Mission’s 10th annual Cycling4Diversity event exceeded all expectations, said founder Ken Herar.
The event, re-branded “Spinning4Diversity” this year due to COVID-19, livestreamed daily conversations about race in Canada with numerous guests as they exercised at the local Fitness Lab from May 16 to 22.
“For the past nine years, our audience was primarily visiting schools. This year, our live and recorded event reached all corners of the globe. I would like to continue spinning and further the conversation on diversity and inclusion during the current pandemic,” Herar said. “My wish is to continue Spinning4Diversity events into the foreseeable future.”
The livestreams were co-hosted by Mike Bismeyer, of the Mahatma Gandhi Canadian Foundation, and recipient of the 2021 Savita Shah Award. Bismeyer said it was an “honour to participate and co-host this year.”
“It is important to continue to carry the message of diversity, kindness and acceptance within our communicates, and recognize each other’s values. The continued participation of our great guests, speakers and support of the community, reiterates the importance of continuing the conversation,” he said.
The guests included the former RCMP officer, Const. Baltej Singh Dhillon, internationally recognized for fighting, and winning for the right to wear a turban while on duty, and Kenny Braich, a member of one of Mission’s oldest pioneer families.
“It’s great to have these conversations because you always learn more than what you share,” Dhillon said. “We can get to a place where understanding can be an absolute goal and objective. That we move away from simply tolerating each other. It’s okay to have some ignorance but it’s not okay to stay in a place of ignorance. That’s a choice.”
Braich said being able to participate with three award-winning social-justice activists to speak about race issues was rewarding and uplifting.
“As a community member, I think it’s important to note that in the last year (and four months specifically) we have witnessed, lovingly shared in, and at times violently recoiled from, some of the most horrific and polarizing events in modern history.”