Fourteen individuals were introduced to the public as Multicultural Community Champions at a reception on March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racism and Hate.
These champions were selected by the South Okanagan Similkameen Local Immigration Partnership Council (SOSLIP) earlier this year and are now being acknowledged for their contributions back to the wider community and for honouring and sharing their individual cultures.
The goal of the Multicultural Community Champion program is to celebrate multiculturalism and show how diversity strengthens our community by highlighting the contributions of local residents.
Petra Veintimilla, co-chair of the LIP Council says the program has received a positive response from both the champions and the community at large.
“The nominees were selected because of their connection to a diverse cultural background; contribution back to our community through entrepreneurship, career, stewardship, mentorship or volunteerism; and are comfortable sharing their culture and story publicly,” said Veintimilla.
The champion stories will be running monthly in the Penticton Western News (both in print and online), on Castanet and posted at various locations throughout the region.
The SOSLIP Council is made up of 50 representatives from community organizations that have an interest in the integration of newcomers.
Members have been drawn from all levels of government, immigrant serving agencies, public institutions, regional employment networks, employers, local associations and key community stakeholders. Their common goal is to increase the pace of integration for immigrants moving into our districts.
The 14 individuals represent 10 countries of origin and were recognized by MLA Dan Ashton, Linda Larson and Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit at a reception featuring international foods prepared by fellow newcomers.
South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services is the host agency for the SOS Local Immigration Partnership Council.