By Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development - http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2010RESD0008-001510.htm
VICTORIA – Understanding a faith or culture that is not your own can be difficult, but 11 organizations across B.C. are doing just that. They’ll share in up to $265,160 in funding from EmbraceBC to develop programs that promote understanding of different faiths and cultures, Regional Economic and Skills Development Minister Ida Chong announced today.
“You only have to look at our history to see that people have been divided over religious and cultural debates for centuries, because for most of us it’s something that defines our very being,” said Chong. “It’s very important for us to talk about our faith and try to understand and respect what others believe in. Only through understanding and respect can we develop communities that are truly welcoming and inclusive for all.”
The Interfaith Bridging element of the government-led program, EmbraceBC, provides funding for projects that build relationships between interfaith and intra-faith communities and seeks to promote understanding of how our different identities – cultural, ethnic or racial – intersect with our faith and spirituality. The objectives of the program are to build inclusive and welcoming communities, while eliminating racism and promoting multiculturalism throughout B.C.
“The Government of Canada is working to build an integrated and cohesive society,” said Dr. Alice Wong, Parliamentary Secretary to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “We are doing so by fostering intercultural understanding, citizenship, civic memory and pride, respect for core democratic values, and equal opportunity for Canadians of all origins.”
The following organizations will each receive up to $25,000 to engage community members with Interfaith Bridging projects:
Since 2009, $341,660 has been invested in 17 different Interfaith Bridging programs in 10 communities across B.C. Projects developed as a result of the funding include the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria’s Inter-Faith Dialogue project, which brought together representatives of four faith communities – Muslim, Christian, Baha’i and Jewish – to engage in a multi-stage dialogue process. Through three carefully planned community dialogues hosted by a facilitator, participants shared and explored their perceptions and understandings about one another in an effort to address stereotyped prejudices and misunderstandings.
EmbraceBC works to inspire residents, community members and sector leaders to welcome, accept and embrace difference within their communities. The program provides funding opportunities for community-based anti-racism and multiculturalism projects.
This project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia. Since the creation of EmbraceBC in 2009, $2.8 million in federal and provincial funding has been spent on anti-racism and multicultural programs across the province. Find out more at: www.EmbraceBC.ca