The Ontario government is investing up to $2.6 million over two years through the Safer and Vital Communities (SVC) grant to help communities combat hate-motivated crime. The funding will help 26 community-based, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations Chiefs and Band Councils, in collaboration with their police partners, implement local projects that tackle discrimination, foster greater inclusiveness and address the increase of police-reported hate crime. “We continue to be focused on advancing community-based solutions to ensure Ontarians can overcome these real-life barriers based on race,” said MPP Donna Skelly, Member of Provincial Parliament for Flamborough-Glanbrook in announcing the grants.
As part of this grant cycle, First Farms & Forests Centre for Indigenous Food Sovereignty, in partnership with the Hamilton Police Service will receive $110,00 over 2 years to support at-risk youth and vulnerable community members who are at risk of becoming a victim of hate crime or committing crime because of feelings of hate.
The Safer and Vital Communities Grant will also complement Ontario’s new $1.6 million Anti-Racism and Anti-Hate Grant, which is currently being designed in collaboration with community groups to create effective solutions based on lived experiences and local needs. Some of the projects that have received funding include:
Guelph Black Heritage Society
#ChangeStartsNow – Anti-Racism Educational Tools Summit The #ChangeStartsNow initiative is an anti-racism project aimed at preventing and addressing racism in Guelph and Wellington County. Through the development of community resources and tools, members of the community will learn about racism, local Black history and methods to prevent racism and hate crimes. In addition to building a repository of information for the community, the project includes the creation of the first Guelph Black Heritage Society Anti-Racism Summit, planned for the spring of 2021.
Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto
Funding will help put in place a two-year multi-sectoral initiative to combat an increase in hate-motivated crime against people of Asian descent in Toronto experienced since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto will deliver a series of workshops designed to increase the community’s sense of safety — enabling collective actions, supporting victims and empowering self-protection. The project also seeks to foster greater understanding, trust and collaboration between members of the community and key public institutions, such as the police and the justice system.
Coalition of Muslim Women of Kitchener-Waterloo
The Coalition of Muslim Women (CMW) will lead a multi-sectoral partnership designed to address the issue of hate-motivated crime throughout the Waterloo region. Activities offered through the project will focus on establishing a hate crime reporting and documentation system, providing one-on-one support to victims, delivering public education, strengthening community bonds with the police and tackling the growing problem of online hate. Among other key organizations, Waterloo Region Police Service and Community Justice Initiatives will play significant roles along with the CMW in delivering the activities.
See more projects here.