Miguel Romero of the Fort St. James Chamber of Commerce shows the Safe Harbour emblem in side the Tourism Information Centre and Chamber office.

Miguel Romero of the Fort St. James Chamber of Commerce shows the Safe Harbour emblem in side the Tourism Information Centre and Chamber office.

Look for a Safe Harbour

On March 7, 15 community members gathered for a webinar in Fort St. James.

On March 7, 15 community members gathered for a  webinar in Fort St. James.

The webinar was called Safe Harbour: Respect for All and was sponsored by the Organizing Against Racism & Hate (OARH) program through the College of New Caledonia (CNC).

Fifteen people representing local business owners, municipal and government employees and CNC attended the first ever one in Fort.

It highlighted the business case for diversity by exploring the benefits of equitable treatment for all and providing an immediate safe refuge for anyone in distress or who is facing discrimination.

“AMSSA is thrilled to have newly certified Safe Harbour locations such as the Carmen Wheatley Notary Corp, College of New Caledonia, the District of Fort St. James, Fort St. James Chamber of Commerce, Integris Credit Union, Lakeside Pharmacy, Miguel’s Pizza, Overwaitea Foods and John Rustad, MLA’s office, Service BC, and Tru Hardware join our program via our first webinar workshop.  These locations are joining a growing movement to help promote diversity and create inclusion across B.C.,” says Lindsay Marsh, Safe Harbour program coordinator. “Diversity is what makes our communities so vibrant and resilient during turbulent times.”

Diversity, in all its forms, contributes to the richness and strength of our social fabric.  In Canada, our society recognizes the diversity of our communities as an asset to our collective heritage.

By celebrating our differences, we also see just how much we have in common.  Safe Harbour: Respect For All commitments build on our diversity and help us to create a safer, more welcoming community.

Safe Harbour certified locations share their commitments to equitable treatment with customers and community members through a Respect for All window decal, promotional materials, and a listing on AMSSA’s website.

Miguel Romero of the Fort St. James Chamber of Commerce, and Miguel’s Pizza, said: “I’m really happy to be one of over 1,000 locations throughout B.C. that are certified to display the Safe Harbour window decal.  The Safe Harbour webinar was about creating a welcoming community, diversity and inclusion, and showed how even the smallest gestures of respect and dignity can make a very big difference.  The Safe Harbour window decal is another way of demonstrating to our community and visitors that Fort St. James cares.  I encourage all businesses to take the Safe Harbour webinar as it just makes good sense.”

As further interest in the Safe Harbour: Respect For All has been expressed the OARH program at CNC is considering offering a second webinar.

There will be no cost to participants, and it is possible to attend the webinar from your workplace.

If you would like to take part in this free opportunity and become one of the over 1,000 certified Safe Harbour: Respect For All locations in B.C. please contact Kathie Kealy, OARH Program Coordinator, at 250-996-7078.

This project is made possible through funding by EmbraceBC, Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation, Technology and Responsible for Multiculturalism and the government of Canada.  For more details, please visit www.safeharbour.ca. Respect for All – Pass It On!