Monday March 30th, 2020,
The BC Community Alliance (BCCA) would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support and commitment to combating racism within Metro Vancouver communities and beyond. In order to create a safe, secure, and welcoming environment for all to live, work, and play in.
It has been several months since we have issued an official update letter, and as such, we have many exciting developments to share! But first, here is a brief recap of what we have been able to accomplish, to date, with your support:
Last year, BCCA ….
- (August 2019) formed in response to a widely-publicized incident of anti-black racism involving utterance of physical threats including the use of bombs, and hate-filled rhetoric, at a local school, Lord Byng Secondary, within the Vancouver School District;
- (August 2019) circulated an online petition that garnered the support of over 800 community members, with over 50 organizations represented in all, regarding the increasing incidence of racism within B.C.;
- (August 27, 2019) wrote and distributed a Letter of Petition to various authorities including the Vancouver School Board (VSB), Vancouver Police Department (VPD), City of Vancouver, Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC), Ministry of Education, and BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner, to name a few, drawing concern to the Lord Byng incident and its far-reaching impacts within the community;
- (September 3, 2019 & October 19, 2019) met with affected Lord Byng students, families, other concerned community members, and stakeholders at several meetings to introduce our organization and its mission;
- (September 16, 2019) met with authorities from the VSB, VPD, City of Vancouver, and BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner, to engage in a shared opportunity to redress the harm that was done within the VSB as a result of the Lord Byng incident and its subsequent handling;
- (November 13, 2019) gathered stories involving other incidents of anti-black racism within the VSB and beyond to demonstrate a history of such behaviour in our province and its detrimental effects on targeted students;
- (November 20, 2019) submitted an official “BC Human Rights Complaint on behalf of a Class of Persons,” to the BC Human Rights Tribunal, as a representative of those most vulnerable in our community: BLACK STUDENTS IN GRADES K-12, ATTENDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS WITHIN THE VANCOUVER SCHOOL BOARD, DISTRICT #39;
- (December 4, 2019) filed a Service & Policy Complaint against the VPD for its handling of the Lord Byng incident and failure to recommend charges to the Crown Counsel through the advocacy of the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. The notice of complaint issued by the OPCC on BCCA’s behalf can be viewed here: https://vancouver.ca/police/policeboard/agenda/2020/0220/SP-5-1-2002C02.pdf;
- (December 4, 2019) spoke, along with 3 Lord Byng families and community activists, at the VSB’s Policy & Governance meeting and supported Trustee Jennifer Reddy’s “Responding to Hate-Motivated Crimes” motion which passed and was finally moved forward to the board, where it was officially adopted by the VSB on December 16th.
- (December 9, 2019) Received confirmation from the Vancouver Police Board that BCCA’s Service or Policy Complaint was accepted and would be considered at an upcoming Service and Policy Complaints Review Committee meeting in early 2020;
As we venture into 2020, it is already proving to be another notable year with a number of wins under our belt and renewed emphasis on positive strategic outcomes that will further promote change in our community.