In a report released Tuesday, the African Art and Cultural Community Contributor Society (AACCCS) calls on the BC government to address anti-Black racism through policy and funding changes.
The Black in British Columbia report concludes that the government has made “insufficient progress in recognizing, promoting and protecting the human rights of people of African descent in British Columbia”
Partially funded by the provincial government through the Black in BC Convener project, the report is the result of a six-month consultation with members of BC’s Black community.
The information was gathered through an online survey, 12 focus group discussions and community conversations, and consultations with an advisory committee of 25 black-led organizations and community leaders.
“There is a clear and pressing need for change and this report is a critical step in achieving the progress the black community yearns to see,” Pulcherie Mboussi, executive director of AACCCS, said in a statement.
The report revealed issues of anti-black racism in several key sectors of society.
In their assessment of public safety, 70% of respondents to their survey said they felt targeted or concerned about their safety when dealing with local police or the RCMP.
In the education sector, 75% of respondents said their educational experiences in British Columbia had been influenced by experiences of anti-Black racism from school officials, teachers or peers.
Their assessment also revealed relatively low representation of people of African descent in the professions of medicine, nursing, teaching and politics, as well as low representation in leadership and decision-making positions. decisions in organizations.
The study noted, “This trend is curious given the relatively high academic and professional qualification we find among people of African descent in British Columbia”
The report provided a wide variety of recommendations to the various branches of provincial government, from publicly acknowledging the impact of colonialism to recruiting more people of African descent to work in government to ensuring fairness. in the delivery of public services.
The report also recommended that the province provide annual funding to three cultural centers dedicated to community programs and services for the Black community: one in Greater Vancouver, one in Greater Victoria and one in Prince George.
“This report clearly describes the experiences of Black communities across the province…There is no doubt that anti-Black racism is institutionalized,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives in British Columbia.