'When Pandemics Collide:' Kamloops activists to host anti-racism panel | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'When Pandemics Collide:' Kamloops activists to host anti-racism panel

FILE PHOTO. Protesters march in the anti-racism rally in Kamloops, June 4.
August 31, 2020 - 5:15 PM

A Kamloops youth centred initiative has partnered with local activists to host an anti-racism panel discussion this week. 

The online event is free for anyone who wants to tune in, featuring community activist Les Carty and human rights lawyer and former judge Bill Sundhu. 

READ MORE: Kamloops man dissatisfied with RCMP handling of discrimination complaint

The panel, When Pandemics Collide, is organized by Motion of Colour, a student-run initiative, and Diversity Kamloops.

"The event is focussed on COVID-19 and racism and how both of those are considered pandemics," said Motion of Colour co-founder Joy Kwak. "Racism and COVID-19 basically exacerbate the result in a lot of racialized communities."

The panelists will each give a brief self-introduction, before responding to a series of guided questions from the moderator. This will be followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask the speakers questions directly. 

Kwak and her friend Mary Falade created the Motion of Colour initiative this summer.

"We decided that Kamloops needed more youth-centred (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) support," Kwak said.

They have run several other events, including a documentary screening and book club, and hope to host more panel discussions in the future.

READ MORE: 'The work is never done': Former B.C. judge says racism still an issue in Canada

In light of social unrest and racial tensions amid the pandemic, Kwak said the panel is particularly relevant to the present moment. 

"More recently people have started to focus on how racism could not only potentially kill you if you’re a black person in front of police, but also how it just permeates in different aspects of life," she said. "How it affects your access to health care, or access to an unbiased jury in a court of law, or these other aspects that those who aren’t a person of colour may not have to constantly (confront)."

The panel discussion will take place Friday, Sept. 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

To register for the free event click here. Those who register will be emailed a zoom link on Friday to dial into the call. 


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