An anti-racism campaign “Proud to be your neighbour” is inviting Red Deerians to learn more about the positive impacts of immigrants.
“We want to share stories about how diversity helps, how it makes our communities stronger,” said Ezgi Sarioglu, program manager at Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership (RDLIP).
“Our research tells us that people feel unempowered in the face of racist behaviour. We want to educate them about the anti-racism project and show them the benefits of welcoming people from all walks of life.”
Launched in January 2022 after a series of public incidences of racism, including violence at an anti-racism rally in September 2020, the campaign was developed to reach out to Red Deerians who may feel uninformed or apathetic toward race issues.
An RDLIP survey, in partnership with Red Deer Polytechnic during the winter of 2021, showed 50 per cent of respondents believe that racism is worse in Red Deer than in other places, with 47 per cent agreeing that it has become more severe since the start of the pandemic.
Over 29 per cent claimed to have experienced racism first-hand.
People can find out more about “Proud to be your neighbour” at rdlip.ca/antiracism. Campaign pins and lawn signs are available for the public at the Immigrant Centre, located on the second floor of 5000 Gaetz Ave. Lawn signs are also available at the Red Deer Advocate.
The campaign is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the City of Red Deer, with additional support from Red Deer Advocate and The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.