Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cycling4Diversity does not endorse or support any political party or candidates..

 
All images/pictures and video's from Cycling4Diversity are the property and ownership of Cycling4Diversity and cannot be used for any political purposes or distribution, unless authorized by
Cycling4Diversity officials. Cycling4Diversity does not endorse or support any political party or candidates. Cycling4Diversity remains an independent community-based organization.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Proclamations are a unique way to celebrate spirits that live within a community.

 

Proclaiming thanks, without proclamation

A month has passed since the second annual Cycling-4Diversity ride from Mission to Victoria was completed, and we have some exciting new developments that involve our local communities.
The support for this year's ride in the Mission/Abbotsford area was outstanding. Members of the team had some fantastic suggestions on how we can include the communities on a number of levels beginning this September.
I would like to thank the two community mascots for coming out to supporting the Cycling4Diversity team locally: Bucky the Beaver from Fraser Valley RV and Hawkey the Hawk from the Abbotsford Heat were both entertaining and more than a handful for all ages.
Reflecting back, one of the many surprises that stands out the most for me is how many people have never seen or know about a proclamation.
To tell you the truth, I had very little knowledge about the meaning of a proclamation, or what one looked like for that fact, until the District of Mission surprised our team with its first declaration last May.
A proclamation is an official declaration given by the city where a day, week, or month can be designated during the calendar year in support of an organization, initiative or an individual.
This year, the team received eight proclamations, including one from the Province of British Columbia.
During our four-day journey stopping in nine cities, we received seven proclamations from the various mayors.
It was exciting to see each individual receive a proclamation on behalf of the team. The only three communities that didn't present proclamations were Abbotsford, the Township of Langley and the City of Langley.
Some of the reasons why these communities haven't adopted policy in awarding proclamations is too much administrative handling for the city.
Last year a special exception was made when the City of Abbotsford presented the Heritage Sikh Temple with a proclamation in 2011 for its centennial anniversary.
However, these communities did show their city support by giving the team letters acknowledging their efforts.
I respect the cities' decisions to award or not to award a proclamation. As being someone who is on a team that has received many proclamations, it is very encouraging to have the support from council and the city. More importantly, it makes people and their organizations feel part of the community.
Having said this, our initiative is not defined by the proclamations that were received. However, it is wonderful to witness the interaction from the local civic officials as they present these documents.
Many on our team have never seen or been presented with a proclamation. The excitement was clearly evident on their faces.
Also, with the letters that were given, local civic leaders took the time to demonstrate their support by presenting them to the team.
What I saw during the four days was that mayors and local officials who awarded proclamations and letters were very excited to have the opportunity to present the declarations of acknowledgement.
I encourage cities to keep their policy and procedures of awarding proclamations and for communities that have not considered to take a closer look at this in the future.
Proclamations are a unique way to highlight the spirits that live within our communities.
Ken Herar is a freelance columnist with the Abbotsford-Mission Times. Contact him via e-mail at kenherar@ gmail.com.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cycling4Diversity is grateful to the Abbotsford Heat and Hawkey The Hawk for their support

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Written by: Sarina Di Martino Derksen
 
I'm proud to announce that the 2nd annual Cycling4Diversity journey from Mission to Victoria, BC. has been successfully completed for this year. The Cycling4Diversity team left May 22nd and arrived into Victoria on May 25th. The 4-day journey saw the team travel over 200 km, visiting 9 cities and 40 presentations relaying the message to thousands of people regarding the topics of diversity, racism and discrimination. The team was welcomed by students, government officials and the general public during “Cycling4Diversity Week” in British Columbia from May 20-26th. As a member of the team, I found it humbling and heart warming to meet so many people along the way who specifically came out to welcome us and share their own stories. Their testimonies demonstrated incredible strength and resolve to be part of the solution. In other words, even though people have been hurt, they recognize the importance of rising above issues with the hopes of making our communities a better place when dealing with the racism and discrimination instead of being the product of it or striking out and abusing others. They could easily choose to harden their hearts and turn against others based on the hurt they've endured but they know that isn't the answer.
 
Cycling4Diversity was created last year by Founder Ken Herar in hopes to bring awareness and encourage dialogue regarding diversity, racism and discrimination throughout our communities. The Cycling4Diversity initiative began in 2011 to celebrate “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development” on May 21st - a day proclaimed by the United Nations. Our mission was to make a number of stops along the way in different cities to celebrate diversity and build bridges. This encouraged dialogue regarding racism, discrimination and shed light on underlying issues associated with living among different cultures and races.
 
Many people supported the concept of Cycling4Diversity last year with how we delivered the message in a unique way (travelling on a bike from city to city). It captured the imagination of many British Columbians including myself. Cycling4Diversity is one of the very few initiatives that has a multifaceted approach in dealing with the issues as well as celebrating diversity.

A number of students along the way this year asked our team, “How long have you all known each other?” The riders responded that many of us only met the morning of the ride. This proves that in order to work together to accomplish something positive, people don‘t have to know one another. That is the beauty of a number people coming together to work towards a common goal. One doesn't need to know another in order to do good.

Diversity is about working as a team, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to work with such fine individuals who are passionate about building a vibrant multicultural society within our communities. People have asked me many times: "Do you seriously believe we will ever see the end of racism?" I have to honestly say no, I don't believe we will. I think sadly it will always be among us, however, I know that the more we talk about the issues, educate and demonstrate within our communities and homes how to relate to one another and connect, we can seriously make a difference and deal with the errors and biases that are held and passed along from generation to generation. We make a difference by continually talking about it and bringing awareness to the issues. I have often said that we have learned how to fly to the moon, cure diseases and map the gene gnome, however, we're still struggling regarding the issue of whether we're equal to one another (race, culture, religion etc). The reason I believe this to be the case is because this is a value based issue. Sure, we can all read about racism and discrimination in a text book, however, if we're not living according to values that are against racism and discrimination we will struggle and believe that we are more superior then others around us if they don't look the same or share in the same traditions we were brought up with. 
 
On the other hand, we like to believe that the world is a great place and that diversity is working, but the truth is that much work remains to be done for this statement to become a reality.  One of the problems that I see is that with everyone talking about diversity, we find ourselves focusing more on our differences than what makes us equal. This I believe could be a fault regarding the matter of diversity. I believe we should be identifying what we all have in common and by doing so, we will then be able to accept and learn to celebrate diversity. If we study relationships, we connect with one another by relating to each other and building a strong foundation. Once we're "invested" in each other, when differences come up, we're more willing to overlook them because we've connected with one another. The same is true in relating to one another regarding diversity.
 
Ken Herar said: "Diversity isn't only about celebrating various cultures but it's about creating everlasting relationships with one another. This will be the key to cultural success in Canada. It is important to recognize our differences, however, in order for cultural diversity to get to the next level of understanding amongst our growing, multi-cultural communities we need to pay special attention to this concept so that we don't grow further apart. It's time that Canadians take a closer look at their cultural diversity."
 
The Cycling4Diversity initiative is committed in celebrating diversity and discussing issues throughout the rest of the year: "Building bridges of dialogue, one city at a time" is what we plan on continuing to do throughout the year beginning this September. In addition to our annual ride that will be taking place each May, our team will be visiting schools each month to discuss diversity throughout the year. We have plans to take the initiative nationwide.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MLA Doug Routley introduces Cycling4Diversity in the BC Legislature.

 




2011 Legislative Session: Fourth Session, 39th Parliament
HOUSE BLUES

This is a DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY of debate in one sitting of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. This transcript is subject to corrections, and will be replaced by the final, official Hansard report. Use of this transcript, other than in the legislative precinct, is not protected by parliamentary privilege, and public attribution of any of the debate as transcribed here could entail legal liability.

DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY


(HANSARD)

                      HOUSE BLUES

     WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2012

            Afternoon Sitting

                                    CYCLING4DIVERSITY
                               MULTICULTURALISM INITIATIVE
D. Routley: I'd like to share with the House some information about a great event called Cycling4Diversity. This is a group of cyclists who are attempting to walk the talk, or cycle the cycle, of multiculturalism. We often talk about how we need to respect the differences in our community but then shrink back into comfortable settings after expressing those sentiments.
This is an event that is a mission to Victoria, a bicycle ride visiting nine cities. There have been eight proclamations, one by this House, which proclaimed May 20 to 26 Cycling4Diversity Week. They're building dialogue one city at a time.
Eight to 12 riders will be riding all the way. They stop at schools to promote diversity and awareness of issues regarding racism. They encourage us all to become more involved interculturally and to address the divisions and isolation that grow between communities.
As we become more diverse in this province, we face increased issues of diversity and division. This awareness and creation of a discussion will come to culmination here at the Legislature on the 25th. I'll be joining them in Sidney to ride into the Legislature. They will visit Vic High, a fire hall and one other school.
Ken Herar started this event because he was invited to a Christmas party but then wasn't allowed because they weren't inviting South Asians. He felt that rather than react to that negatively, he would do something positive. So as diversity columnist with the Abbotsford Times, he decided something had to be done.
We often talk about diversity and multiculturalism and the need to heal the divisions, but we don't often live it the way Ken Herar and these people who are supporting this ride do. Our existing communities must embrace each other without sacrificing our own cultures.
The ride will leave on the 22nd and end here on the 25th in Victoria. I'd like to congratulate all the people involved with Cycling4Diversity.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cycling4Diversity plans to promote the message all year round.

  Classrooms the next stop for local diversity cyclists

Onward and upward after ride to Victoria

The second annual Cycling4Diversity ride from Mission to Victoria, May 22-25, was so successful organizers Ken Herar and Sarina Di Martino Derksen are planning on taking their message around the province come fall.
"It was an honour to meet so many people who warmly welcomed us and were supportive of this message," said Derksen, who along with Herar, plans to visit schools in B.C. where they did not stop. Eventually, they would like to expand C4D across Canada.
"To go from city to city and hear the emotional stories people have to share, it was a big eye-opener," she said. "When you're meeting people face to face and celebrating diversity, it was life-changing for me on many levels."
The team of 12 left Mission on May 22 for the 200-kilometre bike ride, and stopped at 40 locations on the four-day ride, giving halfhour presentations to schools, community groups and others.
They gave blue wristbands to all the school kids, asking them to share the special message of diversity.
"We asked them to pay attention to how they interact with others," said Herar, who credited Derksen with the idea.
Abbotsford Coun. Bill MacGregor and Abbotsford Police Deputy Chief Rick Lucy rode the entire distance with the rest of the team, which received proclamations from eight cities along the way.
In Victoria they were greeted by former B.C. NDP leader Carole James in front of the Legislature.
Herar said there are still many challenges and C4D is just one small step along the way.
"We're talking about diversity a lot but are we celebrating it? It's more than just a one-day function. I'd like to see more people learn about other cultures besides their own," he said.
"Cycling4Diversity is not a race. It's about the message."
For more information on the fall program or to ride in next year's event, e-mail cycling4diversity@gmail.com.
JKonda-Witte@abbotsfordtimes.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cycling4Diversity team meets with NDP leader Adrian Dix

Cycling4Diversity: " Building bridges of dialogue, one city at a time."

Cycling4Diversity tackles the growing concerns of ethnic sports teams.




Cycling4Diversity was created last year when I decided to form a team
to spread the message that we need not only speak about diversity, but
also take a closer look at whether we are celebrating or just talking
about it. The C4D initiative is about promoting intercultural dialogue
which is something I believe we have deviated away from within Canada
. Over the last several years, I have received feedback from readers
that show there are some growing issues which need to be addressed
within our neighbourhoods, workplaces and schools. As being an athlete
myself, I have been noticing many of our sporting teams are starting
to become more and more segregated where ethnic groups are forming
their own teams and leagues. Is this a bad thing or a good thing? In
my own personal opinion, this potentially could become a growing
concern for the future. As our communities become more multicultural,
the very components that we use to promote and celebrate diversity are
the same ones that are isolating us.

Many years ago, I was part of a South Asian soccer team and enjoyed
playing with them very much. A few years ago, a former member of the
Canadian National Soccer Team approached me and mentioned that South
Asians should be representing the town in which they reside and not
isolating themselves or having their own clubs. What he later
expressed, is that they are some of the most talented players within
our communities.

The issue with ethnic leagues or any form of ethnic clubs, is that it
limits our outreach in a multicultural society. Our focus should be on
more integrated teams and activities on and off the field which will
in turn strengthen our relationships in all sectors in how we live so
it doesn't become an "us vs them" situation.

Many people supported the concept of C4D last year. They were excited
about how we delivered a message in a unique way that captured the
imagination of many British Columbians. I was encouraged to do it
again this year and in the process the initiative has grown
tremendously. C4D is reflected by a team of individuals who believe in
the message of diversity, culture and the need to address issues
regarding racism. This year the team received 8 proclamations from
local governments and the province of British Columbia .

A number of students along the way asked, “How long have you all known
each other?” The riders responded that many of us only met the morning
of the ride. This proves that in order to work together to accomplish
something positive, people don‘t have to know one another.

Diversity is about working as a team, and I’m grateful that I had the
opportunity to work with such fine individuals who are passionate
about building a vibrant multicultural society. The support from local
service providers and sponsors were incredible. I was deeply moved to
see how many people believed in this important message that we were
honoured to carry throughout our communities. The C4D initiative is
committed in celebrating diversity and discussing issues throughout
the rest of the year: " Building bridges of dialogue, one city at a
time."

Cycling4Diversity gets support from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Letter of support from Lieutenant Governor of BC Steven Point supporting Cycling4Diversity.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cycling4Diversity concludes at BC Legislature with Carole James

C4D ride was a shining example

The second annual Cycling 4Diversity journey from Mission to Victoria has been successfully completed. The C4D team left May 22 and arrived into Victoria on May 25.
The four-day journey saw the team travel 200 km, visiting nine cities with 40 presentations relaying the message to thousands of people. The team was welcomed by students, government officials and the public during "Cycling 4Diversity Week" in British Columbia from May 20-26.
Cycling 4Diversity was created last year when I decided to form a team to spread the message that we need to not only speak about diversity but also take a look at whether we are celebrating it.
Over the last several years, I have received feedback from readers that show there are some growing issues that need to be addressed.
Many people supported the concept of C4D last year on how we delivered a message in a unique way that captured the imagination of many British Columbians.
I was encouraged to do it again this year and in the process the initiative has grown tremendously. C4D is reflected by a team of individuals who believe in the message of diversity, culture and the need to address issues regarding racism.
This year the team received eight proclamations from local governments and the province of British Columbia.
What's encouraging about the C4D story is that level of support was strong in all the communities we were welcomed in: Mission, Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver, Richmond and Victoria.
A number of students along the way asked, "How long have you all known each other?" The riders responded that many of us only met the morning of the ride.
This proves that in order to work together to accomplish something positive, people don't have to know one another.
There were seven core cyclists and many people who joined in on their bikes and supported the team in delivering the message.
The team that traveled to Victoria included: Abbotsford Deputy Police Chief Rick Lucy, Abbotsford City Coun. Bill MacGregor, Sukhi Dhami, Harpreet Singh and Raj Patara.
Kulwinder Singh Dhillon also joined our group of cyclists with his motorcycle, riding the entire way. We were a small team in numbers, but with a big, powerful message.
Diversity is about working as a team, and I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to work with such fine individuals who are passionate about building a vibrant, multicultural society.
Sarina Di Martino Derksen, C4D executive coordinator, who worked extremely hard to make this second annual event a success, is already busy planning for the C4D ride next May.
Her vision and commitment took it to a new level and we're looking forward to next year. Di Martino Derksen said: "We only had a couple of short months to plan this entire ride and I'm thrilled with the success of it.
"The support from local service providers and sponsors were incredible. I was deeply moved to see how many people believed in this important message that we were honoured to carry throughout our communities."
Behind the scenes were our incredible camera crew, who consisted of Dwayne De Sousa, co-owner of Kapish New Media Inc., Sheldon Carvalho, Netzah Garcia, owner of Simply Silly Studios and Deesh Sekhon, owner of Deesh Photography.
The C4D initiative is committed to celebrating diversity and discussing related issues throughout the year, and to building bridges of dialogue, one city at a time.
Ken Herar is a freelance columnist with the Times. Contact him at : kenherar@gmail.com.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cycling4Diversity comes to a close for 2012

Cycling4Diversity tour ends


The Cycling4Diversity tour, organized by Mission's Ken Herar and Sarina Di Martino Derksen ran last week, and both residents report their talk about cultural inclusion and welcoming others across the region was being well received.
Starting at Griner Park on Cherry Avenue with a tree replanting, the four-day journey took the group of riders to 40 stops in nine cities, including schools and community centres. The high-energy ride ended in Victoria at the Legislature, where the provincial government proclaimed a Cycling for Diversity week.
Herar and Di Martino Derksen noted there were lots of questions from students and good support from representatives in each city.
"We felt, as a team, that we were successful in delivering our message," said Herar, which was linked to this year's theme was building bridges of dialogue, one city at a time.
The trip highlight for Di Martino Derksen was "meeting with the children and seeing that they were getting the message."
In nearly every school, she continued, there was discussion around diversity actively being taught.
"[The students] are already living diversity and bringing it into their home."
For more information and trip photos, visit the team's Facebook page.

Cycling4Diversity being welcomed at Simon Fraser University (Surrey)





EVENTS
May 23 - Cycling 4 Diversity


The Cycling4Diversity team will be rolling into Surrey City Centre tomorrow, Wednesday May 23rd at 1:30pm celebrating the United Nations proclaimed “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”.
The Cycling4Diversity team will be making this stop at SFU, as one of more than 20 stops on a four day cycling trip through nine cities. The team’s mission is to raise awareness about Diversity issues in our communities.
This is an invitation to come out and cheer the team on, meet the riders and enjoy refreshments. Councilor Mary Martin from the City of Surrey will be the keynote speaker. The team will be here for approximately one hour. Please see attached invitation.
Please join Michelle Mackay, Retail & Community Relations Manager of Central City Mall, and Fraser Health Diversity Services in welcoming the team to our very diverse community. A reception will be held in the Dale B. Regehr Hall at Simon Fraser University from 1:30-2:30pm. 
Help us celebrate Diversity, a core foundation of the community we live, work and go to school in. Please RSVP to susan.rink@fraserhealth.ca