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Burnaby residents, organization honoured as B.C. diversity champions

Emerging Burnaby leaders, barrier breakers and intercultural trust builders were recognized by the province.
Aria Law of Burnaby (middle left) and Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association president Cary Sakiyama (middle right) at the 2023 B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards.

Two Burnaby residents and an organization were among the recipients of the 2023 B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards. 

Aria Law, at age 15, won the Emerging Leader Award for her work addressing hate targeted at seniors in her neighbourhood. 

Law sold bao buns with anti-racism messages online, while also facilitating community conversations about racism. 

Law's award also included a $5,000 grant, which will be donated to the organization of her choosing — Canada Caring Community Alliance. 

"I am so grateful and humbled to be part of the awards ceremony and among other leaders in the anti-racism space," Law said in a news release. 

"Racism hurts and we can call it out together. 

"I hope that my experience encourages more youth to show kindness, patience and love to Asian seniors who have been harmed."

Meanwhile, the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association was honoured for its outstanding work in building intercultural trust and understanding and/or reducing hate between communities. 

Cary Sakiyama, president of the Burnaby-based group, accepted the award on the organization's behalf at a ceremony on Tuesday (March 21). 

Shanee Prasad earned an honourable mention in the Breaking Barriers Category for her work on anti-racist strategies and tools. 

"Indigenous, Black and people of colour in B.C. and Canada continue to be harmed every day by discrimination and hate," B.C. attorney general Niki Sharma added in the release. 

"I'm so proud to recognize the award winners and nominees who are working to dismantle systemic racism and make our communities more fair, just and equitable for everyone."