NETWORKING: Healthy racial dialogue facilitates change

Courage to share experiences is contagious and key to ending systemic injustice: community network

By Christina Shearme/Special to The News

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Network has been responding to the recent events of racial injustice in our world and community with a series of interviews on how we can cultivate healthy racial awareness.

Our first interview was with Len Pierre, an Indigenous wellness coach and educator.

The following was inspired by his wisdom for our community.

Our community is not immune to the ill effects any systematic issues plaguing our world.

It is essential that we all take our place in this conversation and remain open to what we can learn.

Many individuals around the world have shown their courage in speaking about their personal experiences, and courage is contagious! The themes we see in the messages out there today are that we can help to change the injustices with a few small steps that start with us.

First, we need to make it a priority to listen.

This step can be challenging because it requires us to abandon our old beliefs – beliefs like “it wasn’t that bad,” or “it was a long time ago.”

But if we are going to really listen, we need to do so with an open heart and open mind and acknowledge the hardship we hear.

RECENT COLUMN: Youth and the coronavirus conversations

Second, we need to examine our own beliefs, and those we raise our children with.

Cultivating healthy cultural awareness begins with ourselves.

What do you believe specifically about the racial inequality in our country and in our communities?

How have you developed your beliefs?

How open are you to hearing the courageous stories that tell of a system that caused harm?

Cultural self-awareness is a process and is something we all develop over time.

If you would like to take an honest look at your cultural awareness please check out this self-assessment tool.

Third, we need to educate ourselves about what happened in our country’s history from a new perspective, one that honours the voices of those speaking today.

This requires us to open our minds and hearts to new information that will bump up against our old beliefs.

We can allow courage to be contagious in our lives as we lean into this discomfort and challenge our stereotypes so that we can start to build on something that is real.

If you would like to start learning now, here are some great resources:

Brene Brown

Canadian Race Relations Foundation

If you would like to view the community network’s interview series on cultivating healthy cultural awareness, you can find the interviews on our Facebook page. www.facebook/resourceyourcommunity.

We will be posting interviews throughout the month.

• WATCH: Natalie Binns on Parenting with Healthy Cultural Awareness

– Christina Shearme is the coordinator for Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Comunity Network



• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Culturemaple ridgePitt Meadowsracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A few thousand pounds of non-perishable food was collected for the Friends In Need Food Bank by the younger students at Meadowridge School this month. (Meadowridge School/Special to The News)
Meadowridge students build ‘hugw’ wall against hunger

Private Maple Ridge school collects thousands of pounds of non-perishables for the food bank

There has been a COVID-19 exposure event at Pitt Meadows secondary. (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposure event at Pitt Meadows secondary

Schools in District 42 seeing more frequent exposures

A new photo released by the RCMP shows what Lawrence Nadessan was wearing on Saturday night, the last time he was seen. (Special to The News)
Police release new photo of missing man

Last seen in Maple Ridge on Saturday night

Jayden Genberg, seen here in action last season, scored a hat trick for the Flames on Wednesday night in Aldergrove. (The News files)
Flames drop second game in Aldergrove

Jenberg scores hat trick for Maple Ridge Junior Bs

Become part of the “Hope For…” movement. Join News’ publisher Lisa Craik in filling out the sign inside today’s paper. Remember to get a picture holding your sign (and email that to us) before you hang it in the window for all to see. (The News)
News’ publisher Lisa Craik, who headed up the “Hope For…” movement locally this spring, is one of several people in the running for business leader of the year for 2020 through the chamber of commerce. (The News files)
Chamber releases best of best nominee list

The shortlist of businesses, individuals, and organizations in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows shared

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks Thursday (Oct. 29) during a news conference held at Fraser Health office, in video posted to Facebook. (Photo: Government of British Columbai/Facebook)
COVID-19 ‘disproportionately’ affecting Fraser Health: Henry

Health region has about 75 per cent of B.C.’s active cases

A study by SlotsOnlineCanada notes there is at least 88 hours of top-rated horror movies for Canadians to consume this Halloween. (Unsplash)
Spooks and Chill study reveals Canada’s favourite horror flicks

88 hours of top-rated horror movies can fill COVID-19 Halloween

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

Most Read