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Presented by Clare Whelan Sadike February 2, 2011 EmbraceBC’s Interfaith Bridging: Faith and Multiculturalism.

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Presentation on theme: "Presented by Clare Whelan Sadike February 2, 2011 EmbraceBC’s Interfaith Bridging: Faith and Multiculturalism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presented by Clare Whelan Sadike February 2, 2011 EmbraceBC’s Interfaith Bridging: Faith and Multiculturalism

2 Today’s Presentation 1.Multiculturalism & Religious Diversity 2.EmbraceBC & Interfaith Bridging 3.Interfaith Bridging Program Principles 4.Interfaith Bridging Projects 5.Looking Forward

3 Multiculturalism & Religious Diversity “Issues of Religious Diversity are of growing importance in Canada, and [the success] of Canadian multiculturalism (and indeed of Canada as a country) depends on improving our understanding of the challenges raised by this diversity.” Will Kymlicka, The Current State of Multiculturalism in Canada and Research Themes on Canadian Multiculturalism

4 Multiculturalism & Religious Diversity In The Current State of Multiculturalism in Canada and Research Themes on Canadian Multiculturalism , Bringing Religion in multiculturalism, was identified as a real and unresolved issue The paper was based on regional reports expressing trends and issues regarding multiculturalism and the situation of minorities It was identified in all the regional reports that religious diversity within the multiculturalism framework had not been adequately debated and explored

5 Multiculturalism & Religious Diversity In this same paper, it was identified that racism and discrimination were a profound challenge – in particular to how it related to the racialization of religious groups An example of this has been argued about anti-Muslim sentiments that have arisen in the last decade “Islamaphobia” is seen as a distinct form of racialization, which needs to be addressed with measures that are more specific and appropriate to the issue, instead of just general anti-racism initiatives This highlights the importance of ensuring that anti-racism programs are addressing these differentiated and evolving patterns of racialization

6 EmbraceBC & Interfaith Bridging EmbraceBC is the BC Government’s Anti-Racism and Multiculturalism Program Launched in July 2009, EmbraceBC provides funding to support projects through six priority areas : 1.Arts Engagement 2.Inclusive Leadership Development & Mentorship 3.Community Engagement & Dialogue 4.Public Education 5.Organizing Against Racism and Hate, and 6.Interfaith Bridging

7 EmbraceBC & Interfaith Bridging The Interfaith Bridging program area was developed in B.C. to begin responding to the question of religious diversity and multiculturalism It is the first of its kind within government programming across Canada As it is a under-explored, under-represented area, there was the understanding that future policy and program development would potentially be informed from the projects that were implemented

8 Interfaith Bridging Program Faith communities can play an important role in building diverse, inclusive communities and in eliminating racism and promoting multiculturalism across various faith traditions in British Columbia. Funding provided through interfaith bridging supports building relationships between diverse, established faith communities and seeks to promote understanding of intersecting identities, such as with a person’s faith and spirituality and their cultural, ethnic or racial identity. Interfaith Bridging projects must demonstrate relevance to faith communities within British Columbia. Interfaith Bridging is not intended for the use of theologically-based activities. At least two distinct faiths must be proposed to be included in the project.

9 Interfaith Bridging Projects In the first round (2009/2010) there were 6 projects funded in the following communities The second round (2010/2011) saw an increase to 11 funded projects – these projects are currently underway General themes around the approaches have emerged: o Development of public education materials o Interfaith dialogues o Conferences & Symposiums o Community forums

10 Interfaith Bridging Projects General common themes around the content of the projects: o Learning exchanges about different faiths/religions o Exploring cultural identities linked to different faiths/religions o Addressing myths and stereotypes linked to different faiths/religions

11 Interfaith Bridging Projects More specific and unique themes within projects: o Exploration of faith and identity of immigrant and refugee youth within Canadian society o Exploration of the role mothers play in fostering children’s attitudes towards racial, cultural and religious diversity

12 Looking Forward The response to and interest in the Interfaith Bridging program has only highlighted the need for continued focus on this area Projects are encouraging broad discussion and dialogue around the issue of religious identity and diversity within Canadian society These projects are an excellent source of information for policy makers to better understand the way religious diversity is experienced and understood in Canadian society

13 Relevant websites EmbraceBC – WelcomeBC – Citizenship and Immigration Canada: Multiculturalism - Link to The Current State of Multiculturalism in Canada and Research Themes on Canadian Multiculturalism state/index.asp state/index.asp


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