Friday, May 31, 2013

Cycling4Diversity visits Maple Ridge on tour

Cycling for racial tolerance, multiculturalism

By Phil Melnychuk - Maple Ridge News
Published: May 31, 2013 1:00 PM 
Updated: May 31, 2013 1:19 PM
Ken Herar likes to see people enjoy themselves and have a good time.
But one thing he notices when he’s in restaurants or in stores or walking down the street, is people still in their comfort zones.
South Asians hanging out with South Asians, white people with white, Asians with Asians.
People talk a lot about racial tolerance and multiculturalism, says Herar, organizer of the Cycling 4 Diversity.
But they don’t walk the walk, almost literally.
“I think people are comfortable in their own community.
“People get it (the concept of multiculturalism), but the problem is they don’t practise it.
“I rarely see a white person and a South Asian walking together. When I do, that really catches my eye. Rarely do I see a cross-cultural relationship. That’s really not good.”
That has to change because the demographics in the Lower Mainland are changing. In a few decades, those of European descent will be a minority. Newcomers as well must reach out, he added.
Herar’s been dealing with the issue of cultures clashing with each other for the last 20 years and has kept the e-mails and complaints from native-born Canadians and newcomers and people moving in and out of neighbourhoods because they feel excluded. Despite multicultural policies and efforts in schools, racism is still around – but no one is talking about it.
“We are 20 years too late talking about this conversation. It (racism) hasn’t changed. It’s still the same. It comes at you in different ways now.”
That’s why he started Cycling4Diversity, which just completed its third ride around the Lower Mainland and Victoria.
The crew visited 14 cities, speaking at schools and community groups about inclusion.
A recent development that bothers him is the ethnically based sports teams and leagues that have developed in the Lower Mainland. When he was growing up, kids from all ethnic groups played on the same team, representing the community. Now, the races are kept apart on the rosters.
“If I had children, I would say represent your town.” He’s tried to get that message to coaches, but it’s hard to change.
While kids of different groups mix together in school, that’s an artificial environment which doesn’t carry over to real life.
The cyclists took their message to Maple Ridge’s Westview secondary, but according to vice-principal Ian Liversidge, the group was preaching to the converted.
“The message is about, ‘Let’s be culturally aware and be welcoming of everybody we have in our midst’ – that message is well received and that message is well respected here.”
While neither Westview nor any Maple Ridge school has a large South Asian population, international students make up about 10 per cent of the student population.
“As any school in Maple Ridge, we’re certainly multi-ethnic.”
Liversidge says he’s taught in other cities where he knows the “lines of ethnicity can be strong” in some cases. But in the four years he’s been teaching in Maple Ridge, there hasn’t been a racist incident.
“There are kids that don’t get along with other kids and we solve that. I can’t think of a situation where the true source of the issue was the ethnicity.
“What was neat to see is somebody who’s message is, ‘We should be talking together regardless of where we come from.’ That message is a good message and a common message.”
The Abbotsford-based crew consisted of Herar, Sarina Di Martino Derksen, Aaron Levy, Kris Foulds, Abbotsford Mayor Bill MacGregor and Abbotsford deputy police chief Rick Lucy.
“We want people to reach out in their neighbourhoods and workplaces and sports teams to build that cross-cultural dialogue that is needed,” Herar said.

Vic News covers Cycling4Diversity team in Victoria.

Cultural diversity promoted by bicycling team

Diversity comes in many forms.
Examples in people range from differing sexual orientation and ethnic background to native language and skin colour.
Students at Sir James Douglas elementary listened last week to members of the Cycling4Diversity team, as part of its third annual bike trek promoting the removal of barriers to kindness and cultural understanding.
The group stopped at the Fairfield school on World Cultural Diversity Day, May 21, to talk about the importance of respecting and celebrating our differences.
“I tell my son when I drop him off for school, ‘do something kind for someone today,’” team rider and former high school principal, Bill MacGregor, told the assembled students.
Tour riders and organizers will have visited 14 communities and 19 schools between Victoria and its home base of Abbotsford by the time they return home. The team, with representatives from police, schools, politics and other sectors, also visited Vic High and Royal Roads University during their stop in Greater Victoria.
Ride co-founder Ken Herar said in an interview the idea for the ride came from observing people in his city, including youth, avoid socializing with outside their traditional ethnic groups.
“I thought, more work needs to be done to be inclusive,” he said. “As our immigrant population grows and we welcome the world, we cannot forget that if we sell ourselves to the world, we have to practice diversity.”
The messages put forward briefly by Cycling4Diversity members are not so different than those the children hear and practice on a regular basis at the school, Sir James Douglas principal Teri Wickes said.
“This fits perfectly with our whole focus on social responsibility,” she said, noting that recently the school held an anti-homophobic Rainbow Day.
From an ethnic standpoint, the school has a specialized learning program for the roughly 30 students of aboriginal descent, and promotes aboriginal cultural awareness throughout the school on a regular basis, Wickes said.
To her experience, younger children call each other on the use of racial slurs or ethnic discrimination. “Unlike adults, who might let (comments) slide, with kids it’s not OK right off the bat.”

The Cycling4Diversity team with Delta City Councillor Jeannie Kanakos

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cycling4Diversity down to its last kilometres

cycling.jpg

A team of local cyclists are back in Abbotsford for the last leg of the third annual Cycling4Diversity trip which began on May 21 and ends this evening.
The crew – led by Mission's Ken Herar – have covered about 300 kilometres while travelling from Victoria to Abbotsford, and visited 14 cities along the way, speaking to schools and community groups about diversity and inclusion.
"The response has been fantastic." said Herar. "Children really like the concept and the approach to promoting cultural diversity."
As the trip draws to an end, Herar said the group is happy for such a great response along the way, but sad to see it end.
"It's emotional, because we're having a really good time."
The crew consisted of Herar, Sarina Di Martino Derksen, Aaron Levy, Kris Foulds, Deputy Mayor Bill MacGregor and  Deputy Police Chief Rick Lucy.
They are now back in Abbotsford and will stop at the University of the Fraser Valley at 4 p.m. to share with students and faculty members their message, and talk about the trip.
"Everyone on our team has a little bit of a different message than their fellow teammates, but as a whole, we get the message (of diversity) out."
The trip will finish at a rally to welcome the group home from 6 to 7 p.m. at The Reach Gallery Museum, 323888 Veterans Way. Food and refreshments will be served.
All guests will have their names entered into a draw for a chance to win a free flight from Abbotsford to Kelowna or Red Deer, courtesy of Northwestern Air.
Cycling4Diversity Week in the province runs from May 19 to 25.

Cycling4Diversity speads inclusion during their 4-day tour.

Cycling for Diversity team wheels into Abbotsford schools

 
           Story
 
Members of the Cycling for Diversity team got a warm welcome as they rolled into Abbotsford's Dasmesh Punjabi School on Friday afternoon.
 

Members of the Cycling for Diversity team got a warm welcome as they rolled into Abbotsford's Dasmesh Punjabi School on Friday afternoon.

Photograph by: Rochelle Baker , TIMES

The Cycling for Diversity team got a warm welcome from two elementary schools as they made their way through Abbotsford Friday during the wrap up of its four-day tour.
Students at Dasmesh Punjabi School gave the crew of cyclists and their motorcycle escort high fives and cheers as they arrived and departed.
The group, led by Mission resident and Times Columnist Ken Herar, is pedaling for change and spreading the word about inclusion and diversity during the ride, which set out from Victoria on May 21.
Celebrating its third year, the CD4 team visited 14 cities and stopped en route at up to 19 schools, including some universities.
Following the stop at Dasmesh, the riders made their way to Matsqui Elementary School where they were guests at the school's cultural diversity event, which featured class projects, foods from around the world as well as dancing and performances from a range of different cultures.
The members of CD4 encouraged students to become the leaders of tomorrow and grow their circle of friends by connecting with people from different backgrounds.
The team then departed Matsqui to make their way to the University of the Fraser Valley this afternoon before heading to its final stop at The Reach Gallery Museum tonight at 6 p.m.
The public is welcome to join the Rally in the Valley for Diversity event at The Reach, 323888 Veterans Way.
Food and refreshments will be served and people can enter a draw for a chance for a free flight from Abbotsford to Kelowna or Red Deer courtesy of Northwestern Air.
@RochelleBaker1

Cycling4Diversity stops in Burnaby

CYCLING TOUR
Abbotsford Times columnist Ken Herar made two stops in Burnaby during his Cycling4Diversity trip in May. Herar visited Burnaby's Byrne Creek Secondary and Burnaby South Secondary schools.
"Both visits went really well. The team really enjoyed it. The schools really like it," he said.
Herar's team biked from Mission to Victoria. They made 40 stops in four days, visiting communities along the way to raise awareness about racism and the importance of diversity. To read more about the journey, go to kenherar.blogspot.ca.


Read more: http://www.burnabynow.com/travel/Local+photos+Ottawa/6859668/story.html#ixzz2UMBxm1DH

Cycling4Diversity speaks at Royal Roads University

Cultural diversity promoted by bicycling team


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Diversity comes in many forms.
Examples in people range from differing sexual orientation and ethnic background to native language and skin colour.
Students at Sir James Douglas elementary listened last week to members of the Cycling4Diversity team, as part of its third annual bike trek promoting the removal of barriers to kindness and cultural understanding.
The group stopped at the Fairfield school on World Cultural Diversity Day, May 21, to talk about the importance of respecting and celebrating our differences.
“I tell my son when I drop him off for school, ‘do something kind for someone today,’” team rider and former high school principal, Bill MacGregor, told the assembled students.
Tour riders and organizers will have visited 14 communities and 19 schools between Victoria and its home base of Abbotsford by the time they return home. The team, with representatives from police, schools, politics and other sectors, also visited Vic High and Royal Roads University during their stop in Greater Victoria.
Ride co-founder Ken Herar said in an interview the idea for the ride came from observing people in his city, including youth, avoid socializing with outside their traditional ethnic groups.
“I thought, more work needs to be done to be inclusive,” he said. “As our immigrant population grows and we welcome the world, we cannot forget that if we sell ourselves to the world, we have to practice diversity.”
The messages put forward briefly by Cycling4Diversity members are not so different than those the children hear and practice on a regular basis at the school, Sir James Douglas principal Teri Wickes said.
“This fits perfectly with our whole focus on social responsibility,” she said, noting that recently the school held an anti-homophobic Rainbow Day.
From an ethnic standpoint, the school has a specialized learning program for the roughly 30 students of aboriginal descent, and promotes aboriginal cultural awareness throughout the school on a regular basis, Wickes said.
To her experience, younger children call each other on the use of racial slurs or ethnic discrimination. “Unlike adults, who might let (comments) slide, with kids it’s not OK right off the bat.”


Cycling4Diversity: 'You have the power to change the world'

'You have the power to change the world'

Cycling4Diversitycopy.jpg 
Terry Stobbart had her mother drop off her daughter to her Kindergarten class one day.
The grandmother remarked to the little girl about all the different skin colours of her classmates. The little girl responded that she really hadn't noticed.
And it was that answer which gives Stobbart hope for future generations.
"That gave me hope that you as a young generation don't see that," she told the students at Langley Secondary on Friday morning.
"You see into the heart of a person."
Stobbart was one of the handful of speakers who had stopped by the high school as part of the Cycling4Diversity ride, an initiative which began in 2011. It celebrates World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
The ride began on May 21 in Victoria and ended in Abbotsford on May 24.
Altogether, the crew covered approximately 300 kilometres and visited 14 cities along the way, speaking to schools and community groups about diversity and inclusion.
The annual ride is organized by Ken Herar
"The response has been fantastic," he said.
"Children really like the concept and the approach to promoting cultural diversity."
Stobbart, who is 80 per cent deaf in both ears, said that when she tells people about her hearing impairment, they immediately begin talking slower to her.
"So I learned not to share that, not to be open," she said.
"For so many years, I felt afraid to say who I was.
"I am sure everyone of you have felt alone, or nervous, or shy. We all have our fears."
The message Stobbard wanted to pass along to the students was "we are all humans, no matter what the skin colour or hair colour, or what we look like."
"You have the power to do this, to change the world," Stobbart added.
Stobbart was one of the handful of people on the ride who spoke at the assembly.
Also on the ride were Herar, JoyTV10 radio show host Harpreet Singh, university student Sukhmeet Singh Sachal, Abbotsford Police Department Deputy Chief Rick Lucy, CIVL radio station manager Aaron Levy and Langley Times editor Frank Bucholtz.
City councillor Dave Hall and Township councillor Michelle Sparrow also spoke and accompanied the ride.
"You can't assume racism and intolerance only happens in other parts of the world," said Hall, who also rode in Friday's leg of the trip.
"We have work to do yet and it is your generation that has the opportunity … to make a difference."
— with files from Alex Butler/Black Press

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cycling4Diversity trip ends at The Reach Gallery Museum

Cycling4Diversity trip ends at The Reach

C4D.jpg
A team of local cyclists are back in Abbotsford after completing the third annual Cycling4Diversity trip, which began on May 21 and ended this evening.
The crew-led by Mission's Ken Herar - have covered about 300 kilometers while traveling from Victoria to Abbotsford. The cyclists visited 14 cities along the way speaking and schools and community groups about inclusion and diversity and inclusion.
"The response has been fantastic." said Herar.  "Children really like the concept and the approach to promoting cultural diversity."
The crew consisted of Herar, Sarina Di Martino Derksen, Aaron Levy, Kris Foulds, Deputy Mayor Bill MacGregor and Deputy Police Chief Rick Lucy.
"Everyone on our team has a little bit of a different message than their fellow teammates, but as a whole, we get the message (of diversity) out."
The trip finished with a welcome home rally between 6 and 7 p.m. at the Reach Gallery Museum on Veterans Way.
Cycling4Diversity Week in the province runs from May 19-25.  More information at abcdiversity.ca.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Spreading the message of inclusion through Cycling4Diversity

Cyclists to spread message of cultural diversity from Victoria to Abbotsford

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI
Victoria to Abbotsford
 John van Putten/Postmedia News

For the third year in a row, the Cycling 4 Diversity team will head out, making 27 stops to chat with school and university students from Victoria to Abbotsford. Armed with a bicycle and positive message, Mission’s Ken Herar is hoping to connect communities across the Lower Mainland.
For the third year in a row, Herar, along with 10 other riders, are rolling out Cycling 4 Diversity on Sunday, making 27 stops to chat with school and university students from Victoria to Abbotsford.
“We need to work harder at our diversity,” said Herar. “Racism is still very much alive and well.
“Racism hasn’t changed, it’s just how it is conducted and how it’s delivered now.”
And for Herar, it exists through a lack of diverse communities.
“Nationalities seem to stick together more and it’s getting stronger,” he said. “I don’t see different nationalities walking together … young kids don’t have any white friends and they’re not mixing with one another.
“We see a cultural divide happening in our neighbourhoods, in our schools, in our workplaces.”
So instead of building these “silos,” Herar and his team are cycling through the Lower Mainland promoting his message of diversity.
“If we’re going to live in one country we should try to all live together — not live separately,” he said. “Let’s be proud of our culture, proud of our religion, but let’s not forget we need to also have intercultural dialogue with other people as well.”
“Let’s not forget that we have neighbours that may be from a different nationality, that we should also invite them into our homes, their kids should play with your kids.”
And while Herar believes some communities are aware of the segragation they build, he hasn’t seen any change.
“(So) we have to kind of talk about it, build that awareness, see some change,” he said. “Especially new immigrants … we should encourage them to reach out and feel welcome not just to feel comfortable in their own community but reach out and build those resources outside the community as well.
“Diversity is not just about celebrating your own culture, it’s about actually learning about other people’s cultures, too.
“It’s a simple message but a very important message.”
lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cycling4Diversity swag. Photo courtesy of Mission City Record.

Cycling4Diversity gets ready for annual ride

Cycling4Diversity team set for annual ride

Cycling4Diversity-2-MORROW.jpg
A team of local cyclists will complete the third annual Cycling4Diversity trip on May 21 to 24, travelling from Victoria to Abbotsford.
The crew – led by Mission's Ken Herar – will visit 14 cities along the way, speaking to schools and community groups about diversity and inclusion.
Cycling4Diversity Week in the province runs from May 19 to 25.
A rally to welcome the group home takes place on Friday, May 24 from 6 to 7 p.m. at The Reach Gallery Museum, 323888 Veterans Way. Food and refreshments will be served.
All guests will have their names entered into a draw for a chance to win a free flight from Abbotsford to Kelowna or Red Deer, courtesy of Northwestern Air.
For more information, visit abcdiversity.ca.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cycling4Diversity pamplet

Cycling4Diversity – Rally in the Valley for Diversity

Cycling4Diversity – Rally in the Valley for Diversity

cycling-4-diversityA team of local cyclists ride in the third annual Cycling4Diversity May 21st to 24th!  The bike trek rides from Victoria to Abbotsford during Cycling4Diversity Week in the province, May 19th to 25th.  Cycling4Diversity will be stopping by 14 cities, speaking to schools and community groups about diversity.
Join in the rally to welcome the group, led by Ken Herar, on Friday, May 24th from 6 to 7pm at The Reach Gallery Museum at 323888 Veterans Way.  Food and refreshments will be served, and all guests will have their names entered into a draw for a chacne to win a free flight from Abbotsford to Kelowna or Red Deer, courtesy of Northwestern Air Lease Ltd.
For more information, visit abcdiversity.ca.
  • Start time: 6:00 PM
  • Location: The Reach Gallery Museum at 323888 Veterans Way, Abbotsford
  • Age information: All Ages

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cycling4Diversity brought Damesh Punjabi School and Matsqui Elementary school kids together for a Rally.



Cycling4Diversity (Left to Right) Rick Lucy and Ken Herar two members from the C4D team seated in front brought the Damesh Punjabi School and Matsqui Elementary school kids together for a Rally for the teams upcoming ride from Victoria to Abbotsford on May 21st to May 24th. Cycling4Diversity team will be finishing its ride on May 24th at The Reach Gallery Musuem in Abbotsford and a celebration is being held from 6-7pm. The public is welcome to attend to celebrate Cycling4Diversity Week in our province from May 19th-May 25th.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Randy Kamp introduces Cycling4Diversity in the House of Commons with a Member's Statement

 Cycling4Diversity
Statements by Members
May 2nd, 2013 / 2 p.m.
Conservative

Randy Kamp Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, with World Day for Cultural Diversity coming later this month, I am pleased to rise today to commend the efforts of Cycling4Diversity, a team that combines a passion for cycling with spreading the message of cultural diversity and inclusion. Its motto is “Building bridges with dialogue one city at a time”.
Ken Herar from Mission formed this group two years ago with an inaugural ride to Victoria, meeting with groups and community organizations along the way.
Last year, the group made over 40 stops its four-day ride and spoke to thousands of people. The group also met with groups throughout the year to spread the message of inclusion.
This year, from May 21 to May 24, the team will visit 14 cities on its ride from Victoria to Abbotsford, encouraging our communities to be more inclusive in our workplaces, schools and neighbourhoods.
I want to congratulate Ken Herar and Cycling4Diversity on their initiative to foster a spirit of understanding and respect among all Canadians. Their work makes Canada a stronger and better country.