Antonia Victor (in cedar hat), Women of Sto:lo co-ordinator, joined by Allyson Marchand, Soraya Felix, Toni Douglas-Nendick, Jacqueline Silver, and Mayor Ken Popove, marking the MMIW Day of Remembrance on Oct. 4, 2019 on the Coqualeetza grounds. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress file)

Mayor of Chilliwack says it’s time to have ‘uncomfortable conversations’ about racism

‘It’s past time we listen to those who haven’t been heard, and extend kindness to everyone,’ mayor says

Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove said he was “shaken” by the news of the murder of George Floyd in the U.S. last week, acknowledging it as an example of “systemic” racism.

“I don’t feel I have the right words to describe all the emotions that washed over me after the news of George Floyd’s murder by a police officer in Minnesota,” Popove said in his daily statement.

“The knowledge that this was not an isolated incident but an example of systemic widespread racism has shaken me to my core and left me asking what I can do to make a difference.”

Racism exists in Canada and even in Chilliwack, he underlined, “and we need to stand together against it.”

But Chilliwack is also becoming more diverse as it grows, and becoming a more inclusive community is very important to him.

“It’s time to have those uncomfortable conversations about racism,” Popove said.

That’s why the prospect of working on the Mayor’s Task Force on Inclusiveness, Diversity and Accessibility as co-chair was exciting.

“I know that learning from people with lived experience will help me better understand what needs to change locally,” he said, pledging to use his time “to listen, to make marginalized and oppressed voices heard,” and to make the changes needed to build a more equitable and inclusive community.

The mayor urged people to learn something new about minority groups in Chilliwack and the rest of Canada.

He also encouraged anyone interested in the topic to check out the online resources of National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

“It’s past time that we listen to those who haven’t been heard, and extend kindness to everyone,” Popove said.

“Be kind, respectful and curious. When we stop and listen to one another, we have the opportunity to gain new perspectives.

“This way I hope we can move forward together as a stronger, more diverse community.”

READ MORE: March against racism in Chilliwack June 5

READ MORE: Man paints over racist graffiti

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

City of Chilliwackracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Chilliwack woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

Some Chilliwack residents dealing with water on land and underground

City reminds homeowners to be ready for basement floods as Fraser River and water table rises

New hybrid learning model open to Chilliwack students

Two days in a classroom and three days at home could be ‘right fit’ for many students, says district

Rescuers come up empty after scouring Coquihalla River for 50-year-old man

Police, search teams, drones and helicopters were involved in the two-day search

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Abbotsford school vice-principal accused of getting Instagram ‘confessions’ page shut down

@A.S.S.S.Confessions page claims school officials contacted families to find out person behind page

Budget officer pegs cost of basic income as calls for it grow due to COVID-19

Planned federal spending to date on pandemic-related aid now tops about $174 billion

Most Read