Local Multicultural Council Withdraws from Anti-Racism Programming Proposal

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The Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County (MCC) has pulled out from the "Our City, Our Culture" Anti-Racism Programming Proposal.

In a release issued Thursday morning by the MCC, Executive Director Kathleen Thomas stated, "the agency now feels the project has become political and divisive, no longer reflecting the spirit, intent, and purpose of the initiative."

As AM800 news reported earlier this month, all but two councillors voted in favour of $200,000 plan which would have been overseen by the MCC.

The plan was meant to provide training initiatives, internships and mentorships, bursaries and scholarships, development grants and heritage interpretation and storytelling.

Thomas added "it is unfortunate that this initiative has now become divisive, when our goal was to bring people together. The very heart of this proposal was inclusion. As an apolitical organization, we feel it is in our best interest to remove ourselves from this process and proceed on our own."

Black Council of Windsor Essex Acting Chair Leslie McCurdy told council on July 19th, the city failed to consult with the very people the plan is intended to help.

Mayor Drew Dilkens issued a statement after the MCC announced its withdrawal.

It reads, "It is truly sad that the Multicultural Council of Windsor (MCC) felt that they had to withdraw from delivering on the important work associated with the City of Windsor’s anti-racism initiative.  In recent weeks, the comments made to denigrate the work of the MCC and their staff crossed the line and took on an increasingly personal and nasty tone."

Dilkens goes on to say, "Council will need to decide how to administer the allocated resources which were first set-aside during the 2021 City budget, but it is clear that additional work will be required prior to deciding how to proceed."