Did you know that 71% of those who self-identify as Indigenous, Black, Asian and/or a person of colour reported personally experiencing racism in Greater Victoria in the last five years?

While cultural diversity is something that Canada is known for around the world, the reality is that our country has a long way to go in some aspects.

Discrimination hurts and harms our community. How can you help? 

Tools for Equity is a partnership between United Way Southern Vancouver Island and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, and was launched to grow awareness of very real inequalities in the Capital Regional District. 

In late 2020, ICA conducted an online survey on racism in the community of Greater Victoria.

Nearly 1,000 people were surveyed and 398 completed the demographic section—of those 398 respondents, 213 identified as Indigenous, Black, Asian, or People of Colour, and 158 were immigrants. 

Here are the four main findings of the survey:

  • Racism is real in Victoria 
    • 71% of people who identify as Indigenous, Black, Asian or a Person of Colour personally experienced racism in the last five years and report that this occurs regularly 
      • Types of racism include online violence, microaggressions in public spaces, and systemic racism in schools, workplaces and with government services
  • Racism hurts and harms 
    • 70% of BIPOC feel isolated, lonely and unsafe in Victoria because of their race or ethnicity
      • More than half report feeling powerless and loss of self-esteem
      • Evidence suggests that racism affects life choices, including where to live, how to engage in the community and affects school and work choices 
    • To cope with racism, respondents often look away and choose not to engage or respond, instead turning to friends, families and community groups 
  • The study also found that being BIPOC matters more for experiencing racism than being an immigrant, or being born in Canada 
    • Older theories had previously indicated that if immigrants learned the dominant language and adopt ‘Canadian’ culture, they will belong and be treated with respect
  • Deliberate and thoughtful action is needed
    • Structural changes in institutions are needed, including supportive practices and policies in workplaces; better cultural training and protocols for police; and stronger anti-racism laws

Diversity and inclusivity have been a part of the Canadian dialogue for decades, but it’s time to do more than talk the talk. Learn more about the Tools for Equity Program on how workplaces can address racial disparities and employment barriers faced by immigrants, refugees, and communities of colour. 

You can also learn more about the demographics of your specific community through United Way’s Help A Neighbour online tool. Each community works with different partners to address barriers in the community. Help a neighbour overcome these challenges by learning more today.

United Way’s Help a Neighbour Campaign

Donate online here

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