By Wendy Elliott
More than 75 people, representing a variety of community organizations, attended the launch of the Action Plan for Ending Racism and Discrimination in the County of Kings last month.
Warden Diana Brothers said the plan aims to engage the community and formulate action plans to address issues concerning social marginalization, equity, racism and discrimination.
The plan will help guide the future actions and work of the Race Relations and Anti-Discrimination Committee and the municipality, as council, staff, and volunteers continue their work to eliminate racism and discrimination in the County of Kings. The action plan was unanimously approved by council earlier this fall.
“The committee has been working hard in the community for almost five years now. This action plan will help guide future work as the committee strives to create a community that is welcoming and inclusive for all,” said Brothers.
The afternoon began with Rowena Melvin providing traditional First Nations drumming.
The county “is now widely-recognized in Nova Scotia as a municipal leader in its work to advance equity, diversity, anti-racism and anti-discrimination in all aspects of life in the municipality,” said advisor Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard.
The committee had contracted local consultants, Horizons Community Development, to help develop the plan. It was completed after gathering public input through community interviews, focus groups, a web survey, and at various events, including the fourth annual Celebration of Multiculturalism and Inclusion.
“Horizons is very proud to have worked with the Municipality on the Action Plan. Partners are very excited about it, and look forward to participating in implementing the concrete actions outlined in the Action Plan. This is something we can do together as a community,” said the firm’s director, Cari Patterson.
The committee includes Brothers, Coun. Dale Lloyd, staff member Chris Moore, Crystal Best, John Cleveland, Garry Michaud and Nastasya Kennedy. Advisory members were Dr. Carolyn Campbell and Sharon Criss-O’Neil.
Kings County began working on the project in 2008 and joined a larger United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization initiative. The Race Relations and Anti-Discrimination Committee was put in place shortly after.
Kentville joined the UNESCO project in 2010.