A new video from South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS), released May 6 in collaboration with the Okanagan Chambers COVID Response Coalition (#OKWeGotThis), features members of communities across the Okanagan including Oliver, Penticton, Peachland, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Kamloops. (South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services/Screenshot)

A new video from South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS), released May 6 in collaboration with the Okanagan Chambers COVID Response Coalition (#OKWeGotThis), features members of communities across the Okanagan including Oliver, Penticton, Peachland, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Kamloops. (South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services/Screenshot)

VIDEO: Penticton immigrant service group releases video addressing racism in the Okanagan

Video begins by using real audio from racist incidents in the Okanagan

The Penticton-based immigrant service group South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS) is continuing to work to create a more inclusive community and call attention to the ongoing issue of racism and discrimination in the Okanagan.

SOICS’ new video titled What Do You See?, released May 6 in collaboration with the Okanagan Chambers COVID Response Coalition (#OKWeGotThis), aims to raise awareness around the ongoing problem of racism towards ethnic minorities and the Indigenous community.

The video begins by using real audio from racist incidents in the Okanagan.

Members of communities across the Okanagan including Oliver, Penticton, Peachland, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Kamloops are featured in the video.

READ MORE: ‘We hear your cry’ says South Okanagan immigrant organization

Dan Rogers, executive director of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of #OKWeGotThis, said now is a very important time to speak up against racism.

“Chambers of Commerce are grass roots organizations that know how important it is for leading business associations like ours to speak up when racism raises its ugly head and unfortunately it seems the pandemic has led to an increase in such activity,” Rogers said.

“Our future success is very much linked to putting out the welcome mat for newcomers to the region and also not being silent when there is an act of racism. So supporting SOICS on this powerful video only made sense.”

The #OkWeGotThis initiative started over a year ago as a means for Chambers of Commerce in the Okanagan to work collaboratively to support those businesses and organizations that are facing challenges as a result of COVID-19.

SOICS executive director Cherry Fernandez said the video was inspired by a comment from her three-year-old daughter.

“After months of being withdrawn from children her age, my 3-year old’s question ‘do you like being brown?’ gives insight that even at a young age she was being singled out as different based on her ethnicity,” Fernandez said. “It demonstrates that discrimination, racism, and hate impact us all, even our most vulnerable – our children.”

Research shows that children not only recognize race from a very young age, but also develop racial biases by the ages of three to five. However, instances of racism and discrimination unfortunately stretch far beyond childhood, said a press release from SOICS.

The video’s messaging is clear: Be proud of who you are and always remember that you are not alone.

SOICS hopes the video will be a launching pad for increasing awareness, stimulating conversation and building greater understanding. SOICS also hopes to provide tools to be an ally and be a part of creating more inclusive communities.

Watch the video below and find out more about anti-racism initiatives at soics.ca.

READ MORE: $12.8 million Penticton home listing sparks racist, hateful comments



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Diversityracism

Just Posted

Wade Cudmore, seen here with his mother Kathy Richardson, had his first court appearance in relation to first degree murder charges in the deaths of Erick and Carlo Fryer Tuesday, June 22, 2021. (Kathy Richardson/Facebook)
Man charged in Naramata double homicide appears in Penticton court

Wade Cudmore appeared for the first time in relation to first degree murder charges

(John Arendt - Black Press)
Penticton wants to give you money to make something fun happen in the city

City launches community grant program to help post-COVID recovery

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

With high temperatures forecasted for the week and into the next, Interior Health is offering some tips on how to keep yourself safe from heat-related illness. (Pixabay)
Interior Health offers safety tips as temperatures soar

‘Too much heat can be harmful to your health’

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
5-storeys still too tall for Penticton’s downtown, votes city council

Vote against new development leaves one councillor questioning validity of city’s zoning restrictions

A person stands in a tower on the perimeter of the Number 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on April 23, 2021. Human rights groups and Western nations led by the United States, Britain and Germany accused China of massive crimes against the Uyghur minority and demanded unimpeded access for U.N. experts at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 denounced by China as “politically motivated” and based on “lies.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Schiefelbein
VIDEO: Trudeau demands truth from China about Uyghurs

PM says Canada has admitted broken Indigenous relationship, unlike China on Uyghurs

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, middle right, participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in honour of the launch of Kelowna’s plasma donor centre at Orchard Plaza Mall on June 22. From left to right: Canadian Blood Services’ business development manager Janna Pantella, Canadian Blood Services’ operational excellence manager Tyler Burke, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Canadian Blood Services’ centre manager Janine Johns. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
B.C.’s first dedicated plasma donor centre opens in Kelowna

The Kelowna location is the third dedicated plasma donor to open in Canada

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice, and provides Kelowna Capital News with weekly stories from the world of local, national and international law. (Contributed)
Kootnekoff: Access to justice and residential schools in Canada

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school on Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Study reassures parents, teachers that COVID-19 infrequently shared at school

Federally funded study in Vancouver finds risk in the classroom and in the community identical

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

Mayla Janzen and Ashley Hoppichler, with her daughters Lily and Sophia, are bringing a Friday evening market to Polson Park, starting July 2. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Entrepreneurs craft up Vernon night market

Friday evening Polson Park event to take place throughout the summer

Splatsin Chief Wayne Christian and Tina William lead the Every Child Matters March in Enderby Monday, June 21. (Lyndsey Leon photo)
Hundreds march with Splatsin in Enderby for #215

300 orange-shirt wearing people of all backgrounds turned out in support

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

Most Read