The 2013 Walk for Harmony scheduled for next week will combine with an art project that celebrates cultural diversity.
“We try to change the theme of the Walk for Harmony every year — last year we had a poster contest and this year we’re combining with the mural unveiling,” said Marilyn Livingston, multiculturalism co-ordinator with Canadian Mental Health Association, Cariboo Chilcotin Branch (CMHA).
Livingston said they’ve been holding the walk to honour the national day to eliminate racism since 2004.
This year CMHA is joining forces with the Fraser Basin Council to create a unique community event featuring the unveiling of a new mural and a walk – both focused on ending racism and on the gift that diversity brings to a community.
The event begins at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the Coast Fraser Inn parking lot where a mural celebrating diversity will be unveiled. Participants will join a walk to end racism at 11:35 a.m., moving down Carson to Boitanio Park for refreshments. Livingston and co-worker Bettina Schoen said both events are meant to help celebrate diversity and end racism together as a community.
“This walk is more important than ever; we often focus so much on turmoil and conflict, and this event focuses on what brings our community together,” Schoen said. “This is such a great community and we can do a lot if we work together. Every culture and every age group has something to contribute.”
Throughout the year the multicultural program at CMHA also ‘twins’ elementary schools in the Cariboo Chilcotin — a program that impacts the Walk for Harmony.
“An aboriginal rural school is paired with an urban school in order to create relationships between the kids before the get to high school. They visit each other’s schools and write to each other, increasing awareness and understanding, and kids involved in the twinning projects often attend the walk for harmony,” Livingston said.
Livingston added the walk is important on a global level.
“There is so much war, death and violence in the world and what we need is to find light and positive togetherness in our local communities,” she said. “What we want people to walk away with is how proud people are to live in the Cariboo Chilcotin and how much diversity we have to celebrate.”
For more information about the walk and the unveiling, phone Marilyn Livingston at CMHA at 250-302-9119 or Maureen Lebourdais at the Fraser Basin Council at 250-392-1400.