Voices of Vernon World Cafe tackles racism and inclusivity

Voices against racism

Voices of Vernon sparked a dialogue for meaningful change on racism.

To promote inclusivity and combat racism within B.C. schools, more than 200 students participated in a World Cafe event at Okanagan Regional Library Nov. 29-30.

Designed to be inclusive and accessible for all students, the program encourages open discussions on racism, discrimination, and prejudice, offering a platform for students to actively listen and gain perspective from the diverse stories and histories within their communities.

Through storytelling and creative expression, the program seeks to empower both students and educators.

“Anti-racism education is essential for fostering values that celebrate diversity, encourage empathy, and actively contribute to the creation of inclusive communities,” says Kimberley Tyssen, learning co-ordinator for School District 22. “Through fostering early awareness and understanding, students are equipped to actively address prejudice and contribute to shaping a society where every person is valued.”

Following each discussion, a storyboarding project was guided by the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

The storyboards will be showcased at the gallery early in the new year.

"Art serves as a powerful catalyst for change,” says Sierra Bronkhorst, learning and community engagement for the gallery.

“It provides an incredible opportunity to challenge stereotypes, provoke critical thought, and inspire conversations that have the potential to transform our society.”

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