A local organization has launched a campaign to celebrate diversity in Red Deer.
Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership launched an anti-racism campaign, “Proud to Be Your Neighbour,” on Monday.
The campaign, which is meant to inform and inspire Red Deerians about race issues in the community, comes on the heels of a series of public incidences of racism, including violence at an anti-racism rally in September 2020, the RDLIP said in a statement.
The RDLIP conducted a survey in the winter of 2021 to gauge attitudes toward race issues locally. The survey found that 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 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While more than 29 per cent of total respondents claimed to have experienced racism, approximately 80 per cent of visible minorities and 70 per cent of Indigenous respondents say they have experienced racism first-hand in the past five years.
The campaign will primarily focus on Red Deer residents who may feel uninformed or apathetic toward race issues.
“We want to share stories about how diversity helps, how it makes our communities stronger,” sais Ezgi Sarioglu, RDLIP program manager.
“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.”
The campaign invites people to visit rdlip.ca/antiracism, which features stories of productive relationships between Red Deerians from different backgrounds, as well as educational resources about anti-racism and the positive impact of immigrants on Red Deer’s social and economic life.