You may have noticed lawn signs popping up around the city but they have nothing to do with the upcoming election. No, these are signs meant to welcome newcomers to Kingston and to fight racial discrimination.
The campaign is a collaborative effort with the city, Kingston Immigration Partnership and the KEYS Job Centre providing signs free of charge. Cristian Medina is the project co-ordinator with Kingston Immigration Partnership.
“Kingston is a welcoming community, however, when it comes to racism and discrimination, both are problems that all communities are facing.”
Medina says the sign initiative is one way to try to fight that. The multi-coloured signs have the same message: “No matter where you are from, we’re happy you’re our neighbour,” written in five different languages including Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, French and English. Caroline Hall has a sign in her front yard.
“It’s all about diversity and community and welcoming people, knowing your neighbours, reaching out and connecting and I love that.”
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Val Hamilton also has a sign. The Charles Street resident says in times of change, we all need to take visible steps towards making change and she says getting a sign does just that.
The free signs are available until the end of April at a number of locations including city hall, the Artillery Park Aquatic Centre, as well as the Invista Centre.