Unity: International Day for the Elimination of Racism

March 21st marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racism, a global observance aimed at fostering awareness and solidarity against racial discrimination. In a world that needs to unite through its differences, it is crucial to recognize the significance of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in building harmonious societies.  

The International Day for the Elimination of Racism, established by the United Nations, serves as a reminder of the collective responsibility to eradicate racial prejudice and promote a world that values the inherent dignity of every individual. This day is a call to action, urging people worldwide to stand against discrimination and embrace the richness that diversity brings to our communities. 

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are integral components in the fight against racism. Equity ensures fairness and justice, recognizing that individuals may need different resources and support to achieve the same goals. Diversity celebrates the uniqueness of each person, fostering an environment where various perspectives and backgrounds contribute to a richer collective experience. Inclusion goes beyond mere representation, creating spaces where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered. 

Some recent BC Achievement Community Award recipients are committed to the elimination of racism through their extraordinary efforts both at work and in their volunteer lives. 

Photo: Community Awardee, Dr. Faisal Khosa

One such recipient is award-winning radiologist and scholar Dr. Faisal Khosa of Vancouver. His work as a mentor, educator and advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) has created a legacy for his profession and also the larger BC community. Dr. Khosa’s research has catalyzed initiatives to increase the accessibility of higher education and achievement for underrepresented students. He has created actionable guidelines for institutions in BC and Canada for the equitable inclusion of students, educators and physicians. Through his work, Dr Khosa has successfully helped create a more welcoming environment for all. 

Photo: Community Awardee, Suresh Kurl

Another Community Award recipient fighting against racism is Suresh Kurl of Richmond who has spent over forty years connecting with his fellow British Columbians through his articles and essays on culture, equality, justice, and faith. A community builder, Suresh presents in forums where he shares his unique and rich experiences and challenges his audiences to adopt oneness rather than otherness. Until recently he was an active member of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and he remains a regular contributor to and participant in the annual Raise Your Hands Against Racism event and is an active member of the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act. Suresh’s energy and drive have contributed to improved understanding and dialogue, in the areas of citizenship, multiculturalism, race relations, and interfaith harmony.   

Photo: Community Awardee, David Lau

Another Community Awardee who is committed to eradicating racism is David Lau who made significant contributions to Greater Victoria and his home community of Saanichton. During his time as Executive Director of the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) his leadership enhanced the community for immigrants, refugees, and Canadians-in-waiting while enriching connections to existing communities through multiculturalism, anti-racism, business, culture, and the arts. David also established Vancouver Island’s first refugee housing project, a multi-building project with embedded re-settlement services that provide a safe, welcoming community environment for refugees. 

These real-life stories are just a few examples of the impactful work being done to support and lead anti-racism, while supporting inclusivity and diversity in this province.  

Eliminating racism requires a collective effort with a commitment to long-term change. Beyond recognizing the achievements of individuals like the Community Award recipients we just mentioned, it is essential for everyone to take tangible steps towards fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion in their respective spheres. 

The stories of BC Achievement Community Award recipients inspire us to act and become catalysts for positive change in our communities. Be inspired. Be part of it. 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

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