It’s a multi-service agency that helps support and celebrate diversity with its immigration services in the Central Okanagan.
Based in Kelowna, KCR Community Resources offers support to newcomers and marginalized people, who, according to the organization, see the effects of systemic racism and discrimination first hand.
As a result, the organization has launched a new online portal to help combat racism and discrimination.
Called the ‘United Against Discrimination’ online portal, it calls on the community at large to report any incidents of racism and/or discrimination.
“We need action from the whole community and cannot leave the work of anti-racism only to racialized people,” said Ellen Boelcke, executive director of KCR Community Resources.
“We are fortunate to collaborate with UBC Okanagan through the UBC CUES (Community-University Engagement Support) fund, to launch a new initiative that gives us the ability to bear witness and respond to acts of racism in our community, and share the responsibility of action to all of us.”
KCR Community Resources said it recognizes that more action is required and that silence about incidents of racism and various forms of discrimination in Kelowna does not stop discrimination.
“Discrimination against people because of their personal characteristics such as the colour of their skin, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, and other characteristics protected by The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is simply unacceptable in today’s world,” said Dr. Shirley Chau, UBC-Okanagan lead researcher for the community-based project.
“Despite this, we still have people who hurt other people based on these and other characteristics to discriminate against people who look different and so forth.”
The reports can be made anonymously or not.
If people choose to identify themselves, the organization is able to provide whatever support or resources the victim may need.
KCR Community Resources said it hopes to use the information from the online reports to develop solutions to better support victims.
It will also provide information to help people to learn what they can do to stop discrimination.
Click here to get more information or to file a report of racism and/or discrimination.