Carolina Echeverri, the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Local Immigration Partnership coordinator, with her team. (Special to The News)

Carolina Echeverri, the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Local Immigration Partnership coordinator, with her team. (Special to The News)

Family Education and Support Centre in Maple Ridge receives $10,000 provincial grant

Centre one of 70 organizations to receive money for anti-racism data engagement

The Family Education and Support Centre in Maple Ridge is one of the 70 organizations receiving grant for anti-racism data engagement.

According to the centre’s Carolina Echeverri of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Local Immigration Partnership coordinator from the centre told The News that they were excited about the grant. “We applied for it and got a $10,000 grant; we are excited about it and are very lucky to have been selected.”

The purpose of this is to support our organization to engage Indigenous and racialized communities specifically to gather their input on the anti-racism data legislation that the Province plans to introduce in 2022, said Echeverri.

The focus of this legislation will be to provide a framework for the Province to collect and use data on personal identity factors such as race, ethnicity, faith and other similar categories when residents of British Columbia access provincial government services in the future to better identify and address evidence of systemic racism in government services.

“For our community that will mean that we will have the opportunity to gather and provide feedback on anti-racism data legislation,” she said.

This grant will allow the community to attend two sessions which the centre plans to organize. One of these sessions will be in-person on Jan. 12, 2022, at The ACT from 6-9 p.m. with a maximum of 25 people. The second session will be held online on Jan. 20, 2022, the time for which is yet to be decided.

“We hope to have good participation during these sessions to be able to have a meaningful conversation,” Echeverri said.

Apart from the Family Education and Support Centre, the HeadHeartHand Foundation, which operates in several Lower Mainland cities, along with Maple Ridge, has also received a $20,000 grant.

Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives said, “We made a commitment to move forward on anti-racism data legislation in partnership with communities, and I’m thrilled to see so many organizations stepping up to support this work.”

On Sept. 9, 2021, the Province launched public consultation asking British Columbians to share their thoughts and experiences about how the Province should collect and use race-based data.

ALSO READ: Three Lower Mainland women’s ‘Gifts for Seniors’ program make for a Merry Christmas

Funded organizations are each receiving upto $25,000 to hold engagement sessions about how government should develop and implement anti-racism data legislation. Sessions are expected to finish at the end of January 2022. Projects range from in-person events to webinars that will engage an estimated 1,500 people.

Alongside the community-led engagements which these organizations will undertake, the Province has extended the deadline for the online survey on anti-racism data, which will now close on Jan. 31, 2022.

ALSO READ: Two Maple Ridge teens chosen for inaugural B.C. youth council


Have a story tip? Email: priyanka.ketkar@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.