Ubuntu-Mobilizing Central Alberta, an organization fighting for justice and equality for all is being recognized by the Alberta Government.
Founded just over a year ago, the community group was among 24 organizations across the province to receive the Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant this week.
“We’re very excited. Any time there’s any kind of funding or any support that is given to ensure the work of elevating equity for everyone is supported, we’re always excited and always welcoming,” said Ubuntu co-founder Dieulita Datus.
The grant, which will be about $6,000 for Ubuntu, will go towards community engagement sessions they have planned for central Alberta, to help uncover issues of diversity, inclusion, equity and equality.
“We’re going to use the amount that was given to do the best that we can and most of it will go back into the project with community engagement. So it’s travelling throughout different towns and cities within central Alberta and sitting down with people, ensuring we’re having the conversation around what is equity,” she said.
“A lot of people know what is equality, but what is equity and how can we use equity to elevate everyone that is in our community. It’s a community conversation it’s intercultural as well. We will ensure each of these conversations, different groups and identities are represented.
“Because equity is not just about race or skin tone, but it’s about ability, status and income and wealth or the lack of– education and access. So what we plan on doing is having people share their lived stories, at the end of the project, ensure that we come together with an action plan that we can all work on together.”
Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, Leela Sharon Aheer said she hopes the grants can help organizations like Ubuntu bridge the cultural divide in Alberta.
“Our province includes people from diverse racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds who have contributed to our beautiful cultural tapestry. The MIIG projects will focus on what brings Albertans together so they can work against preconceived stereotypes and discrimination,” she said.
“This intercultural understanding will help build a more welcoming and safe province for all. Now, more than ever, the importance of these projects and partnerships cannot be understated.”
Datus said that work has been difficult for their organization over the past year, because of the pandemic and the legwork it takes to launch a grassroots movement. Although it has been challenging, she says it has been equally rewarding.
“We’ve had to put our blood, sweat and tears into everything we’ve done since last year. However, the good part is that we recognize that we’re still here and we’re actually doing the work,” she said.
“When we receive grants, we realize our hard work is paying off. Every time we get that email, there’s a little celebration in recognizing the hard work is paying off.”