We all have a role to play: City calls on residents to address racism on Day of Action Against Racism and beyond
Today is the Day of Action Against Racism and we invite individuals, businesses, community organizations, and associations to take a public stand against racism and to continue to do so every single day.
Over the last year, there has been a significant increase in acts of racism that have caused trauma and harm in our community, with a 717% increase of anti-Asian hate crimes reported to the VPD in 2020. Estimates suggest that over 90% of racist incidents remain unreported.
Anti-Asian racism and other forms of racism including anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism are deeply rooted in the history of Vancouver and our country. We need to unite to address both systemic racism and the ongoing incidents of racism reflected in recent statistics.
Racist incidents can be interpersonal, systemic, and structural in nature. We know that racist and hate incidents rarely occur without prior stigmatization and dehumanization of targeted groups. We also know that each of us can choose to be anti-racist by addressing the root causes of stigmatization and dehumanization with our family, friends, peers, coworkers, and community members.
Everyone has the right to live free from discrimination and harassment in Vancouver. Everyone who lives, works, and socializes in Vancouver has a role to play in addressing racism. It can be difficult at first or even uncomfortable, but stay in the work! The City has put together a list of actions that you can use and share to foster anti-racist communities:
Find out how you can support
- For ideas on what you can do when you witness discrimination, harassment, or acts of hate, click here to view, use, and share our bystander intervention guide PDF file (763 KB).
- Dig deeper into the important topic of anti-racism with this list of resources put together by the Province of BC External website, opens in new tab.
- Learn about your rights, and how to report racists incidents.
- Sign up for our quarterly Anti-Racism and Cultural Redress e-newsletter to stay up-to-date with the actions we are taking to counter racism and white supremacy within the City and Vancouver.
- Invest in a copy of the Stop Asian Hate zine External website, opens in new tab, from 14 Asian Canadian and American artists. 100% of profit will be donated evenly to Project 1907 External website, opens in new tab and Asian Americans Advancing Justice External website, opens in new tab.
Learn about the diverse cultural history of Vancouver
Indigenous and racialized communities have always been and continue to be instrumental in creating the unique character, rich diversity, culture, and history of Vancouver despite attempts of erasure and removal. Learn more about our shared history with the following resources:
- Read Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls External website, opens in new tab, which includes 231 individual Calls for Justice for governments, institutions, and all Canadians and familiarize yourself with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action External website, opens in new tab. Vancouver is located on the unceded Homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and all settlers on this land have a responsibility to understand and address the ongoing impacts of colonization.
- Delve into the hidden history of the thriving Japanese-Canadian historic neighbourhood community prior to World War II, the strength displayed by Japanese Canadians during internment, and the resilient Downtown Eastside community of today by taking a Historic Powell Street Walking Tour External website, opens in new tab.
- More than 21,000 Japanese Canadians living in BC had their property taken from them and were forced to move from their homes during the dispossession of the 1940s. To learn more about this, visit Landscapes of Injustice External website, opens in new tab, which recently launched a digital research database that includes over 15,000 case files including one for virtually every Japanese Canadian who lived through the dispossession.
- Learn about local Black leaders and their hopes for Black communities in Vancouver with the interactive photo map Give Them Their Flowers, created by Blackart Gastown, which celebrates daylights the rich Black settlement history in Vancouver.
- Watch this video to learn about the Komagata Maru incident External website, opens in new tab in 1914 during which Vancouver City Council discriminated against 376 passengers of South Asian descent by denying them entry to Vancouver and leaving them stranded on their boat without sufficient access to medical aid, food, and water.
- Explore how resilience in its various forms has become part of the intangible heritage of Vancouver’s Chinatown with Chinatown Today’s Chinatown Stories, Volume 3, External website, opens in new tab which features a series of interviews with members of Chinatown communities.
Take a public stance
On this Day of Action Against Racism, and as Asian Heritage Month comes to a close, we invite people from all backgrounds to send a clear and united message that there is no place for hate and racism in Vancouver by downloading, using, and sharing our set of translated resources, including posters and social media graphics (12 MB), which reiterate that there is no place for racial discrimination in Vancouver.