencies who serve immigrants and build culturally inclusive communities, the program has now expanded to the Yukon, Alberta, Manitoba and Newfoundland.