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About this network

The Surrey Organizing against Racism and Hate (OARH) Network is one of 33 across B.C. funded through the Ministry of International Trade (and responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism). This program employs the Critical Incident Response Model (CIRM) approach, which is a process to assist communities to collaboratively respond to racism and hate activities. It began its work in January 2017.

Every OARH develops a procedural document called a protocol that can be used across the community to support organizations (and sometimes individuals) to respond to racism and hate locally. (e.g. what should you do if someone reports to you that they have experienced a hate crime). Every protocol is different because every local area is responding to a different set of circumstances and readiness in relation to responding to racism and hate. Membership of the Surrey OARH Network is open to any interested organization (profit or non-profit) that would like to contribute to the protocol and make a commitment to responding to racism and hate in Surrey.

Once a protocol is developed the OARH is responsible for regularly reviewing it as well as engaging in activities to promote and disseminate the protocol and develop the community’s capacity to use it, in accordance with local issues and trends.

Why MOSAIC decided to take a lead

One of MOSAIC’s strategic directions (PDF download) is to “Actively engage key stakeholders, policy makers, employers and the public to shape public opinion, policy and practice towards a just and inclusive society”. We do this by engaging in advocacy, community building and systemic change by strategically leading or participating in community coalitions. The issue of discrimination, racism and hate can become a barrier to successful integration for newcomers settling in Canada.

MOSAIC’s role in leading the Surrey OARH Network is to provide a “backbone” for the work that is non-directive including the provision of relevant data and other forms of technical support that can facilitate the Network to do its best thinking in relation to an anti-racism and hate protocol for Surrey as well as providing relevant frameworks/approaches to support Network members to develop a common agenda for the work.

Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.Anonymous
The Surrey OARH committee is comprised of community partners representing the City of Surrey, Surrey Libraries, PICS, SFU, Vancouver Foundation, Alex House, Surrey Interfaith Council, RCMP, and MOSAIC. The mandate of community partners is to participate in OARH to develop community capacity and skills; foster community engagement; and build community sustainability plans to address racism and hate.

The Surrey OARH, is interested in developing a protocol that assists the community to respond to racism and hate which encompasses all forms of discrimination and at-risk groups, including all the grounds stated in the Canadian Human Rights Act (e.g. sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, marital status, age, race/ethnicity, disability, political and religious belief). If you or your organization is interested in taking part, please contact MOSAIC at 604-254-9626 or info@mosaicbc.org.

Since the Surrey OARH Network is very new, the focus of the work to end of the year will be developing and expanding Network membership, environmental scanning, building Network capacity and a common agenda, and designing a skeletal protocol document that can inform the Network’s activities in 2018.

As part of this process, the OARH will be conducting a community readiness assessment where it will ask as many community resources as possible to answer this question,“How much of a concern is it for Surrey organizations and residents to respond to racism and hate and what role can a protocol document play in addressing the concern and facilitating organizations and residents to respond?” Findings will help to formulate the procedures outlined in the protocol.