Racism is an issue that impacts people in Canada, in Vancouver, and in our local community. The West End Seniors’ Network (WESN) opposes racism and discrimination in all forms and stands in solidarity with those who are and have been affected by it.
WESN’s mission is to enhance the quality of life of older adults by providing social, recreational, educational and supportive programs and services that foster connection and inclusion in the broader community. Inclusion is a key word and value. We strive to be a safe place for individuals of all backgrounds and all sexual orientations to participate in the community and live with a high quality of life.
Humans are social creatures. We are stronger together. One of the best things you can do during these times of heightened awareness of racism and calls for change is to educate yourself. Learn about the racism that exists today, learn about the history of racism towards Indigenous, Asian, Black, and other minority groups, learn about the organizations that are dedicated to fighting racism, and learn about what you can do to support the cause.
Please see below for select resources with information about the Black Lives Matter movement, how you can support the fight against racism, and local organizations that support marginalized populations.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) Vancouver works in solidarity with other BLM chapters across North America. They work to celebrate people of colour, uplift marginalized people, and undo systemic racialized violence.
Hogans Alley Society is a non-profit organization that advocates for Black Vancouverites and Black history in Vancouver throughout BC. They aim to preserve and promote the historical, cultural, societal and economic contributions made by Black Settlers and their descendants to Vancouver. Their current projects include a 52-unit temporary housing development, a cultural centre, and a Black Experience Project.
National Congress of Black Women Foundation is a registered charity that provides activities and programs to foster advancement of health and education of black women and their families. They offer educational opportunities, employment services, cultural associations, and more.
Battered Women’s Support Services provide education, support, and advocacy for women who have suffered abuse or violence. They offer Indigenous, LGBTQ2S, Black Women’s, and Latin American Women’s programs. They operate a 24/7 Crisis Line at 604-687-186 for women dealing with violence/effects of abuse.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation hosts webinars on topics related to racism and multiculturalism in Canada.
Vancouver Dialogues: First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities is a compilation of memories and oral histories of Vancouver’s First Nations, urban Aboriginal and immigrant communities who have taken different journeys to create a home in Vancouver.
UBC’s Department of Asian Studies provides anti-racism links to resources, news stories, opinion pieces, and scholarly articles on race in Asian, or in Asian diaspora communities.
VictimLinkBC is a multilingual and confidential telephone service available 24/7 across BC. They offer information and referral services to victims of crime including counselling resources. Call toll-free at 1-800-563-0808 or email VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca.
How to Report a Hate Crime
For emergency situations including attacks, assaults and threats: Call 9-1-1 and state that you are reporting a hate crime.
For non-emergency situations including graffiti, vandalism and hate propaganda: Contact the BC Hate Crimes at 1-855-462-5733 (toll free) or email BC_Hate_Crime_Team@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.