Thursday, February 21, 2013

Letter of support for Cycling4Diversity from Delta Mayor Jackson

Cycling4Diversity pedals to Lifetime Learning to celebrate Heritage Week in the District of Mission

A lesson learned not to marginalize people based on sterotypes

Baseball bat brings reminder

 By Ken Herar, The Times February 20, 2013
I was reminded of a valuable lesson a few weeks ago - to never judge a fellow human being by their skin colour or nationality.
A full explanation as to what happened would probably exceed my word count.
I know in some people's eyes the East Indian community has struggled with its public image partly due to some of the high profile crimes involving young South Asian males in the Lower Mainland.
Recently, I was having supper in a local restaurant in Abbotsford and the kind waitress wanted to share some insights.
She said: "The only bar fights we've had in our establishment have been with East Indians."
With this cemented in my mind, and only a few short days later, I witnessed in incident where a South Asian male threatened someone with a baseball bat.
My next step was to go to Facebook and vent about what I had heard and seen to all my so-called friends
This is what I posted: "Just witnessed a young South Asian (East Indian) male threaten another driver with a bat and take off over nothing at all and shout how powerful he is. The aggression and violent nature that took place showcased to me first hand why we have such a violent community and in particularly with our South Asian males. Sorry to say."
After receiving 37 'likes' and 120 comments, many of them mixed opinions, I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong in posting this and should have expressed it differently.
As one writer stated: "This sort of attitude lets other members outside of our community get the wrong idea and impression. I think you are a very active member of our community and what you say reaches many people, so in my own opinion, I believe you could have expressed your frustrations in a more positive proactive way."
Sarina Di Martino Derkesen posted: "With all due respect, bringing someone's race or culture into the equation immediately deepens the divisions, and all the work that has been done on the topic of diversity takes a step backwards.
"I think we need to as a society deal with the behavior and the lack of values behind the action. We need to stop labeling people and instead take them for who they are in front of us, and deal with the behaviors as a 'person' instead of attributing it to their culture or heritage.
"If we continue to say that black guy, that white guy, that brown guy, that Muslim, that Hindu, that Catholic when referring to the person in question, the divisions will continue.
"Instead, we need to start referring to the person as 'the man' or 'the woman' in question or simply 'the person' and not by their race or religion."
Through my post I unfortunately marginalized East Indian males and painted them all with the same dirty brush. I am extremely sorry for this.
These kinds of responses affect people in their daily lives.
When speaking on topics of racism/stereotyping we need not be emotional, but remain factual to get to the truth of the matter.
Ken Herar is a freelance columnist with the Abbotsford-Mission Times. Contact him at: kenherar@

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Queen's medal reciepient biography at presentation

Cycling4Diversity receives City of Vancouver Proclamation

City of Vancouver Proclamation Given to Cycling4Diversity

On May 24, acting Deputy Vancouver Mayor Adriane Carr presented a City of Vancouver Proclamation to members of Cycling4Diversity at the Main Street Punjabi Market.
The purpose of Cycling 4 Diversity is to encourage dialogue regarding racism, discrimination and shed some light on underlying issues associated with living among different cultures and races.
Adriane Carr and to her right in the blue suit is Mr. Daljit Singh, President of the Punjabi Market Association.
Photo: Donna Passmore.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cycling4Diversity celebrates Heritage Week in Mission

Ride for Diversity – Celebrating Heritage Week

December 11, 2012 − by Ron − in February 2013, Multicultural, Travel − No Comments
2012 Diversity Team
This year we feature Queen’s Diamond Jubilee honouree, Ken Herar, who shares his insights into celebrating our diversity, and the cultural commitment of many who now participate in the annual ride celebrating diversity…..

Day: Wednesday
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Fee: $7.00 Member Non-Member $10.00
Dates: February 20, 2013
Location:32444 Seventh Avenue, Mission, BC V2V 2B5
Click here to learn more about Ken’s 2012 Ride for Diversity