Cycling4Diversity starts May 22 at Griner Park

Annual event includes 40 stops across nine municipalities

Ken Herar sits next to the bike he will use in this year's Cycling for Diversity.

It started with a party.

Mission’s Ken Herar was aiming to attend a party last year until he was told no Indo-Canadians could attend because “they cause too much trouble.”

The lifelong local community member was equally incensed and saddened, and set out to do something to change people’s attitudes towards others.

The second annual Cycling4Diversity (May 22-25) starts next Tuesday morning in Mission at Griner Park, and includes 40 stops at schools and community gathering places in nine cities, culminating in the final stop at the B.C. Legislature where the provincial government has announced Cycling for Diversity Week.

There are seven core riders who will do the entire journey, and a handful of others will join the ride in their respective cities and only do a leg.

Building bridges of dialogue, one city at a time, is this year’s theme, said Herar and Sarina Derksen-Di Martino, executive coordinator.

Talking to your neighbours or community members who are from a different ethnicity is the core of the ride’s message.

“We need to create more inter-cultural activities and make more friends,” said Herar.

Derksen-Di Martino was involved last year in organizing ride support and awareness, and came formally onboard after discussions with Herar.

She is passionate about the ride because of the increasing isolation she sees the region that follow racial lines. The more people who move to the district have naturally started to form links with others of a similar background.

“It’s a safety net, and we understand that. But we encourage people to break that [segregation] and approach others,” she said. “We’re not asking people to change their cultures, but just to get out and interact.”

“In 20 years we won’t be talking about diversity, but how to combat racism,” said Herar. Key to the attitude change is creating events with the youth, especially in sports. As well, getting seniors from all cultures to mingle would make a difference.

“I think any language barriers could be overcome,” said Herar. “Mission is a role model community. It’s small, and there’s lots of things to get involved in.”

The May 22 Mission kick off event at Griner Park on Cherry Avenue. A ceremonial tree re-planting, to replace the one planted last year that was vandalized, starts at 8 a.m.

Just Posted

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: Rockslide keeps Coquihalla northbound lane closed

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

UPDATE: Wind warning ends for Metro Vancouver after thousands lose power

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

Guilty plea issued in case where man, 86, was assaulted and robbed

Hughie Stump pleads guilty to break-and-enter in relation to Abbotsford incident

VIDEO: Mission City Indoor Farmers Market returns

Market kicks off 2018 schedule on Saturday

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Justice group, fellow trustee, defending B.C. school trustee

Chilliwack school trustee facing increasing pressure to resign over LGBTQ beliefs

Giants, Rivermen on the NHL radar

Vancouver leads all WHL teams with five players on NHL Central Scouting list

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

New development in missing plane near Revelstoke

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

Most Read