Abbotsford Community Services
2420 Montrose Ave
Abbotsford Community Services
Abbotsford Community Services Society will host a two-day interfaith bridging conference which is to be implemented by several faith communities, including the United Church of Canada, Mennonite, Sikh, Baha’i, Islam, as well as people who are not part of any faith community.
The focus of the Community Banner Program is to provide opportunity for youth to engage in an art project that has extensive public profile and visibility, and for diverse groups to work together on a project that encourages a sense of civic pride, good will and contributes to the beautification of the city by creating a positive and distinctive image of the diverse community of Abbotsford. Under the theme of Abbotsford: Celebrating a Welcoming and Inclusive Community, 80 youth between the ages of 15 to 24 will each custom design a banner, producing a total of 80 community banners. The youth will be assisted in the technical production of the banners by a professional artist to strengthen the presentation of their designs and provide them with a unique art education experience. The artist will work with the youth through workshops to explain the details and facilitate the art process with the youth, and will also oversee the actual tracing and painting workshops. The banners will be hung in historic downtown Abbotsford on Sunday, March 21st for the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The Black History Month project will be an event with an inter-generational and historical narrative focus; the event will create public awareness and dialogue about the diverse cultural, ethnic and linguistic groups within Abbotsford and across B.C. Planning for this event will engage newcomers as well as long-time residents of the community to provide input into a celebration that reflects the uniqueness of the local multicultural community. In Abbotsford, there are immigrant groups from Sudan, Kenya, the Congo and the Caribbean, as well as Black Canadians and residents who have a long standing history and those who have contributed to the foundations of B.C. communities. The planning process is an opportunity to bring diverse ethnic and social communities together along with community members of other ethnic backgrounds. The event on February 27, 2010 will feature dance, music, literary, and theatrical performances, as well childrens’ programming and workshops on responding to discrimination.
The Fraser Valley Human Dignity Coalition
The Fraser Valley Human Dignity Coalition launched the Abbotsford Community Protocol: A Response to Critical Incidents of Discrimination and Hate Crime on June 23, 2004. The event was organized by Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) and was attended by over 60 people including the local city council, media, and federal, provincial and municipal representatives.
Attendees listened to speeches that addressed the value of the community protocol. Abbotsford Mayor Reeves spoke about the importance of having a mechanism in place to respond to discrimination and hate crimes. The ACS representative discussed their positive partnership with the police, including the proposed development of a diversity advisory committee for fall 2004 and their commitment to work with the Abbotsford Police Victim Services. A strong partnership has been developed with the Abbotsford Police Victim Services, which has been involved with developing the protocol from the start. At the June launch, Abbotsford Police Insp. John Davidson, who was with the community policing Division, stated that "the protocol addresses an important social issue - it's easy as a community to hide our heads in the sand and believe discrimination is a thing of the past." He said, "these incidents can and do lead to bad feelings - feelings of violation and fear. That is not acceptable . . . The community as a whole can be held hostage to these sorts of things." Congratulations to Abbotsford for their hard work and dedication to creating a safe and inclusive community!